School board to discuss contract for next superintendent

A draft contract for the next Palm Beach County schools superintendent calls for a base salary of $225,000, a take-home car and other benefits.

The school board on Wednesday is expected to look over the proposal, which also includes different buyout and termination provisions than were in the contract of former Superintendent Art Johnson.

The board will have a chance to discuss the proposal at a special meeting and workshop that begins at 2 p.m. Wednesday at district headquarters.

Members have several options. They can change some of the contract's contents. They can empower board Chairman Frank Barbieri to negotiate some of the terms, such as the base salary, with the new superintendent. They also can choose to offer the contract on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

Once the board makes any tweaks, the contract will be forwarded to the four finalists, Barbieri said Friday.

The board will interview the finalists during the week of Feb. 6.

It could choose a new leader for the nation's 11th-largest school district as early as Feb. 15.

The plan is to have the new superintendent start work by June 1.

The proposed contract currently has a blank for when the contract is set to expire.

Barbieri said he chose to include a take-home car after district administrators told him it would cost the less than reimbursing mileage.

Former Superintendent Art Johnson received a $9,000-a-year car allowance, the same as his predecessor, Joan Kowal.

Kowal had originally asked for a new model vehicle "equivalent in value and features' to a Chrysler Town & Country minivan, which sold for $29,000, during her contract negotiations in 1996. But she accepted the car allowance after public outrage over her initial proposal.

The draft contract changes some of termination and buyout provisions in the superintendent's contract, Barbieri said.

Under the plan, the board could dismiss the superintendent without cause following a simple majority vote. Under Johnson's employment contract, the board needed a supermajority vote and had to give 90 days notice before removing him.

When Johnson last February signed a settlement to end his decade at the helm of the Palm Beach County School District, he stayed on the district payroll another 90 days .

"There won't be a situation where we terminate and he remains at the district for another 90 days," Barbieri said.


Comments