School superintendent’s contract is extended, terms much the same, on unexplained 6-1 vote
The School Committee released the superintendent’s renegotiated contract this week, extending his contract for two years after ratifying the contract during a meeting Oct. 1.
The original contract with superintendent Kenneth Salim, which ran from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2020, has been superseded by the new three-year contract. It is effective retroactively to July 1 and runs through June 30, 2022 – but will be extended automatically for one year, to June 30, 2023, unless the committee gives Salim written notice before June 30, 2021, that this one-year extension will not be exercised.
The committee approved the contract 6-1, with Laurance Kimbrough in opposition. The committee suspended the rules and voted to make the contract ineligible for reconsideration – making the vote final and ineligible for further debate – on another 6-1 vote, with Kimbrough opposed. Kimbrough, who is not running for reelection to the committee in November, declined in person to explain his votes and did not respond to a follow-up email.
The final vote to sign the contract was passed unanimously.
Other terms in the new contract are similar to the original, with an annual salary of $245,531 for the first year and a yearly cost of living increase calculated at 2.5 percent of the previous year’s salary.
The contract states that the superintendent is eligible for an additional annual salary adjustment of up to 1 percent of the preceding year’s salary contingent upon “evidence demonstrating progress” on goals in the District Strategic Plan and the superintendent getting an overall rating of “proficient” or “exemplary” on that performance evaluation for the contract year.
Vacation, holiday, personal days and sick leave remain the same.
The rules governing how the committee or superintendent can end the contract also are essentially unchanged: The committee may fire the superintendent for “good cause” with 10 workdays’ notice, and the superintendent may resign with 90 days’ written notice to the committee.
At any time before June 30, 2022, the committee can fire the superintendent without good cause with 90 days’ notice, though it would owe an early termination payment of six months’ salary, or the balance of his salary if after Jan. 1, 2022.