LORAIN — The $3,434,799 in Lorain Schools administrator salaries approved in a contract renewal by the Board of Education at its March 29 meeting is public information, but the exact salary data wasn’t made public at that meeting.
While board members were given a list of who makes what, the public agenda had a salary schedule by the names of the 27 Lorain Administrators Association members and 13 non-union administrators without any concrete numbers.
School district Treasurer Dale Weber asked to meet with reporters this week and Wednesday provided a salary range for administrators, which worked out to a maximum of about $3.35 million.
That information was published in Wednesday’s Chronicle-Telegram.
Weber said he didn’t have the actual salaries because of “archaic” district software, but Thursday provided the actual salary data. Weber said he didn’t know who provided the salaries to board members before the meeting, but it wasn’t him.
Compared with the range of data that was initially provided on Wednesday, the actual total of all administrator salaries differed by about $100,000.
The vote on the contracts, which were set to automatically renew March 31 per state mandate, came at an awkward time. At the same meeting, board members approved 182 layoffs as part of nearly $7.4 million in reductions to eliminate a $12 million deficit.
Despite the discrepancies between the information board members and the public received, board President Tim Williams said there was no attempt to conceal information because the district complies with all public information requests for salaries.
“It is made available, (but) it doesn’t mean you publish it,” Williams said. “Anybody in the public who wants the information can access it.”
Williams said salary information is sensitive because it often creates resentment among co-workers when they find out who makes what. He said that’s what happened this week when the salary information was circulated by a school employee.
School board members being privy to public information that isn’t readily available to the public is common, according to Freedom of Information expert Tim Smith, a Kent State University journalism professor and attorney.
Smith said what the district did was legal, but “clearly an attempt (was) being made to disguise and conceal how much money they’re going to actually pay these people, particularly when you’re doing it juxtaposed with layoffs of teachers.”
While complying with the letter of Sunshine laws, Smith said Williams was close to violating the spirit of them.
“If your idea is to be transparent, then everybody has the same basic information — which is how much money each person is going to get,” Smith said.
The district has been listing salaries with names on contract renewals since 2008 until the latest renewal, said board member Jim Smith.
Smith said that when he and board member Mitchell Fallis saw the original agenda, they told interim Superintendent Ed Branham they would not vote for the renewals unless they could see how much administrators were being paid.
Smith and Fallis said they were surprised to learn that Williams hadn’t made the salaries public at the meeting.
“Why would the board members get one set of information and the public and the media get another and then say, ‘We’re transparent?’” Smith said.
Fallis said transparency is particularly important with the district preparing to propose a levy to voters to eliminate the remainder of the deficit. Fallis said the outcome was the opposite of what he and Smith intended.
“We should be clear and open with the public,” he said. “This is such a mess. It’s just frustrating.”
Lorain administrator salary data
Lorain Administrators Association
- Adam Brezovsky, Success for All facilitator — $84,910.30
- Kendall Brown, psychologist — $85,390.52
- Tracy Carpenter, principal — $97,584.57
- Diane Conibear, principal — $109,184.32
- Roberto Davila, Success for All facilitator — $82,910.30
- Marie Deshuk, Success for All facilitator — $86,910.30
- Teresa Flores, assistant principal — $88,910.30
- Leila Flores, principal — $95,584.57
- Dorinda Hall, Success for All facilitator — $80,642.12
- Marta Hawkins, psychologist — $81,390.52
- Tim Jama, assistant principal — $84,910.30
- Barb Kupucinski, principal — $95,584.57
- Laura Manning, Success for All facilitator — $84,910.30
- Denise McConville, psychologist — $83,390.52
- Steve Meggitt, principal — $99,467.39
- Julie Mishak, psychologist — $51,318.44 (60%)
- John Monteleone, principal — $91,363.04
- Gilbert Perez, assistant principal — $88,910.30
- Athena Rivers, psychologist — $85,390.52
- Rebecca Serazin, psychologist — $89,890.52
- Susanne Silva, Success for All facilitator — $88,910.30
- Leslie Sugiuchi, psychologist — $85,390.52
- Victoria Timko, Success for All facilitator — $88,910.50
- Patricia Van Valey, assistant principal — $86,910.30
- Paul Williams, Success for All facilitator — $84,910.30
- Megan Young, principal — $97,584.57
- Mindy Young, Success for All facilitator — $80,713.60
Total for union employee contracts — $2,361,873
- Barb Bowen, associate director of instructional technology — $87,471.52
- Dan DeNicola, chief operations manager — $106,761.52
- Darrell Forbus, operations manager, — $72,987
- Elena Gonzalez, executive assistant to superintendent — $63,624
- Kevin Haupt, custodial services supervisor — $65,546
- Michelle Hayes, director of academic accountability — $94,076.52
- Jeff Hawks, associate director — $78,800
- Aliceson Humphries, director of professional staff development — $97,875.52
- Don Jacopin, procurement supervisor — $54,044
- Robyn Kniceley, Success for All administrator coach — $81,414
- Bryan Koury, athletic director — $92,387.52
- Linda Rivera, special education supervisor — $78,800
- Stephen Sturgill, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction — $99,141.52
Total, nonunion employees — $1,072,926
Total, union plus nonunion — $3,434,799
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or email@example.com.