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Nettle Creek board revotes on superintendent raise

Raise passes again

Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:32 p.m. CST

MORRIS – Nettle Creek School District held a special meeting Monday where the school board reapproved a contract extension and raise for Superintendent Don McKinney – action that previously brought questions from the public.

The board voted 5-2 in March to give McKinney a $12,000 pay raise. Former School Board President Karen Meucci spoke publicly at a previous meeting, saying she believed the Open Meetings Act was violated in March, because the board’s agenda did not mention the superintendent’s contract would be voted on.

The board Monday voted again to set a new contract for McKinney – for May 1, 2014, through June 30, 2016 – in which he would receive a 12 percent increase, taking his salary to $112,000. This is the same amount previously voted on in March.

“Dr. McKinney has met the goals in his original contract,” board President John Skrapits said. “We will set new goals, and he will earn $112,000 for the 2014-15 year and the 2015-16 year.”

The new contract and raise passed with a 4-3 vote this time, with board Vice President Tim Kamradt and board members Eric Greve and Michelle Carlson voting no.

“I felt he has a contract that goes into next year, and I want him to honor that, although I think he’s done a good job, then he can come to the board and discuss a raise or a new contract,” Kamradt said after the board meeting. “The extra stuff [the Facebook post] weighs in my decision as well.”

The board also took action regarding a controversial post published in December by McKinney on his private Facebook page where the writer derided organized sports in schools. Last week, McKinney apologized for the post.

After closed session to discuss personnel, the board voted unanimously to have board president Skrapits deliver a letter of reprimand to McKinney for the Facebook entry. The letter was not shared publicly, and the board did not discuss details of the letter in open session.

McKinney said after the meeting he was happy with the board’s decision, and he wants to see the school continue forward with the progress it’s made in the 20 months he’s been there and put the negative behind them.

“I want to get back to running a school,” McKinney said. “[It’s] one of the best schools in the state of Illinois.”

Also after closed session, the board voted to eliminate the part-time custodial position as part of a reduction in force. The name of the staff member was not shared, because it was a personnel issue.

“I continue to look at ways to save the board money,” McKinney said during the meeting, before a role call vote was held on the reduction in force. “Our full-time custodian is so effective in his eight hours a day that he can get the workload done. This has nothing to do with the work being done by the person in the part-time position.”

The reduction force was passed with a 6-1 vote, with Kamradt voting no.

“I’m just not sure if it’s the right thing to do,” Kamradt said. “We discussed several options, and I’m not sure which is the best one, so I voted no.”

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