We all know the wonderful contract that the School Committee gave to retiring Superintendent Maureen Marshall -- $198,000 salary and a retirement package of over $153,000.
So let's take a look at the contract that was given recently to the new superintendent, Dr. Landers. She is starting out with a salary of $160,000. Not bad and, I think, reasonable.
Now let's look at the benefits given to her. Up front, before she even starts work, 50 days of sick leave and an additional 15 days sick leave during each contract year with no buyback clause; health insurance benefits that the town contributes to; 25 days of vacation with a carryover of five days a year with no mention of whether she can buy back her vacation time; five days of bereavement leave; and four days of personal leave.
So it you add this all up, she could get 99 days of leave during the first school year. With that, the School Committee did not give her any written goals nor did she give any written goals that she would have to obtain during the school year.
I think a lot of town residents would like a contract like this.
Because of this contract and the one that was given to Maureen Marshall, I feel that a professional negotiator should be brought in to deal with school contracts. If the town does not feel this way and wants to continue with the School Committee negotiating school contracts, then at least the town manager and selectmen should become involved in contract negotiations.
It is my tax dollar and it is no longer about the students; it is what the school personnel can get out of the system.
GERALD M. COPELAND