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Tim Erickson takes over as school district's new financial man

While it has only been a few days since Tim Erickson took over as the Hudson School District's director of financial services, he likes what he sees.

"The people I've met and will work with really seem to work well together as a team. It's hard to get anything done when that isn't the case but that's not a problem real. I'm just very happy to be part of it," said Erickson.

Erickson replaces Arnie Fett who retired after 17 years as the district's money man. Erickson, a certified public accountant from Superior, held a similar position in northern Minnesota with the Esko Public School District which has about 1,200 students.

The Hudson School District has nearly 5,000 students and the job has a few more responsibilities here. In addition to overseeing the district's budget, managing the largest payroll in the area and coordinating the annual audit, Erickson will also supervise district facilities management and the food service program.

Erickson said it will be a challenge working in a much bigger district and having expanded duties but he says things appear to be running very smoothly and he expects they will continue to do so.

Part of his confidence stems from the experienced staff he inherited from Fett. The office staff includes Lois Zezza, Peg Wolff, Tracee Barr and Donna Licht. along with food service coordinator Joan Allen and buildings and ground supervisor Jim Stejskal. "This is a very good group of people who know their job They will help me get up to speed as quickly as possible."

Erickson acknowledges that in his job he has a lot to answer for. His goal in managing the district's money is to provide not only for a solid educational experience for students in adequate facilities but also to be sensitive to the issue of local property taxes. He expects that will be especially challenging as Hudson school enrollment grows and classroom space becomes limited.

"It's my role to advise the superintendent and the board not only on what money we need to accomplish our mission but also what impact it will have on the district's taxpayers. My job is to provide enough information so that they can always make informed decisions," said Erickson.

Erickson is well aware that the district's finances have been a contentious subject with some local taxpayers in recent years. With less than a week on the job, however, he did make this pledge. "I will be honest and up front about the financial matters in this district. It can be tempting to tell people what they want to hear on either side of an issue but that doesn't serve anyone. My door is open to anyone in the district with a question or a comment."

Erickson believes the biggest financial challenge facing Hudson will be what to do about more space in the district. But in the meantime he is getting to know as much as possible about the district and the community.

Erickson and his wife Kris have a daughter who is a senior in high school.

"I am very happy to be part of this administrative team and I will do my best to serve the students, parent, employees and taxpayers of this district.

Erickson can be reached at 386-4908.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

(715) 808-8604