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Former chief financial officer to consult for School Board

The Buffalo School Board voted Wednesday to extend a contract with the schools’ former chief financial officer, who resigned over the summer.

Barbara J. Smith was the school district’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer when she left in June after more than 12 years with the district.

She opened her own business – Barbara J. Smith Advisory Services – to provide financial consulting services to school districts and municipalities.

On Wednesday, School Board members approved a consultant’s contract with her for up to $71,000, effective January 2016 through June 2016.

According to the contract, Smith will consult with the Buffalo School District for about 16 hours a week at an hourly rate of $170.

School district officials said there are several outstanding projects and knowledge exclusive to Smith, including grants monitoring, contract processes, the 2016-17 budget, lobbying efforts and charter school analysis.

Smith will transition her knowledge to the new chief operating officer, Kevin J. Eberle, whose department will oversee the district’s finances and operations. Eberle’s annual salary is $145,000.

The consulting contract extends an agreement with Smith in July after she resigned as a district employee. For up to $34,000, she was retained by the school district as a consultant through Dec. 31 to help with the transition of the interim chief financial officer.

Smith started with the district as an external auditor. Five years later, in 2003, she became the controller. She became the chief financial officer in 2009 and under former Superintendent Pamela C. Brown, the position of chief operating officer was added to her title.

Over the years Smith had overseen hundreds of millions of dollars in school budgets.

She left the district making an annual salary of $160,000, according to the district payroll.

Since her departure as a full-time employee with the Buffalo public schools, Smith said she has been working with several other school districts and municipalities.