In a 4-1 vote, the South-Western City Schools board of education agreed to extend the contract of Bill Wise, superintendent, through July 2016.
Wise was hired as district superintendent in January 2008 with a salary of $152,000. His salary for 2011/12 school year will be $155,800, which has been his salary since August 2008. After 2012, Wises salary increase will be determined by the board.
Board member Jo Ellen Myers voted against the contract extension. She said a five year extension is too much and there may be a new school board in that time. She said it would put limitations on new board members.
The rest of the board disagreed with Myers.
Board president Randy Reisling said Wise has shown great leadership through difficult times.
“We are showing we have faith in his leadership, said Reisling.
The board president said the superintendent is sensitive to the districts financial issues.
“He voluntarily agreed to contract adjustments, said Reisling, referring to the steady salary since 2008.
Myers said Wise will still benefit from the contract.
“Its a nice contract, Myers commented.
Board member Cathy Johnson said,His work ethic is outstanding. I dont want to lose someone this valuable.
Board members Mindy Garverick and Karen Dover also voted in favor of the extended contract. They cited reasons including fiscal responsibility and academic improvements made under Wise.
Prior to the boards vote, resident Steve Feucht asked the board to forgo the five year extension. He suggested the board poll the community to find out if they think Wise is doing a good job.
“What is the approval rating? asked Feucht.
He said issues still remain in the community over levy tactics used in the last election. He said the administration used the children to pass the November levy.
“This all happened on our superintendents watch, said Feucht.
In related news, the school board and the employee unions have not been able to come to an agreement. Union contracts representing teachers, administrators and classified employees expired June 30.
The teachers union and the classified union will go into federal mediation in August.