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RCSD Loses Another: Bob Franklin Heads Back to County as CFO

Patti Singer

Monroe County Office Building, where former RCSD chief financial officer Bob Franklin will be going back to work. File photo

The chief financial officer of the Rochester City School District resigned May 15 and returned to his former job as chief financial officer for Monroe County.

Bob Franklin submitted a two-paragraph, four-sentence letter to RCSD Deputy Superintendent Lynda Quick and Chief of Staff Annmarie Lehner:

“Dear Lynda and Annmarie:

With this letter, I am providing thirty days’ notice of my resignation as Chief Financial Officer of the Rochester City School District. My last day of employment will be Sunday June 14, 2020.

“I am proud to have worked with the two of you and the entire Finance team since the beginning of January. That said, I am not right for the Rochester City School District.”

He signed the letter, “Respectfully.”

According to the county, Franklin starts on June 15.

It is the second seemingly abrupt departure from the RCSD in the past few weeks.

Superintendent Terry Dade announced in late April that he was seeking to end his contract, and the next day the Cornwall Central School District in the Hudson Valley announced it had hired him.

Dade arrived in Rochester in July 2019.

Franklin joined the RCSD after the resignation of Everton Sewell. Sewell left after the district announced a $30 million shortfall from the 2018-2019 school year. The deficit only grew as Dade said the district had a pattern of underbudgeting and overspending.

Franklin joined the RCSD after Dade has proposed midyear cuts to reduce the gap. Dade had proposed the 2020-21 budget to the school board, but dropped out of sight after the announcement that he was leaving. It was left to Franklin and Quick to finish the process.

A text message seeking comment was left for RCSD Board of Education President Van White.

Franklin had been the county CFO from January 2013 through December 2019, under Republican county executives.

“I am pleased to welcome Bob Franklin back to Monroe County government and am excited to have someone of his experience and dedication serving in this important role in my administration,” County Executive Adam Bello, a Democrat, said in a news release. “Given the fiscal challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bob’s experience will be invaluable in our efforts to reduce spending, serve those relying on County services and protect tax payers.”

Franklin said in the news release, “It is great to be back with Monroe County government, serving in a position I held for nearly seven years. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work with County Executive Adam Bello to deliver savings and relief to the taxpayers of Monroe County. I thank the County Executive for this opportunity and I am excited to be part of his administration.”

Franklin will be responsible for the financial affairs of Monroe County, including the $1.2 billion county budget. The Monroe County Department of Finance, under the supervision of the CFO, is responsible for maximizing county government’s ability to promote the economic well-being of the community while minimizing the dependence on taxpayers and residents, according to a statement from the county. The Department of Finance includes the Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Controller, and the Divisions of Purchasing, Treasury, Real Property Tax Services, Internal Audit and Debt Management.

In addition to previously serving as Monroe County’s CFO and director of finance, Franklin held the positions of: Monroe County Deputy Commissioner of Human Services (2008 – 2013), Director of Financial Assistance for the Monroe County Department of Human Services (2005 -2008) and various other roles in Monroe County’s Finance Department.

Prior to joining Monroe County in 2003, Franklin served as controller for Coordinated Care Services, Inc. and director of finance for AIDS Rochester.