$1,875 and Good-Bye

Vicky Smith

Vicky Smith

I attended the meeting of the McHenry County College Board tonight because of the following agenda item:

ACCEPT AND APPROVE DR. SMITH’S NOTICE OF INTENT TO RETIRE AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2015, AND GRANT DR. SMITH A POST RETIREMENT STIPEND OF $1,875.00

No report.

Just an agenda item.

President Vicky Smith didn’t say a word.

Trustee Cynthia Kissler, an attorney, explained the $1,875 was “a one-time stipend of only that amount.  It is not a repeating amount.”

“It’s a post-retirement stipend,” added Board President Ron Parrish.

The outgoing McHenry County College Board.

The outgoing McHenry County College Board during President Vicky Smith’s report.

“It has not effect…on the pension…,” Kissler pointed out.

Mike Smith said that he thought the word “stipend” usually referred to a recurring amount, but the attorney replied, “Not in education.  It’s a post-retirement incentive.”

Parish told his colleagues that he had gotten “some push back.”

The board attorney explained that a report was not necessary, that having an agenda item that was “understandable” was adequate.

“What was on the agenda was clear enough,” Board member Molly Walsh observed.

The MCC Board after the resignation and stipend motion had passed unanimously.

The MCC Board after the resignation and stipend motion had passed unanimously.

Trustee Chris Jenner wondered if the public would like to know “how we decided on the amount.”

“It was a personnel matter that was discussed in closed session,” Kissler pointed out.

“Deliberations on how it was arrived at does not have to be made public,” the attorney opined.

All on the Board voted, “Yes.”

Walt Packard

Walt Packard

= = = = =
At least the Board did not conclude that a huge Golden Parachute, such as was awarded ex-President Walt Packard, was necessary.

Packard got over $300,000.

Robert Breuder

Robert Breuder

The next board, of course, can change the decision not to share with the public the negotiations that resulted in Smith’s getting only a $1,875 going away present.

The College of DuPage’s ginormous Golden Parachute for its outgoing President probably was a factor in the McHenry County College Board’s decision.


Comments

$1,875 and Good-Bye — 14 Comments

  1. Not QUITE goodbye.

    Isn’t she sticking around until the end of this year?

  2. “Deliberations on how it was arrived at does not have to be made public,” the attorney opined.

    You also mention that Kisser is an attorney.

    Is SHE the attorney referenced in that comment?

    Seems that the attitude is “Don’t tell the taxpayers anything that we don’t have to tell them.”

    This is wrong.

    Unless there is a valid reason for not disclosing it (other than, say, “this is really going to make us look foolish’) we should know how and why our money is being spent.

    Was the stipend granted so that Smith doesn’t release copies of photos taken in the late hours the Christmas Party last year?

    More than how the amount was determined, I would like to know WHY a stipend was given.

    Did she not receive enough money under her contract?

  3. No, she was not the attorney who opined. MCC has its own attorney who said that.

  4. The attorney giving the advice was the Board attorney, not Trustee Kissler.

  5. Vicky Smith turned her face away from the camera after the resignation was accepted!!

  6. “It’s a post retirement incentive”.

    I’ve seen funnier Public Sector blather, but this is right up there with the funniest.

  7. OBSERVATION: Note the difference in dress between the people on the Community College Board and another post which shows the dress of the members on the County Human Resource Committee.

    Does this reflect the attendees respect for the office?

  8. How about a Starbucks gift card instead since every tax hike seems to cost a cup of coffee a day, week, or month.

  9. This would be a good time to think about reviewing board policies.

    Closed session board minutes and recordings should be kept indefinitely.

    None should be destroyed after 18 months, which is permissible by Illinois law.

    Destroying board minutes is not done on behalf of taxpayers, it’s done on behalf of special interests.

    In the past MCC has kept paper board minutes but destroyed records; not sure how consistent that has been or how much it has varied.

    All taxing districts should indefinitely archive paper copies of board minutes and notes, and recordings; in particular school districts which is highest taxpayer expenditure on property tax bills.

    New board members should be able to listen to past board recordings and read past board minutes to obtain a history of what has transpired.

    And some of these closed session minutes should be released to the public, instead of keeping everything secret.

  10. On May 22, 2014 the MCC Board extended Vicki Smith’s contract through June 30, 2016.

  11. The Board Meeting Schedule section of the MCC website is user friendly.

    It includes “Board Packets” and “Meeting Videos” which is in stark contrast to less Board friendly websites of taxing districts such as Crystal Lake High School District 155 (CHSD 155).

    URL
    http://www.mchenry.edu/board/index.asp

    Path
    http://www.mchenry.edu > A-Z Index > Board Meetings
    or
    http://www.mchenry.edu > Scroll to bottom of the page > About MCC > Board of Trustees

    Transparency is further achieved by the organization of these items on a single page:

    – Date
    – Meeting
    – Start Time
    – Agenda
    – Board Packet
    – Meeting Video
    – Minutes.

    So if you are frustrated by the lack of Board transparency by taxing districts on your property tax bill or by state agencies, the MCC Board Meeting Schedule can be used as a model of good transparency.

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