The Scotland County schools chief financial officer Tony Messer has anounced his resignation.
Messer, who has held the position since September 2009, will spend his last day working for the Scotland County schools on April 16. He is leaving to become chief operating officer in the Chatham County school system.
For Messer, who resides in Sanford, the career move is lateral, but a geographic shift toward home.
“I’m getting closer to home and family,” Messer said. “The commute from my home to here is roughly 62 miles; I’m cutting that down to 16 miles.”
Although his two and a half years of work in Scotland County have been enjoyable for him, Messer will not miss his weekly commute, equivalent to a road trip to Florida.
“The people in Scotland County have been really good to me and the place that I work is really great, but travel and the time commitment are big motivators,” said Messer. “I hate to leave, it’s a great place to work - it just makes more sense to get closer to home.”
The school system is currently in the process of selecting applicants to interview for Messer’s job.
“We are in the process of interviewing and still selecting candidates to interview,” said Andy Cagle, the school system’s spokesman. “We are still fairly early in the process, but we have to have someone in place before Tony’s last day.”
School board member Darrel Gibson stated that Messer’s work in the school system and assistance to the school board have been invaluable.
“His expertise has been tremendous,” Gibson said. “I am saddened by us losing him and I wish that we could keep him, but we understand that the opportunity has come for him to do better.”
According to Gibson, Messer conducted the school system’s financial operations with total transparency. In 2011, the school system’s finance office won two national commendations for financial reporting: a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association and a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International.
“He’s very open and honest with the entire board as to where we stand and what needs to be done, so we hate to lose him,” said Gibson. “I’m sure we won’t get anyone like him, but it’s our hope that we can get someone who can do the job to the level that he has done it.”