Coffman calls off financial adviser

By Paula Aven Gladych
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — State Treasurer Mike Coffman announced Monday that he will no longer have a financial adviser from his office looking over the shoulder of the St. Vrain Valley School District.

Since late December, the district had been paying Ray Kieft, a senior policy and academic officer with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, $2,000 per month to act as a compliance monitor. Kieft was appointed by the treasurer to make sure St. Vrain complied with the financial- recovery plan that Coffman developed as a condition of the district receiving a $9.8 million emergency loan from the state late last year to cover payroll.

Coffman’s decision to eliminate the position came after Kieft announced Friday that he had accepted a position as interim president of Metropolitan State College of Denver and could no longer do the St. Vrain-related work.

“This is a full-time, all-consuming position which will demand my full and focused attention,” Kieft said in a letter to St. Vrain Valley School District Superintendent Randy Zila and Coffman.

He added that he has “full confidence that the St. Vrain Valley School District is on track to fulfilling all aspects of the recovery plan and to financial health.”

Coffman agreed.

“The district is well ahead of meeting its goals under the financial recovery plan,” he said Monday morning. “I am confident that they will continue to go down the right path without my requiring them to have a monitor with them in the district.”

Mark Pillmore, the district’s new chief financial officer, said he hadn’t heard from Coffman this week, but at a meeting with him June 24, the treasurer said he didn’t think the district needed a monitor anymore.

Instead, Pillmore will now meet on a quarterly basis with the CFO of the state treasurer’s office.

“It’s fine with us,” said Pillmore. “We are more than happy to do it on any basis Mike Coffman wants us to. We have been paying a monthly fee to Kieft for monitoring, so we won’t have to do that in the future, which is good for us.”

The school district announced in November that it was faced with a $13.8 million budget deficit.

“I’m obviously very disappointed at what happened that put the district in this position, but all that is a part of the past,” Coffman said. “Now I’m looking forward to the day when the financial recovery plan is complete and St. Vrain is no longer under my financial controls.”

The district is scheduled to complete its financial recovery plan by the end of June 2004.

Paula Aven Gladych can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 211, or by e-mail at pavengladych@times-call.com.


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