D155 Superintendent Contract Up for Discussion

A friend of McHenry County Blog sent this to my inbox:

Action on District 155’s Superintendent’s Contract at Special Meeting Tuesday Night

Looks like District 155 is up to their old tricks regarding lack of transparency to the taxpayers of District 155 which encompasses Fox River Grove, Cary, Crystal Lake, Oakwood Hills, Prairie Grove and Lakewood.

Listed below is a Special Meeting Agenda for the Crystal Lake High School District 155 Board

It says the Board will go into Closed Session so they can privately discuss Superintendent Johnnie Thomas’ performance. That is pretty typical for any employee performance assessment.

What is unusual is that the Board and Superintendent choose to have a SPECIAL MEETING, rather than consider this at a regularly scheduled one.

Naturally, fewer people attend special meetings than go to regular meetings.

Perhaps they choose to ‘go under the radar, because after they emerge from their closed session it looks like they will be voting on whether to give the Superintendent a raise or bonus.

Yes, this is the same Superintendent who led the Bleacher debacle that cost taxpayers over $2 Million in capital costs, fines to the City of Crystal Lake, and attorney fees.

Here are the pertinent agenda items, as well as the attached agenda (emphasis added):

IV. Motion to Adjourn for Executive Session A. Appointment, Employment, Compensation, Discipline, Performance or Dismissal of Employee(s) (Section C1) – Evaluation of the Superintendent

VI. Return to Open Session – Possible Action A. Appointment, Employment, Compensation, Discipline, Performance or Dismissal of Employee(s) (Section C1) – Report on Goals of the Superintendent and Contractual Items

Looks like the Board learned from last year in which six of the seven board members voted for the Superintendent to receive a $14,000 bonus, with only newly elected Board Member Rosemary Kurtz voting “No.”

A Special Meeting is a convenient way to keep the public out of the loop.

If you don’t like this situation you should attend this meeting and make a public comment.

After all, District 155 represents about 30-35% of your property taxes.

Board members need to know what you think.

Tomorrow’s meeting location is down the road off Route 14 from Walgrens at the corner of Virginia Road & Berkshire – CENTER FOR EDUCATION (One South Virginia Street Road in Crystal Lake) at 7 pm. You should arrive 10 minutes early to sign up to make a statement to the Board.


Comments

D155 Superintendent Contract Up for Discussion — 16 Comments

  1. Last year’s review was scheduled on 6/16/15 following a regularly scheduled board meeting.

    The next regular D-155 board meeting is scheduled for next week.

    So, I find it odd that his review has been moved up more than a month earlier than in the past and that it can’t even wait for next week.

  2. “It says the Board will go into Closed Session so they can privately discuss Superintendent Johnnie Thomas’ performance. That is pretty typical for any employee performance assessment.”

    It may be pretty typical, but I, for one, don’t believe it’s necessary or reflects the spirit of good government or transparency.

    Only in rare cases are executive sessions truly warranted.

    More often than not, they are just a means to speak/conspire without a light shining on you.

  3. He does not deserve any bonus or raise at all.

    To even consider this is absolutely ridiculous.

  4. The board should toss the Super!

    If not, we should vote out the board!

  5. I hope that others will join Ms. Kurtz and vote in favor of the taxpayers.

  6. Well in this district local control means control by the Administration, Board, Unions, and other Special interest groups.

    Not the taxpayers.

    CHSD 155 still does not videotape board meetings and thus does not indefinitely archive videotaped board meetings on its website.

    CHSD 155 still does not post the IMRF compensation report on its website, that being the compensation of employees contributing to the IMRF pension fund whom earn over $75,000 per year.

    It’s really pathetic.

    Lousy transparency.

