MCC President Vicky Smith Gets Contract Extended, But Pay Raise Suspended; Newcomers Elect Ron Parrish Board President

Below is the report upon which the old McHenry County College Board voted for 5-2.

Well, it’s not quite what the Board voted on.

The Board did not set President Vicky Smith’s compensation.

Read the report carefully.

Voting in favor were the two longest serving Board members who lost the election–Barbara Walters and Carol Larson. They were joined by holdovers Mary Miller, Linda Liddell and Cynthia Kisser.

Voting against extending MCC President Vicky Smith’s contract through the middle of 2015 were Ron Parrish and Dennis Adams. It was almost Adams’ last vote since he retired from the Board.

To understand what happened at Thursday night McHenry County Board meeting, you need to read this report carefully.

To understand what happened at Thursday night McHenry County Board meeting, you need to read this report carefully.

Do you see the problem?

Read the recommendation:

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Board of Trustees approves extending Dr. Smith’s contract through June 30, 2015 and to set compensation as discussed in Closed Session.

Do you note that the report does not tell the public the salary and benefits?

I surely did and was ready to file complaints with both the McHenry County State’s Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General about the seeming violation of the Open Meetings Act had the Board approved the report as presented in the Board Packet.

But the old members didn’t do that.

After the closed session, undoubtedly upon the advice of their attorneys, the Board considered a motion which excluded compensation

So, the outgoing Board got half of what it wanted.

Smith’s contract has been extended another twelve months after June 30. 2014, but her salary has not been set.

Newly-elected McHenry County College Board members Chris Jenner, Tom Wilbeck and Molly Walsh were sworn in four and a half hours after the meetings began.

Newly-elected McHenry County College Board members Chris Jenner, Tom Wilbeck and Molly Walsh were sworn in four and a half hours after the meetings began.

That will be up to the carryover Board members and those newly-elected and now sworn in:

  • Molly Walsh
  • Chris Jenner
  • Tom Welbeck

A new Student Trustee named Michele Lambert was previously sworn in.

There was public comment from 6:30 to 7:45.  Again there was not enough room for the taxpaying public.  Overflow folks were directed to the auditorium way across campus.

But, there were almost a row and half out of the three rows of chairs reserved for MCC employees who certainly could have sat in chairs outside until their turn in the program came.

The commenters were divided into three parts:

  • Those supporting an extension of Smith’s contract
  • Those opposed to an extension of Smith’s contract
  • Those supporting the theater program whose 80-seat Black Box Theater seems destined to become the location of a greatly expanded robotics program

I’d love to give you a blow-by-blow account of the comments, but the new Board didn’t adjourn until 12:10 Friday.

Suffice is to say that both Chris Jenner and Molly Walsh asked the old Board not to extend Smith’s contract.

Jenner pointed out that there were nearing three months for the holdover Board members to explain to the new Trustees why Smith deserved to have her contract extended.

“I don’t believe any of us have passed judgment on Dr. Smith.”

“I really feel strongly that the incoming Board should be making the decision on terms and working conditions,” Walsh added as the last one to provide public comment.

“An action tonight is really disregarding the new Board members.

“Lets work together.”

Their pleas were ignored.

Very shortly after the old Board took its last gasp by voting for Smith’s contract extension, the new Board was sworn in.  That was at 10:45 Thursday night.

From foreground going around the table are Trustee Cynthia Kisser, Secretary Chris Jenner, Student Trustee Michele Lambert, MCC President Vicky Smith, Board President Ron Parrish and Trustees Molly Walsh, Tom Wilbeck, Linda Liddell and Mary Miller.

From foreground going around the table are Trustee Cynthia Kisser, Secretary Chris Jenner, Student Trustee Michele Lambert, MCC President Vicky Smith, Board President Ron Parrish and Trustees Molly Walsh and Tom Wilbeck, Vice Chair Linda Liddell and outgoing Board President Mary Miller.

Then, the tables were turned.

Jenner nominated Ron Parrish to be the new Board President.  Wilbeck provided the second.

