School

Central School Board Votes to Receive Compensation Beginning This Friday

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By Dave Freneaux

    On Wednesday, July 6th, Dr. Jim Gardner, President of the Central Community School Board, at the request of Central Speaks, provided a copy of a Resolution seeking to pay School Board Members $800 per month beginning immediately.  That information was published in last week’s edition of Central Speaks.  On Monday night, July 11th, in the face of many objections by the public, the School Board voted 6-1 to begin paying each School Board Member $650 per month and the President of the Board $750 per month.  Prior to this action, all School Board Members served for no compensation.  The video of this School Board meeting can be seen on-line at CentralSpeaks.com by selecting the CentralSpeaksTV icon at the top of any page.

    Although the initial resolution called for the Board to be paid the maximum allowable by law, which is $800 per month for each of the six regular Board Members and $900 per month for the Board President,  the Resolution was changed to the lower amount before the vote.  There was much public comment on the issue, all of which can be seen online at CentralSpeaks.com.

   Nine Central Citizens spoke against the resolution:  Jon Simmons, one of the pioneers of the creation of the Central School System, Gerry Edgens, a candidate for School Board in 2010, Dr. Keith Holmes, a member of the School Board’s Finance Committee since its inception, Wayne Leader, Chairman of the Central City Services Selection Committee and Transition Team, Mike Mannino, a candidate for City Council in 2010, Tiffany Whitehead, a teacher in the Central School System, Dave Freneaux, editor of Central Speaks, Rodney Bonvillian, Chairman of Central’s Planning & Zoning Commission, and Stafford Palombo.

    Each of those speaking against the Resolution stated that they objected to the concept of sitting elected officials voting to increase their own compensation.  The speakers generally had no objection to the School Board implementing pay for the next elected School Board, but pointed out that this Board ran for these positions knowing that these were unpaid positions.  In addition, several speakers raised objections that this matter was not referred to the Finance or Personnel Committees for consideration prior to coming to the Board for a vote.  It has been the practice of this School Board to first refer matters to the appropriate committee for discussion and approval before being heard by the full Board.  Several speakers, including Dr. Keith Holmes and Jon Simmons, requested that the matter be deferred to the appropriate committees so that the public would have ample opportunity to give input and so that the financial impact of this decision could be considered by the Finance Committee.  The Board did not agree to send the mater to committee.

    Another major objection raised by several of the speakers was that the Central School System has unfunded retirement liabilities its first four years of about $6 million, but has only generated $2 million in excess funds over those four years, $4 million short of funding those retirement liabilities.  At the June 22nd School Board meeting Dr. Holmes had asked that the School Board be very aware of this growing debt and that the Board formulate a plan to fund these liabilities.  An additional objection came from several speakers citing that teachers in the Central School System were having to absorb additional insurance costs and that there had been no cost of living raises for teachers in the last several years.

    Speaking in favor of the Resolution were Central citizens R.J. Saucier, a member of the City Services Committees, and Linda Summers.  These speaking in favor, as well as virtually all of those speaking against the Resolution, recognized that Central’s School Board Members are quality citizens of this city and that they have worked hard to ensure that the Central Community School System is one of the best in the state.  Many of those speaking against the Resolution stated that their objection was not about these School Board Members, but about the concept of elected officials voting for their own pay increases and the lack of sending this issue to committee and seeking more public input.

13 Comments

  1. Mike Mannino

    July 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    This decision will have affects on the public perception of the CCSS than these members cannot begin to fathom. Poorly done and the timing of this taking affect, a major point of contention for the voters. Just once, I would like to go to a council meeting or SB meeting and have public input make a difference !!!

  2. Ward

    July 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Their minds are make up before each meeting. So whatever is said during public coment goes in one ear and out the other. Well, maybe… What Keith Holmes had to say did not intrest the Board Pres because he was laughing and joking with the Super. Keith had to stop and ask him if he had any comments. I think the people of each district should gather together and tell their rep what they think and expect him/her to vote the way of the majority of the people in their district. They must have dress rehersal for these meetings.

