Thoughts on the Superintendent’s Raise

Thoughts on the Superintendent’s Raise

Well, В the other night the Lunenburg School Committee voted to give Calmes a “MASSIVE” raise. В The reported this yesterday. В At the same time it was reported that we are currently under a budget crunch and shortfall yet again. В The amount of outrage I have heard from the community is palpable and frankly, taken at face value, I would be annoyed too! В But then again, I am more of a long term strategic thinker and am looking beyond the next 2 years and actually beyond the next 5 years….and you should too!

For the supporters, this will be met with applause. В For the superintendent haters the will be accused of fiscal negligence. В For those who could care less, this will barely be a blip on the radar.

I am in a different camp. I am a school committee member. В I neither like nor dislike our superintendent. В I am in the camp that needs to think strategically about the well being of the district beyond the next 2 years and the perceived massive raise that will be robbing children of educational opportunities.

As a leader of a large marketing organization for a publicly-traded company, I am constantly under budget pressures and pressure from my employees for more money. В Some of my long term employees are paid well under market value. В If any of them were to resign, I would be forced to go to the well for up to a 50% increase in salary. That would go over like a “fart in the church” with our CFO.

As I sat there debating what to do about superintendent Calmes, it occurred to me she may have enough of the local politics and throw in the towel. В Then what? В What would that mean for the school committee? В Would we be in a position where we need to approach the town manager saying: В By the way, it is going to cost us 50% В more to replace her? В So, I did a little fact-finding.

The net of my findings: some make more and some make less. В In my experience, if an employee leaves I am always looking for an upgrade. В If Superintendent Calmes leaves I am going to look for an upgrade. В Guess what folks…..This is going to cost us! В We are going to need to pay more than we currently do.

So here is why I chose to vote to give Superintendent Calmes the 2.5% this year and next:

We are trying to a new school. В I do not want any change in the leadership, if possible, as we go through the planning for a new school

I want to get the salary for the role (NOT THE PERSON) at a level where we can attract the best candidate should we lose Superintendent Calmes and by the way, we eventually will. В So let’s get ready for that day to come now versus begging the town manager and selectmen for money.

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