Liddell nominated Kisser.  I believe Miller seconded that nomination.

Three to three.

The deciding vote seemed to belong to newcomer Walsh.

A secret ballot was taken and the vote came out 4-3 in favor of Parrish, who had been very much the minority member on the old Board.

For Vice Chair, it was Wilbeck vs. Liddell.

3-3 with, I presume, Walsh breaking the tie in favor of Liddell.

Wilbeck nominated Jenner for Secretary and no one else wanted the job so he got it.


Comments

MCC President Vicky Smith Gets Contract Extended, But Pay Raise Suspended; Newcomers Elect Ron Parrish Board President — 15 Comments

  1. The newcomers to the Board should immediately request the Board attorney for a written legal opinion on the validity of the “contract extension” as a binding contract.

    Sounds more like “an agreement to agree” wherein the attempt to form a contract is not binding because of the lack of agreement on the rate of compensation.

    Was there a written contract proposed or was it just a referral to the existing contract from when Smith was originally hired?

    If its just the old contract extended, exactly what does the resolution or motion say about compensation?

  2. Just another sad example of public officials that choose to make decisions that make no sense .

    What possible good reason could they have had to extend that contract?

  3. This vote is equivalent to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats passing Obama care in the late night with a partisan vote.

    The liberal education elite permeates throughout our educational system even here in Mchenry County.

    The full page colored ad in the Northwest Herald was an abuse of Our taxpayer dollars.

    Why did the old board not defer to the incoming board.

    One word Arrogance.

  4. You people are missing the point of this action, which was to increase Vicky Smith’s golden parachute by $250,000 to $300,000 at the taxpayers’ expense.

    Let’s examine the possible actions and outcomes:

    IF the lame duck board had NOT acted AND the new board had decided to keep Vicky Smith, what additional cost would the taxpayers have incurred?

    Zero.

    IF the lame duck board had NOT acted AND the new board had decided NOT to keep Vicky Smith, what additional cost would the taxpayers have incurred?

    Zero.

    BUT . . .

    IF the lame duck board votes to KEEP Smith AND the new board decides to let her go, what additional cost will the taxpayers incur?

    Answer: an extra year’s salary plus benefits, or about $250,000 to $300,000.

    Therefore, by voting last night, the lame duck board KNEW they could ONLY cost the taxpayers extra money to feather Vicky Smith’s nest.

    And they did it anyway.

  5. I’m glad to see those board members gone. I’d never vote for them in the future should they run for any public position.

  6. Jeff, I know you’re not missing anything. I was being a little facetious.

    I guess the point I was trying to make in a slightly humorous manner is that I can no longer hold to the opinion that these are people who are well-intentioned but misguided. I’ve tried to hold that view, but this last action of theirs just tears it.

    I will be around in 2015 to help with the next election campaign!

  7. I will be happy to help you in your election endeavors! I think you should run!

  8. This will be a “high interest item” on my 2015 agenda.

    I am like an elephant – I do not forget.

    I just want to add one thing here – this is not personal to me.

    Dr. Smith may be the gal that takes us over that bridge.

    She has done some good things from what I have been able to research.

    However, the voters were given the proverbial “bird” with this vote.

    Elections mean something… but not in this election.

    There will now a thick blanket of doubt that has been instilled on the voting electorate when it comes to this board.

    All of its actions will be viewed with a grain of skepticism and doubt.

    All of the board members have their work cut out for them.

    It is what it is.

    Respectfully,
    Andrew Gasser

  9. Willson’s explanation is spot on.

    There WAS no upside to this extension, only a potential downside.

    Like Gasser, I did NOT have any real problem with Smith until now.

    She could have done the smart thing, the non-self-serving thing, by asking the board to hold off.

    She didn’t.

    She’s going to wish she had.

    The board (those voting for this extension at this juncture and those who backed away from this premature extension) and Smith are now, and should be, on the defensive.

    Every decision they make from here on out will be viewed as “what is in it for them.”

    Karma, like payback, is a b****

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