  3. Another Central resident

    July 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Can SB members be recalled? If so, people in each district except #2 should start recall petitions. Lucky enough I live in a district where my SB member is an honarable person of her word. The ones who voted yes but decided not to receive pay is worst in my opinion. If you aren’t going to accept pay than you should have voted no. I guess they didn’t want 4 of the brethern hung out to dry. Well it looks like it is time to get 6 new SB member.

    We have a high school that has insufficient parking for their students and instead of addressing that problem on a permanent basis the SB decided to pay themselves. The money used to pay the SB could have paid to pave new parking lots. Another form of government wasting tax dollars.

  4. Let your voice speak

    July 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Ward, how true. Their minds were all made up before they even heard from the citizens. How rude could Dr. Gardner be than talking and laughing with Mr Faulk during his presentation. I am glad he called him out. At least he did it with respect. I hope the citizens of Central have good long term memory as it is over three years till the next election.

  5. Alton R Ashford

    July 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Well, Well ACR looks like you had a change of heart for Mrs Atkinson. On July first you claimed she was a softie and fell in line with the Superintendents demands and wishes. A political panderer. Guess thats why you don’t reveal your identity. No apology necessary. BTW, you are welcome to use my Rock!

  6. Maria L.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Is it true that Mr. Lloyd said he was going to donate his pay to an Arts League? Then, why did he vote to receive pay at all? If he wants to donate it somewhere, how about back to the school system? How about donate it to athletics or for supplies or ANYTHING back to the schools? Ms. Atkinson and Mr. Easly voted not to accept pay, meaning their pay stays in the school system. What in the world was Mr. Lloyd thinking? He’s taking his pay (money from the school system) and donating it to a cause outside of the school system. Can anyone make sense of that? Ridiculous! But then again, what can you say when he won’t even put his kids in the public school system? The public school system isn’t good enough for his kids, but the public school system money is good enough for his wallet!!!

  7. Alton R Ashford

    July 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Mr Lloyd is donating to the Central Education Foundation, which gives scholarships to central students.

  8. Another Central Residnet

    July 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    ARA,

    She has caved on some issues and policies that I feel where not in the best interest of the CCSS financially. By the way I don’t need your rock. Like Mike said in another topic that some of us work for companies that do business with Central and could be fired for speaking against the City or the School Board. Companies aren’t too happy if they lose work.

  9. Another Central Residnet

    July 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    ARA,

    You did forget to add that I said the two new SB members have turned out to be softies. One of them proved it.

  10. Maria L.

    July 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    What is the Central Education Foundation? I’ve never heard of that. Who is on that? Where are they getting their money from?

  11. Mike Mannino

    July 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    The right solution here to avoid what I call a serious conflict of interest, was to look at other systems comparable to ours for the pay scale. Then to vote in this scale for next term. Result ? 400 compared to Zacharys 500 ( Top system in state, similar size), effective next term. Controversy gone. Instead, we have a sitting board voting themselves a benefit. One of those troubling little ethics issues I always rant about. I think Im going to call my boss tomorrow and tell him I elected to give myself a pay raise. Wonder how that will go over ?

  12. Central Resident

    July 15, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Unbelievable arrogance shown by this SB, with the exception of Mrs. Atchinson! Aside from a sitting board giving themselves compensation, our system is in the midst of a CRIMINAL investigation. This Board chose to ignore and attack 2 former Board members that attempted to bring these allegations out and to be dealt with. One can only speculate why they keep shutting taxpayers out but I would remind them they work FOR the taxpayers! And why would Lloyd and Easley vote FOR compensation when one is donating his pay and the other is not excepting his pay? Thank you, Roxanne, I admire your character.

  13. Mike Mannino

    July 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    This is such an obvious conflict of interest, I would have been embarrassed to be sitting at that table. Not illegal, not unethical according to state law, but certainly not right by any persons standards. And the teachers cant say a word because they will have hell rained down on them. What a system !!! I personally think there were 2 votes that were strictly just get along votes. Thats exactly what is wrong with our entire political system. Too much back scratching going on instead of just doing the honorable and right thing. When is this BS going to stop in this country ?

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