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Schools financial chief quits

Submitted by on 1, June 26, 2008 – 9:00 pmNo Comment

Alameda Unified today announced the departure of Chief Financial Officer Luz T. Cazares. Cazares leaves Alameda at the end of August for a job as Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for the Pleasanton Unified School District, which has decidedly not been in the news for its fiscal problems.

Cazares’ career with the district began in March 2004, as the director of fiscal services. She was promoted to chief financial officer in September 2005 and was handed the heavy task of guiding the cash-strapped district through three years of budget cuts. In a statement on the district’s website today, Superintendent Ardella Dailey said she’ll miss Cazares, who she said “is extremely knowledgeable and … truly cares about our goals of excellence and equity for all students.” Said Dailey:

Luz has done an exceptional job of managing AUSD finances, steering us through three difficult years of budget cuts, improving our financial and accounting systems, educating our community about school budgets and finance with clarity and grace, and bringing a high degree of transparency and accountability to district finances.

School board Trustee Mike McMahon also praised Cazares, for her efforts to school people on the wild and wacky world of school finance. Per McMahon:

Beyond her management of the AUSD books, Luz was committed to educating the public about arcane budget practices of school districts. Her presentations always sought to inform and educate what was beyond the numbers.

Cazares will stick around to help the district hire her replacement, Dailey said.

P.S.: The district is holding a special meeting Monday night. The agenda’s not posted yet (I think it goes up tomorrow), but I believe they are meeting to pass a budget, which is due July 1 even if they don’t know what kind of money the state will give them for next school year. Should be interesting, and a tad less sweaty with all that Measure H money coming their way. We’ll update as the info comes.

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