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 CAB Business Manager David Bundy Resigns; Accepts Post at Insurance Agency

April 8, 2009 - The Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation’s central office was the site a major, unexpected announcement Monday regarding personnel.

Business Manager David Bundy submitted a letter of resignation to Superintendent Gary Storie on Monday morning, with his last day at CAB being Friday, April 17. Bundy will become the operations manager for Pfenninger Insurance Agency in New Castle.

“Well, it was certainly a surprise that I didn’t expect at all,” Storie told The Banner Monday afternoon. While he said he respected and supported Bundy’s decision, he said he was also sad to see him go and that the resignation will leave CAB with “a bit of a void.”

“He did quite a bit of work for Charles A. Beard, even before I arrived, that was helpful to me,” Storie said. “He has a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience in the financial area.”

Hired in February 2007, Bundy was only the second person to hold the position of business manager at CAB. His predecessor, Amanda Zurwell, had resigned that January after David McGuire, CAB’s superintendent at that time, learned she was being investigated regarding the theft of funds from her former employer, Brown County School Corporation.

Bundy confirmed his resignation in an e-mail sent to The Banner Monday afternoon. “I was offered a position that I felt was better for me and my family personally and professionally,” he wrote. “I feel blessed in this economy to have this opportunity. I will miss working with the staff and administrators at CAB. Our corporation has many caring, hardworking people in it. I feel our corporation has made tremendous strides during my time here and financially we are on the right track.”

His decision to leave his job as CAB’s business manager is not the first time Bundy has resigned a position with the school corporation. Because state law prohibits school board members from being employed by school corporations they’ve been elected to serve, Bundy resigned his seat on the CAB School Board, a position he’d held since July 2005, immediately before taking the business manager’s position.

Although it was not publicly disclosed at the time, Bundy had interviewed for the business manager’s position during the summer of 2006, at the same time Zurwell had. Because Zurwell had previous work experience in an educational setting, however, she got the job when the first hiring decision was made.

Despite having less experience that Zurwell, when Bundy took over the position in February 2007, he was paid the same salary she had received. His current base salary at CAB is $67,794, and his total compensation package is worth $104,214.

One of the perks Bundy received as CAB’s business manager was that he only had to pay 25 cents a year toward his family’s annual health insurance premium, with CAB paying the remaining $25,094. Of the nine CAB employees who are offered this insurance perk, or its cash equivalent, Bundy was the only one who was noncertified and not an administrator with an employment contract.

Bundy initially declined to disclose specifics about his new job, saying he first wanted check with his future employer to see if they had notified their other staff yet. In an e-mail sent to The Banner Tuesday morning, he revealed the job he is taking with Pfenninger, a firm that served as CAB’s insurance agent of record for approximately a year while Bundy was business manager.

After Chad Leakey of local firm Leakey Insurance was dropped in 2007 as CAB’s longtime insurance agent of record, Josh Estelle, a friend of Bundy’s and agent with Pfenninger, was appointed as a replacement. This change, which had not been approved by the school board before being made, sharply divided the community and school board, was eventually reversed last July following the election of three new board members.

At the time, Bundy had told The Banner the decision to switch from Leakey to Pfenninger’s Estelle had been McGuire’s. Public records obtained from The Banner in 2007 showed that Bundy, however, had been in contact with Estelle prior to the June 12 meeting and that a change in agents was already being contemplated.

McGuire sent CAB’s insurer a letter switching insurance agents on June 13, 2007, the day after the board meeting and the same day he submitted his own letter of resignation to CAB. Neither Bundy nor McGuire notified board members or the public of the change in agents at a meeting held July 2 – McGuire’s last meeting as CAB’s superintendent. Bundy finally advised the board of the change at a meeting held two weeks later.

Whether a new business manager will ultimately be hired to replace Bundy has not yet been decided. Storie said he plans to talk with other staff members and administrators this week to see what kind of plan can be put together.

Storie noted that since he was hired as superintendent last July, CAB has tried not to replace employees who have resigned in an effort to save money. As was the case with those other vacancies, he said an effort will be made here as well “to step back and evaluate” the situation, to see whether a new business manager is needed.

“I’m thinking that at least for now ... we’ll look to see how we might organize first,” Storie said. “There might be people that are able to step in; there might be responsibilities that can be assumed by other people. As you can imagine, that’s going to take some time to sort out.”

“It’s going to be quite a lot to try to just shove bits and pieces off to other people, but we’re going to start there,” Storie said. “And then we’ll see what we need to do in terms of adding additional staff or replacing him down the road. ... It’ll just take us awhile to work all of that out. I think maybe by this time next week, we’ll have a little better handle on it.”

Like Storie, the leadership of the CAB School Board were also caught off guard by Bundy’s decision. Steve Dalton, the board’s vice president, told The Banner he was “completely blindsided” by the announcement.

“I wish David the best of success,” Dalton said. “It’s my hope, as a board member, that we maintain the level of financial accuracy and transparency that we’ve had the last six months.”

Dalton said if a decision is made not replace Bundy, the school corporation could realize significant savings. “I think we need to regroup collectively, see where the school corporation is and see if we can pull this together and save the money on that position,” he said.

When contacted late Monday afternoon, School Board President Kevin Knott said he had not yet learned of Bundy’s resignation. After having an opportunity to speak with Storie, however, he did e-mail some comments to The Banner Monday evening.

“I do believe it would be a reasonable idea to consider re-organization of duties in the central office of the school corporation to absorb as much of the responsibilities being vacated by Mr. Bundy, as is possible,” Knott wrote. “I do have the utmost confidence in Mr. Storie's abilities to manage this change effectively and he will be communicating with the entire school board in the near future about this issue and the public will be informed with additional information as Mr. Storie develops his plan of action.”


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