Classified employees and directors

At Monday’s Augusta School Board meeting, board members approved (6-0) a 1.85 percent salary and wage increase for classified employees and directors.  Board member Andy Hall was absent.
Directors and 12-month, full-time employees will continue to receive paid health and dental benefits for a single plan.  The cost of that increase is $105,064.
The directors’ 2014 salaries will be as follows:
Bob Dandurand, director of operations - $65, 364  
 Bart Hamilton, director of technology - $64,341
Annette Powers, director of finance - $73,138
Robert Sutton, director of transportation - $38,000.
Administrator contracts include a designated annual salary and full  health and dental benefits.  No salary increases were recommended if insurance benefits increased was above $1,128.  The amount of $1,128 is the same amount provided for the final step on the teachers’ salary schedule.  The total increase will cost $21,717.
The following administrator’s 2014 salaries will be:
John Black, superintendent - $112,362 (2013-14 - $112,365)
Holly Francis, assistant superintendent - $92,028 (2013-14 - $90,900)
Kim Clark, Garfield principal - $70,912 (2013-14 - $70,912)
Kristie Thackery, new Ewalt principal - $64,000
Matthew Ward - new AMS principal -  $72,000
Bruce Lolling - new assistant AMS principal - $62,000
Doug Law - $83,593 (2013-14 - $82,465)
Ryan Muhlig - AHS assistant principal - $62,860 (2013-14 - $62,860)
Greg Taylor - Robinson principal - $70,712 (2013-14 - $70,069)
Lyle Dosser - Lincoln principal - $65,000 (2013-14 - $62,115)
Donna Zerr - AHS principal - $86,958 (2013-14 - $86,958)

Bid process discussion
The board continued discussion on the district bid process, a topic introduced at last month’s meeting.
“We’ve had major purchases that I didn’t see any specs or bidders on.  I’d like to see a more open process and the public should have an opportunity to see it, too,” board member Matthew Blank said.
Blank had prepared an outline for the board’s consideration concerning the bid process.
In accordance with competitive bidding guidelines from the Kansas State Department of Education, the local board does not have to request formal bids for purchases under $20,000.
Black explained if that policy changed, the purchasing process would be delayed in many instances.
“And our policy is that even if someone locally bids a bit higher, we will choose them,” Black stated.
Blank said, “I’m not trying to impede day-to-day purchases, but we need to get value for the dollar and the public needs to be aware that we appreciate the money we are responsible for.”
“You make it sound like we’re not doing that. We need to be careful and not send a message to the staff indicating they aren’t being responsible,” BOE member Jim Brown advised.
Board member Bill Rinkenbaugh weighed in, saying, “In my long experience in the education field, I’ve found cost comparisons for purchases over $1,000 is good...we want to be good stewards - I think formal bids for anything over $20,000 is reasonable.”
BOE president Bob McCalla said, “I keep hearing the words ‘good stewards’ and I have to tell you that we’ve had this process for many years...we have a computerized procedure and nothing is purchased without approval and the correct procedure...I don’t hear any specifics on how you don’t think we’re good stewards...instead of carving out another policy, I would suggest better use of the board’s time and give this to administration and they can compare what you have here with what’s in place.”
Blank said he felt the purchasing process had been wrong for recent computer purchases and for the baseball field turf.
“If that’s the case, we don’t pursue policy with something that hasn’t been coordinated with what we’re using.  We need to hear from administration - we owe them that right - and find out...let’s fine tune and have an update in a month,” McCalla said.
Blank responded, “I’m happy with that.  We need a prompt decision.  I believe we have not adhered to what we should...I want it to be objective and look at both the ball field and computer purchases to make sure they were done correctly.”
The board approved 6-0 to direct administration to review and return with recommendations in September.
Returned check procedure
The district has had a problem receiving multiple returned checks (returned due to insufficient funds) from the same individuals.  Due to accounting and financial issues related to handling the checks, implementation of a procedure was recommended.
Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, after notification of a second returned check from the same individual(s), including those with existing outstanding returned checks, the district administration office will notify the individual that the district will no longer accept personal checks from them for school fees and meal accounts.  They may pay by cash, bank cashier’s check, or online through RevTrak.  The procedure will be communicated to building secretaries, food service clerks and admin office staff who deal with the acceptance of payments.
If checks are for meal accounts, the food service coordinator will be notified to investigate whether the family has applied for Free/Reduced Meals and will provide the form and necessary information to them.
Special meeting
 Board members were reminded of a BOE goal setting meeting at 5 p.m. Aug. 25.