Region One Board Of Education Budget Hearing April 6, 2016 5

Watch this video please…and then call your Region One Representative to complain!

A retirement package for our superintendent? Really? Excuse me, but have we not paid her enough already? Does anyone know what retirement package Muff Received? What Val received? What about Mr. O’Brien?  Teachers get retirement but are paid a pittance to what Patricia was paid. This has never happened before in Region One, and with the declining enrollment, and increasing taxes, now is NOT the time to start. Especially with a superintendent that had to settle a law suit against her thousands of dollars, a superintendent who had to have her hand picked assistant  bought out of a contract that cost the district thousands of dollars, in fact hundreds of thousands of dollars. The superintendent who lost in court the residency case in Kent costing us thousands of dollars. Enough is enough. Petition the BOE to rescind this package or face the prospect of another budget defeat.

5 comments

  1. It is time for Region One Board members to realize that they cannot keep ignoring the residents and taxpayers of this region.

    Three years ago, the Region One budget was voted down six times. It could have been voted down forever, but we thought the election of new board members in 2013 would change things. We were wrong.

    The board members totally ignored the message sent by the referendums, and extended the contracts of the Central Office administrators. Now they are giving the retiring Superintendent of Schools a retirement package of about $50,000. This is not necessary, especially since retiring teachers in all Region One schools have been denied similar retirement packages for the past few years.

    Going to board meetings and speaking up is totally useless. The public only gets a few minutes to speak, and the board members do not respond. Saying, “thank you,” and ignoring the comments, is insulting to the public.

    So, what can the public do? I think you know the answer to that.

    Ed Epstein, Kent

  2. the superintendents retirement package should be what the district has paid out to cover all her mistakes and no more. Should have gotten rid of her when the assistant left. Probably only way to get rid of retirement package is to vote the budget down ( so lets do it)

  3. What’s worse is that the taxpayers will have provided over $110,000 for a 403b retirement plan for the superintendent by the time she retires. Is the Regional School District No. One Board of Education so dense that it didn’t know that was a part of her employment package and that they had already provided plenty of money to her in the form of a retirement benefit by the time she retires in June of 2017?

    Further she was also given two years of health insurance so she pays very little for that benefit and those two years will take her to Medicare eligibility. No other superintendent in the history of our regional school district has been given a severance and health insurance in retirement.

    Teachers don’t get a handsome retirement annuity such as the superintendent. They do get a severance when they leave or retire, but only if they have served in the district in which they teach for 20 years. The superintendent’s district is the Regional School District No. One District and she has not worked for this district for 20 years. I guess there are different standards between the teachers, who are the heart of the education system and the superintendent!

    At the hearing we were told that she had taken on the duties of the assistant superintendent from October to June a few years ago in addition to her job. That’s her responsibility, especially given the circumstances in this case. Keep in mind that the district incurred over a $150,000 in costs when the assistant superintendent left. The Board tried to say that was a retirement package, when it wasn’t. Who in the world retires at the end of October and gets a package like that after five years in the district? Easy answer, no one! By the way no other assistant superintendent ever received a pay-out upon “retirement”.

    The superintendent is the highest paid public official in the entire six town region. Her total package is in the $185,000 range easily. When the discussion about renewing her contract came up last summer, board members apparently were told that if she wasn’t renewed that the District would get sued. That, of course, was a lie. Her contract ended in June of 2016 and if they wanted to end it they could have. Even with the renewal for a year they could have kept the language of the contract exactly the same and even kept her salary where it was. Instead they gave her yet another raise and added language to give her a severance pay and health insurance for two years. How irresponsible to the taxpayers can you be? Disgusting.

    BTW, her retirement benefit from the State will be near, if not over a $100,000 at the lowest annually. It could be significantly more if she bought out- of -state teaching years and put them into the Connecticut Teachers’ Retirement system. And the Board wonders why some of us are upset!

  4. Don’t forget that part of her package has been the TOTAL cost of any advanced education that she wanted to pursue. She was allowed to do that without any conditions attached – no approval of her program, no minimum course grade, no limit on the number of courses for the budget period or a limited cost for each course etc. etc. Again a different standard for teachers and the superintendent! WE have paid for everything. To date the cost to the taxpayers is over $43,000. The TAXPAYERS have incurred her educational costs since 2010. Next fiscal year will be the first year since then that no money has been included in the budget for this purpose. So.. it appears that she is in a doctoral program, just finishing up and will be able to add PhD at the end of her name to give her favorable consultant status in her retirement and on our dime! As someone at the hearing said the Regional School District #1 Board of Education are lousy negotiators – both past and present and rarely keep the taxpayer in mind. It would have been a novel idea to use this $43,000 plus, along with her severance and health benefits in retirement – another $44,000 to directly benefit the students. The sad thing is that there is likely nothing that can be done about this, since her contract allowed the educational piece expenses and in September of 2015 the Board and the superintendent signed the one year extension including the increase in pay, the severance pay and two years of health insurance benefits in retirement. All of these items have been repeatedly made public by Marshall and a small group of others to no avail. Here is a perfect example of how more broad-based activism instead of the regular vigilance by a few would have made a difference!

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