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School Board Approves Raises For Superintendent And Assistant Superintendent

Each Will Receive A 2 Percent Increase To Their Base Salary

At their recent meeting, the Clinton Board of Education voted unanimously to give the superintendent and the assistant superintendent of schools raises to their base salaries.

Board member Ethelene DiBona initiated a motion seconded by Gerald Vece to provide for a two percent increase in the assistant superintendent Maryann O’Donnell’s base salary. This covers the contract for the period of July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2014. There was no increase to O’Donnell’s annuity payment at this time.

Voting in favor were all members present which included DiBona, Vece, Deborah Grass, Joan Johanson and Kim Campanaro. No members voted against the motion or abstained. Members who were absent from the meeting included Phil Williams and Al Mantilia.

For Jack Cross, superintendent of schools, Johanson made a motion seconded by DiBona to provide for a two percent increase to Cross’ base salary for the July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014 contract.  No other changes were made.

All board members present voted in favor of the motion.

The ’10-’11 salary for the superintendent of schools is: $145,496

The ’10-’11 salary for the assistant superintendent of schools is: $131,040

In January of this year when the town boards were of town leaders, department heads and other employees as they began the process of formulating a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, no salary increases were indicated for the superintendent and assistant superintendent. 

The superintendent and assistant superintendent received a four percent salary increase each and a $2,000 increase in each of their annuities in July of 2010.

