Dias takes seat on Budget Commission

Dias takes seat on Budget Commission

WOONSOCKET - Carolyn Dias, a former chief operating officer for the Rhode Island Department of Education who now serves as director of business services has been appointed to the Woonsocket Budget Commission, replacing former chairman William Sequino.

Sequino had stepped down from the post, and his job as East Greenwich town manager in June to take a position as executive director of Clean Water Finance Agency. He had returned to a seat on the commission on an interim basis over the past several months to help out temporarily.

Since the announcement, former school business manager Dina Dutremble has served as chair of the commission.

"Bill Sequino left us again, this time permanently, and he's being replaced by Carolyn Dias," Dutremble said.

In 1997, Dias took a position as chief financial officer for the Rhode Island Department of Health. In 2002, she moved to RIDE where she first served as chief financial officer and then moved on to the position of chief operating officer.

She currently serves as director of business services for the Roger Williams University School of Continuing Education.

"She has a long history of work in government finance," said Dutremble.

On Monday, it appeared Dutremble will retain her seat at the helm.

State Finance Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly recruited Dias for the position, after having worked with her directly during her positions at both RIDE and DOH.

"Rose reached out to me and after several long conversations, I agreed to step up and help the commission," Dias told The Breeze.

The finance director was full of praise for the new recruit.

"I've worked with Carolyn in several capacities while she was in state government and she obviously has an extremely good handle on management practices in government and is very familiar with budgets," said Booth-Gallogly. "I also have a great deal of respect for her work ethic. She is a very hard worker and that's something you need when you're asked to serve on a commission like this. I think she's a fantastic fit. She'll contribute a lot on school issues and overall budget."

Dias served at her first meeting Monday, and her potential to contribute to the board became clear during a discussion on the capabilities of the School Department's accounting system, and whether or it needed to be replaced.

"I know that one of the goals on moving to a new financial system is to integrate the HR module, which we all know is 80 percent of every school budget. Does Keystone have a robust HR module?" she quizzed Director of Finance and Administration Joseph Spagna.

Dutremble, previously the only female on the board, seemed grateful for the presence of another member with expertise in school budgeting.

"We are lucky to have Carolyn as a new member of this commission and her significant experience in governmental accounting and government finance will be most helpful to all of us for the work ahead," Dutremble said.