Those who believe that Democrats will make hay out of a Daily Herald candidate questionnaire if Nancy Gonsiorek is selected to run in Nick Provenzano’s place have forwarded the following (emphasis was supplied by the sender):
2/23/2011 Nancy L. Gonsiorek Daily Herald Candidate Profile
If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?
This is an age-old practice used by many school districts and an area that I always struggle with. This practice is unheard of in the private sector and I daresay that, by and large, our taxpayers find this unacceptable. However, by providing the incentive, we guarantee a notice of retirement that is sufficient to provide for transition. Additionally, we typically replace those veteran administrators who are paid a higher salary with candidates having fewer years of service and therefore the effect is a much lower overall cost to the district and our taxpayers.
To address this situation at district 47 we have implemented an administrator cost-reduction program, which I supported. One facet of this program was to cut the previous administrator retirement incentive in half. While the new program still provides a guaranteed increase for a period of years prior to retirement, the increase is less, as is the number of years over which the increase will be paid. This was one component of a reduction package — which included a pay freeze — that has provided substantial savings in our budget in the area of administrators’ compensation. Again, I am very proud to be part of an organization where our board, teachers, and administrators have all made concessions to ensure that kids come first.