    ————–

    Current CHSD 155 Board Members:

    Ted Wagner – President

    Gary Oberg, MD – Vice President

    Amy Blazier

    Adam Guss

    Rosemary Kurtz

    Dave Secrest

    Ann Somers

    ——–

    Better Government Association, in their Schools Database, has the employee contract of the Superintendent and other administrators on its website, along with some other District 155 documents.

    http://www.bettergov.org/crystal-lake-155-administrator-contracts

    http://www.bettergov.org/crystal-lake-155-budget

    http://www.bettergov.org/crystal-lake-155-payroll

    http://www.bettergov.org/crystal-lake-155-settlements-1

    http://www.bettergov.org/crystal-lake-155-settlements-2

    http://www.bettergov.org/crystal-lake-155-settlements-3

    http://www.bettergov.org/crystal-lake-155-settlements-4

    http://www.bettergov.org/crystal-lake-155-support-staff-contract

    http://www.bettergov.org/crystal-lake-155-teacher-contract

    —————-

    Open the Books has a Snapshot spending report for CHSD 155.

    http://www.openthebooks.com/file.aspx?AssetPath=ZC3qJRVoHAKKqfRvuR1E64DeD6vqVg18GDALGsi0AxX1H4j%2flLE3zgyZlv4fh0wVw1AoxahyRV%2bTCkVKYOT6P4TgMO6a36pbcLxrFSDCrZOw2gDI%2flstNJ1Qdwd7nQFG

    ————–

    There is additional information available on both websites about CHSD 155.

  7. His so called bonus should go toward paying for the 4 to 5 million $$ bleacher mess he helped create.

    If you can’t be at this meeting, at least everyone should email the district their opinions on this and request it be put into public record.

  8. Truly ridiculous.

    d47 & d155 teachers and administrators alike have bilked the taxpayers of this area like no other.

  9. Going into Executive session to discuss employment compensation is standard practice.

    The purpose of executive session in governmental bodies is not to hide important information from the members or the public, but to protect the innocent.

    they don’t move on information but merely have the discussion.

    Having a public discussion about employees is not done anywhere- public or private sector.

    To think your employment review should be open to the public is ridiculous.

    The vote is done in open session- you can always make your voice heard during public comments.

    This avoids governance by emotion.

  10. I feel that it is ridiculous for the D155 board to give this man a raise or bonus after all of the grief, embarrassment and expense that he (and the board) have caused the citizens of the school district.

    This action is just another example of the arrogance and total disregard for the people who must pay for this boards actions.

  11. People respond to the incentives they’re given.

    How about offering this guy a big bonus for finding ways to cut costs?

  12. “To think your employment review should be open to the public is ridiculous.”

    Inish, you often speak carelessly and almost always as a typical, status quo, bureaucrat.

    Just as you do when you publicly call me “an obstructionist” and wrongly assert that I take credit for the work of others.

    And misstate my words. .

    First off, if the public is paying the salary, name one good reason they shouldn’t be able to have some input, rather than leaving it to be secretly handled by a hand-picked board that has proven to act recklessly with their money.

    Second, we’re not talking about some administrative asst who may face public embarrassment for taking to many bathroom breaks, typing too slow or spending too much time by the water-cooler, we talking about the superintendent!

    Your way may be standard practice…

    But, I, for one, have higher standards!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I have some “obstructing” to tend to in Lakewood.

  13. EVERY LAST ONE INVOLVED FROM THE BEGGINING TO THE END OF THIS ABSURB FIASCO OF A BLEACHER INCIDENT SHOULD BE FIRED LET GO REMOVED FROM ANY POSITON IN THIS TOWN, VILLAGE, COMMUNITY, CITY!

    THEY COST ALL OF US $$ AND SOME ARE STILL COSTING US $$…

    THERE ARE MORE BESIDES JUST “ONE” THAT SHOULD BE GONE!

    NONE OF THEM CARED ENOUGH ABOUT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY ONLY THEIR SELF SERVIING AGENDAS!

  14. Here is a model for transparent administrator contracts.

    1. Post the proposed contract for public viewing on the website, include a notification on the home page.

    2. The proposed contract should be in the form of a change document, with underline text for additions, and strikethrough text for deletions, which is the same methodology used in the Illinois General Assembly.

    3. Issue a press release to the press including McHenry County Blog and anyone else who signs up to receive press released and that includes citizens, taxpayers, or anyone.

    4. Two weeks later, have an open board meeting allowing the public to comment on the agreement. At this board meeting individual board members can also comment on the proposed agreement, meaning, the board shall not issue a blanket board statement that covers all member opinions, we want to hear from each board member as individuals.

    5. Two weeks after the public is allowed to comment on the proposed administrator contract at the open board meeting, have another open board meeting, at which the board votes on the contract.

    The taxpayers need more transparency and input over administrator contracts.

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