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Front Page » January 18, 2011 » Opinion » Board's most important assets
Published 1,723 days ago

Board's most important assets

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By Jim Thompson CCEA President


This is a letter concerning the recent hiring, suspension with and without pay, exoneration, and decision to retain Mr. Park as a consultant until June 1 as was addressed to the board at their meeting on Jan. 12, 2011.

From the beginning efforts of finding a new superintendent to replace the retiring Supt. Patsy Bueno, the Carbon County Education Association (CCEA) has offered its services to work jointly with the Board in participating in the hiring process. To this end, the present Board has responded with, frankly, resistant responses, such as, "We'll have to get back to you," and, "We don't won't to lose our Board powers regarding hiring," or words to that effect.

I find this interesting in that former presidents of CCEA, including me, have been on hiring committees before, thus being allowed to actually interview the candidates. True, our committee was allowed to recommend the top three candidates, with the Board having the final word, but in all four superintendents hiring committees on which I had the pleasure to sit, the teachers voices were heard.

In terms of Mr. Park and other applicants for the position, I was allowed to join a group of citizens who could independently read all of the resumes of the candidates and then rank same in order of preference, but was neither allowed participation in the interviews, nor allowed to discuss, with any of the citizen of the committee, my ranking. Thus, our citizen committee work was never mentioned again. In fact, I even had to personally ask if I could be on the committee in the first place.

As to the question as to whether or not the teacher presented a vote of no confidence against Mr. Park, the answer is NO! There was no vote of the general membership as to this move, nor anything presented to the Board in writing. The only thing mentioned to the Board was said in confidence during Executive Session. To then somehow blame us for the loss of Mr. Park's position is to cast the blame in the wrong direction.

Another issue which troubles the teachers regards the recent publication in the Salt Lake Tribune on Dec. 12 . In it is a story and list of costs districts in the state of Utah have incurred to retiring superintendent salaries. The article goes on to show there were only two other districts, Nebo and Jordan who offered more than Carbon. Now, no one denies that Acting Superintendent Bueno has well-served the District throughout her years, but the difference between her retirement cost to the District of $105, 909 retirement account deposit over the next five years, coupled with her retirement salary, equals $179,733. Match this to a teacher's retirement after an equal number of years of service, and there is a vast gap. Add in the vast number of student s in 2009 over which she was in charge (3,462 verses Jordan's 48,411 and Nebo's 28,282), and the disparity gap only opens farther.

In light of both paying a retiring superintendent and a superintendent now on the payroll for consultation purposes and his wife covered by our health insurance the result is just the same. Teachers whose salaries have not seen a raise beyond Steps and Lanes in four years see nothing but inequity, morale deflation and a lack of monetary judgement on the part of this Board.

I'm sorry, but if it looks like a buy-out, smells like a buy-out, and acts like a buy-out, it probably is a buy-out.

This is not an official vote of no confidence against this Board, but a warning from teachers I represent as to the growing hostility by one group of the Board's most important assets, the teachers under their care.

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January 18, 2011
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