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Introduction

About the Support Services Department

Billie Salas, Manager
(29 years with M&O, manager 10 years) 10 employees

The Support Services Department is responsible for the administration of Budget Management; Invoice and Payment Processing; Contract Administration; and Utilities Management. 

Support Services provides the financial accounting function for M&O enabling the service departments to carry out their routine work and large projects in a timely manner utilizing available and sometimes specifically designated budgeted dollars. In department Managers serving this end and meeting their goals, they work closely with Support Services as well as the M&O Executive Director. Ms. Salas also collaborates with APS’ Finance, Procurement, and Accounts Payable offices in overseeing M&O’s fluctuating budget balance (consisting of Operational and Senate Bill 9 funds), expenses, and daily finance operations.

The administering of Operational monies is relatively straightforward as it pays for the somewhat predictable employee salaries, services, routine materials and supplies, fleet fuel, and utilities. Managing SB-9 dollars used to pay for outside contractor services and more costly materials and equipment, however, calls for infinitely more prudent and watchful maneuvering. Operational funds, apportioned annually, allow no carry-over options. On the other hand, SB-9 monies, created in the 1990s by voter approval, are reloaded after every funding cycle and unspent monies in the current fiscal year are carried over to the following year.

Ms. Salas works in concert with M&O Managers in reserving funds as precisely as feasible in anticipation of planned major projects as well as the unforeseen yet certain emergencies that consume approximately 35% of each year’s budget. This insightful strategizing depends on all M&O Managers identifying priorities to meet APS’ most demanding needs within budgetary confines. Ms. Salas also works closely with the Executive Director on all budget issues including allocations, expenditures, and budgets for specific projects paid for by Operational and Capital funds. 

Ms. Salas is also responsible for the daily review and approval for payment of M&O’s voluminous number of invoices in accordance with procurement rules and procedures. Questioned invoices are researched and approved invoices are forwarded to APS’ Procurement and/or Accounts Payable Departments for payment. Prompt invoice processing is important to the education process as a logjam in the payment system delays work projects at schools. Contractors are not in the education business and sometimes do not hesitate to terminate work at any phase, whether it shuts down classrooms or not, if invoices are overdue. M&O however, along with every other APS division — curriculum or otherwise — is in the education business and makes every effort to never interrupt the instructional day. 

M&O continues a downward funding trajectory in spite of the District adding new schools and expanding existing campuses. Due to a declining student population and new outside demands on limited Capital funding, M&O’s budget dropped 4.3% in 2016 over the previous year. Since 2007, the Division’s total budget has declined 22.7% while its number of employees has dwindled by 18%!

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