Saturday, December 06, 2014

New APS Supt getting 20% raise - cuz that's what it takes. Trust us.

APS' new superintendent's salary will be the equivalent to what the district pays six experienced teachers, seven if you consider the whole package.  S/he is being raised from the equivalent of five or six times as much as some of the best teachers in the APS are paid.

That, in the Journal this morning, link.  The cynic in me requires me to point out the timing of the publication, a Saturday morning edition, and the lack of attention it will see.

I have watched the hiring of superintendents pretty closely for 35 years.  It always the same, we need to give this one a huge raise because "everybody else is doing it".

If the board couldn't do any better than Winston Brooks and the baggage he brought to APS for $311K, what makes anyone think that they can do better by offering even more money?

The most important fact to note in the entire Journal report is the admission that taxpayers have been mislead over Winston Brooks' compensation all these many years.

We've been told all along that Brooks was being paid $250K.   If you "Google" "Winston Brooks salary", link, you'll get a third of a million hits, and most of them say, Brooks was being paid $250K.  The Journal used the $250K figure over and over.  No one ever suggested that his "base" salary and his actual compensation were significantly different.

Yet during the discussion Wednesday, APS CFO Don Moya admitted that Brook's actual compensation amounted to more than $60K (another whole teachers salary) over what taxpayers and interest holders have been told all along.
"His total compensation was $311,000, said APS Finance Director Don Moya."
Which means of course, they're not really talking $300K for the next one;  they're talking $360K+.

Just for good measure, yet another Open Meeting Act violation by School Board President Analee Maestas.

The board made "a decision" to start at $300K, but it "wasn't a vote".
"The board did not vote on the measure, but president Analee Maestas asked if there was consensus on the $300,000 figure and no one objected."
Are you kidding me?  If that isn't yet another, link, violation of the Open Meetings Act, I'm a Chinese sea cook. Is she trying to set some new record?

On top of everything else, they're trying to pull a bait and switch. Board members point out no fewer than three times, and the Journal dutifully reported three times, that the $300K number was just a starting point and they "could" walk that number back in "negotiations" with candidates.  Does any one really believe that?

And speaking of "believing" that.  The board has offered no evidence whatsoever to support their claim that a good superintendent can't be hired for less than $360K.

We are to "trust them" that that is so.

And finally this;
According to the timeline, the district will host a public forum in March so community members can ask the finalists questions before the board makes a hire.
Having been to the last meeting where the board promised community members an opportunity to ask questions and then did not, I really don't expect they have a different intention this time.

If you want to ask an inconvenient question like,
What can we expect from you in the role of
the senior-most administrative role model of student standards of conduct?
... you're going to having write it on a poster, but even that doesn't come without problems, whether you hang them, link,  or hold them, link.

If the thing is moderated by the League of Women Voters,
expect to be asked if you wouldn't mind standing somewhere
with your poster, where the candidates cannot see you.

photos Mark Bralley

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