Tampa, Fla. (July 23, 2020) – Hillsborough County School Board District 3 Candidate Mitch Thrower knows there is no substitute for experience, especially to oversee a school district that has been through a disorganized budget with a $50 million deficit and no accountability. As a CPA and Certified Internal Auditor, Thrower is the only candidate who has a strong financial background and school board auditing experience to get the district’s budget back on track.
His experience, currently as Senior Manager of Administration for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, where he has managed the Risk Management Department’s insurance and safety program with over $2 billion in property values, makes him the right person for the job. Not only does Thrower have experience maintaining accountability and fiscal responsibility with complex budgets, but he also has significant experience performing school board audits while at the State of Florida’s Office of the Auditor General.
While most past and present school board members are teachers, Thrower grew up in a teaching household and understands the importance of education. His mother, Sandra Thrower, was an educator in Hillsborough County for over 30 years, retiring as Principal from Forrest Hills Elementary. Thrower also has the ability and experience of keeping professionals in line with budgetary expenses and maintaining fiscal accountability – which is what the Hillsborough County School Board desperately needs.
It is crucial for the school board to have a financial watchdog with accredited accounting and auditing skills. The recent news, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times, of a $50 million shortfall in the School District’s reserves is very unfortunate, especially in the eyes of taxpayers. In fact, in 2018, a half-penny tax was passed by Hillsborough County voters to secure $1 billion in funds for the School Board over a 10-year timeframe, which was intended to fund school repairs and maintenance, such as failing air conditioners. The $50 million deficit was taxpayer dollars that had been mismanaged and could have funded critical expenses at schools.
According to Thrower’s former colleague and CPA Stephen Zarycki, “Mitch is knowledgeable and experienced with financial internal controls, budgets, and accounting and procurement processes. His background and experience are critical to ensure the necessary resources are obtained for schools.”
Community leader and Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Trustee, Gary Pike stated, “I served on the Hillsborough Planning Commission Board for five years with Mitch Thrower, four of which included serving on the executive committee while Mitch was Chairman. Listening, fairness, preparedness, and decision-making are important leadership qualities consistently displayed by Mitch. With actual board experience, an understanding and respect of the residents of Hillsborough, combined with his depth of knowledge, Mitch is a needed addition to the Hillsborough County School Board.”
“Every great board has members with different skills and experiences. It is important to have a mixture of educators as well as individuals with business and financial expertise overseeing the School District and the budget. I am confident that my background as an auditor and manager will help the Board work with the new Superintendent to create synergies and efficiencies within the school system,” commented Thrower.
Mitch Thrower is running for Hillsborough County School Board District 3. To learn more about his campaign, visit www.VoteMitchThrower.com.