On 10/28/19, the Sparta Board of Education voted on the superintendent’s contract renewal.  Below is the public statement I made at the meeting:

The most important task of a school board member is the hiring of its superintendent.

I would like to address the process of this contract:

Sign Up for Sparta Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

  • This contract was not initiated by the full board:
    • I was never consulted in advance of the contract’s completion;
    • I never had input BEFORE IT WAS COMPLETED;
    • I was never asked my opinion on parameters BEFORE IT WAS COMPLETED;
    • I was TOLD THIS WAS HAPPENING on 9/3 by the board president via email to the full board AFTER IT HAD BEEN FULLY COMPLETED.
  • There was even approval by the county superintendent before the full board saw the contract.  It was nearly two weeks after her approval before the full board was allowed to see it on 9/20.
  • There was one executive session about this matter on 9/23.
  • There was an egregiously MISLEADING statement to the press saying no changes were requested.

The full board was made aware of the contract renewal only after the contract was complete. 

Important changes to the contract:

Old Contract vs. New Contract

  • 3 year term vs. 5 year term
  • Base Salary $167,500 vs. $192,000
  • No annual increase vs. +2% increase annually - 5th year base salary will be $207,827
  • Upon retirement, sick days payout was $40/day vs. $738/day
  • And, finally, if away on business for up to 3 days, the superintendent does not have to notify the board, his employer. 

I take issue with the board’s one direct report employee being out of the district without having to notify the board regardless of the reason.

  • It is imperative we do an investigation to determine when negotiations began, who initiated the negotiations, why special counsel was tasked with this negotiation; who was involved and to what extent.
  • I will be voting NO on this contract.
  • I CAN’T Vote YES – my opinion was not included in the process.

The vote passed 5-3: Kelly McEvoy, Kylen Anderson, Karen Scott, Jay Ventresca and Joanne Hoover voted YES, Kate Matteson, Jen Grana and I voted NO.  The superintendent’s contract was renewed for a 5 year term.  The old contract did not expire until 6/30/20 and the board didn’t have to notify him of renewal until 3/11/20.  I am running for the Sparta Board of Education on November 5th.  Please vote for me along with Kurt Morris and Niamh Grano - #3, #4, #5 on ballot.

The above views are my own and do not reflect the views of the Sparta Board of Education.