resident May 11, 2011 at 01:27 AM
This is just one of the reasons I will not vote in favor of the Education Budget. When they money starts to go to the actual education of our children instead of the salaries of the Administration and the health benefits of the staff then I will reconsider my vote.
Valerie Nye May 11, 2011 at 01:54 AM
Board of Ed and Administrators provided 12 public meetings on the Education budget to understand where the money is spent and solicit input throughout the process. Voting NO will not result in the changes you are looking for. It will result in only further degradation of operations. After a budget defeat townspeople do not get to pick what they want to cut. I learned that the hard way last year. Children who enjoyed the plays and enrichment programs may not get them due to a NO vote by someone who does not like the structure of two superintendents. Come to the meetings to find out what these positions are responsible for. Compare salaries and administrative structure to those surrounding towns that we love to compare test scores with. Clinton needs good teachers but it also needs two superintendents so that one can, and does, focus on curriculum and professional development. If you have suggestions for change get involved at the beginning of the process. Attend the Board of Ed Meetings and subcommittee meetings, join the PTA, Best Beginnings, First Selectmen's Task Force on Substance Abuse or the applicable "Friends of" organizations. Understand what goes into it. Vote yes on Wednesday in support of the hard work that has been put into running a great town.
Starfish May 11, 2011 at 08:57 AM
These increases in salaries are a bigger joke than the school district's scores and rank. This madness must end. I'm voting NO to the Education Budget!
Valerie Nye May 11, 2011 at 10:43 AM
It's too bad that it's Clinton kids who will suffer as a result of a defeat. If this makes you angry I encourage you to attend the next Board of Ed meeting on May 16 and hold them accountable. Or, better yet, run for one of the four open positions on the Board of Ed in the fall. But don't take it out on the kids who will find themselves in the middle of this mess so late in the game.
Darby Hittle May 11, 2011 at 12:03 PM
Am I reading the facts correctly? Have these Clinton School administrators just given themselves a cumulative 6% raise over the past two years; arguably the worst two economic years in the past 50 years? Home values have fallen 8% since April 2010 (down 30% over three years); the state is increasing taxes; gas prices are over $4 per gallon; many people are struggling to make ends meet. Who could possibly think a 6% raise over the past two years is acceptable. This is like Washington raising the debt ceiling because they refuse to stop spending our money; only on a smaller scale. Honestly if we were talking about $60K to $80K per year I don't think I would raise an eyebrow. But seriously at $145K and $131K per year, respectively, and still giving themselves raises;? this seems ludicrous.
Jonathan Sanders May 11, 2011 at 01:32 PM
Just for the record, the administrators did not give themselves a raise. The BOE gave them the raise. I can understand the reaction, but I think you have to stay competitive otherwise you run the risk of losing them to other districts. I know for a fact that the cost to hire new administators is huge and I know a new super or asst. will be offered more than the current ones make.
Jonathan Sanders May 11, 2011 at 01:34 PM
If I read the article right the 2% raise covers the 3 year contract term. So we are talking a total of $969.97 a year for the super and $873.60 a year for the asst.
Darby Hittle May 11, 2011 at 02:17 PM
I understand we want to stay competitive and have a great school system. I have two kids in the system. Its just hard to hear about more raises for administrators who are already making significantly over $100K per year in this economic environment. I would like to know what compelled the the BOE to give raises to the Superintendent and his assistant for two consecutive years in row in this economy? Did the administrators tell the Clinton BOE that if they didn't get a raise that they would be looking for employment elsewhere? Many people who pay the salaries of these administrators haven't had a raise in nearly 4 years, and I would be willing to bet we could find numerous qualified applicants willing to work hard and smart at these jobs for $100K a year. I just can't buy into this. Not today.
ClintonCT May 11, 2011 at 04:51 PM
I am voting "no", also. The bigger question is - how do we break these teachers unions? Clinton has a low educational ranking in the state especially at $16,000 spent per student. We need to be using our tax dollars to get better (hopefully, in the future) teachers, not paying administrators more. These pay raises are an example of why we can't afford to build a new high school for our children, which we badly need. I don't have any children, I've lived here for 21 years, but when I look at that old high school, I think to myself, what do people passing through or people house-hunting think when they see that old school? Our town politicians talk about a downtown revitalization program for millions, a new soccer field for a million and our taxes are going up dramatically this year. Where do they think the money is going to come from? You can't get blood out of a stone... I don't think our town employees are overpaid, although I object to paying for their families' health insurance. I also object, in general, to pensions. They should have to plan and save the way the rest of us have to. Sorry to sound like a grump, but our country is in a sorry state, much of it caused by unions, pensions and benefits paid by taxpayers. FYI, don't accuse me of being a Republican or a Tea Partier. I am a fiscal conservative with Libertarian leanings, meaning Less Government.
Margaret Monty May 11, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Voting no on the education budget is not smart, especially if you have children in the system. The budget is bare boned as it is. If it doesn't pass things will be cut - like teachers. This will lead to even bigger class sizes. I can't beleive that anyone with children would vote no to the education budget. Think about your childrne's future. VOTE YES TODAY!
Rebecca Guptill May 11, 2011 at 05:52 PM
If you think about what the superintendent and assistant are responsible for, entire school district, with how many staff, including teachers and support staff and not to mention students...which are OUR KIDS. I would want them to be well educated and experienced, which means earn a salary to compensate them for their work and what they bring to our school system to improve the quality of education. These are jobs are not a 9-5 job, they put in many hours each day, so I am sure if you broke it down hourly the rate would be very small. So yes I voted YES today and hope others do as well.
resident May 11, 2011 at 09:18 PM
With all due respect Margaret if the budget was BARE BONED as you say then there would be no room for yet another raise for the Super and his Asst. They have received a 6% raise in the past year, they were given 4% in July of last year and now another 2% but, tell you what since you don't seem to think it is a problem then maybe we should all send our new tax bills to you. The money DOES NOT go to the children it goes to the Administration and the health insurance of the teachers and their families. These teachers send our kids home with 3 and 4 hours of homework a night instead of doing what they were hired to do TEACH OUR CHILDREN. This town is becoming a joke especially our school system.
Michael P. McAllister May 12, 2011 at 06:36 PM
To ClintonCT; I'm not accusing you of being a grump, a Republican or a member of Tea Party. What you appear to be is a magician. You have both sides of the argument covered. You ask "How can we break the Teachers union ? object to "paying for employees families health insurance" to go along with "I don't think our Town employees are overpaid". You object to pensions in general and then say 'They should have a plan to save the way the rest of us have to." They do ,it's called a pension. They pay into it. If you need stamps to mail back your Social Security check ( if you are of age) or to reimburse any Medical bills out of pocket, please let me know I'd be happy to help. I'll look forward to your solutions to our problems.Hopefully they won't be as ambiguous as they are anonymous.
Margaret Monty May 13, 2011 at 01:14 PM
Resident- I never said that I don't have a problem with the supers getting raises, personally I think they should have taken a pay freeze like the teachers did. But voting no to the budget doesn't mean they won't get raises, it will only take things away from our kids, or rather give them larger class sizes and less specials because they will cut teachers. Would I rather not pay taxes, of course. But taxes are a fact of life. I see a lot of complaining in the comments about this town, from the downtown is unattractive, to test scores, to roads and the transfer station. Voting no would seem to me to just make matters worse. And on the homework issue - if you have a problem with the amount of hw coming home, talk to the teachers. Also have a chat with your child to make sure that they are getting their work done in class. Homework does not mean that the teacher is not teaching. It is a tool used for reinforcing lessons that have already been taught. If your child is having difficulty with it, you and your child need to mention it to the teacher.
Darby Hittle May 13, 2011 at 02:56 PM
I guess I just need to speak with BOE members and ask them directly why they felt compelled to increase the salaries of these two administrators so significantly since last July, given the current economic environment. (i.e. were these administrators telling the BOE that if they didn't get raises they would be leaving for another job?). Also, admittedly, I personally need to have a more complete understanding of what the full responsibilities of these administrators are as I evaluate the $ we as tax payers are shelling out for these positions. I won't ask my kids to help me with this "homework" that I have to do; as they have way too much homework already. :)
Dan Attanasio May 15, 2011 at 02:32 AM
After reading this piece and the comments above, I wondered what Superintendent salaries were in other towns in CT, and what the situation was in other towns with respect to raises. It turns out that Channel 3 did a piece on this exact issue back in October. The story on their website includes a comparison of superintendent salaries for 2009-2010 and for 2010-2011. You can check it out to see how the salaries here in Clinton compare with others across the state, and also to compare which towns gave raises and which didn't. Here's the link: http://www.wfsb.com/education/25552195/detail.html If you watch the video, you'll see that they specifically refered to the situation here in Clinton.
KJ May 16, 2011 at 03:45 PM
Thanks Dan for the information. Everyone should take notice of this article. Clinton is one of the lowest in the state for salaries both Superintendents & Assistants. Let's remember our past Superintendent was making a lot more money so I see it as a savings even with their raises. It still is a savings in our Town. While other districts around us are having to pay blotted salaries to KEEP their Superintendents I see us making a wise choice to keep with the committment to our children & our schools!
Elaine Lampe May 17, 2011 at 09:38 PM
For the record, the Clinton teachers have agreed to a wage freeze for the next school year!!. They will NOT receive an increase...... Don't confuse the administrators union with the teacher's union.

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