An interim business official will be hired by the Oneonta City School District during its regular meeting on Wednesday.

The meeting will follow the annual reorganization meeting at the Oneonta Middle School library, which starts at 7 p.m.

The district will be hiring former Charlotte Valley Central School Superintendent D. Ron Whipple, effective Wednesday, at a per diem rate of $400 to fill some of the responsibilities of Tom Austin, said Superintendent Michael Shea.

Shea said the $400 rate is the standard amount for interim administrators.

Austin, who is becoming Walton superintendent Aug. 1, served as the school's business manager in his role as deputy superintendent. Austin makes $117,000 in Oneonta.

Shea said Wednesday's meeting is the only one for July, so hiring Whipple then allows him to be acclimated to the job before Austin leaves. The acclimation period might involve a few days a week, but after Austin leaves, Whipple will be full time until a permanent replacement is found, Shea said.

It is important to get someone in the role, he added, because important projects needed to be worked on during the summer that are required for all schools.

One project is providing information for an external audit sought by the state Education Department and due Oct. 15. Shea said Whipple will also be involved with preparing information, such as enrollment rates and program expenses, for a state report due in September. That information is used to generate a number of categories of state aid, Shea said.

Board President Grace Larkin said that because of Whipple's previous experience, "Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief."

Whipple, who retired from Charlotte Valley in 1999, has been an interim superintendent in Cherry Valley-Springfield in 2002, Franklin in 2005 and Downsville in 2007.

"We will be in safe hands again," Larkin said. "You just don't replace someone like Tom. While we are looking for a permanent replacement, it's nice to have someone who knows the ropes."

Whipple did not answer his phone when called at home Monday afternoon.

Shea said he hopes to have a permanent replacement by Nov. 1.

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