On Sunday Rich Girard, host of Girard at Large, reported that the contracts Manchester School Superintendent Debra Livingston had been ‘hiding’ from the public had finally been released. This after both he and others in the public demanded they be released and available for taxpayer review before being voted on by the school board.
As usual, Girard is simply asking for accountability by government officials. Once again Livingston continued to ignore the public, aka taxpayers who pay her salary and benefits, by holding back the contracts. How is it possible that a person who is paid with public dollars insists that the public shouldn’t know what is in contracts they are held liable for?
From Girard’s report:
The withholding of the contracts brought forward a torrent of protest from the public, many members of which addressed the school. board during the public participation part of its meeting on August 10th. Among the speakers was Girard at Large Radio Show Host, Richard H. Girard, who is also a candidate for an at-Large seat on the Board of School Committee. Both on the air and before the board itself, Girard called for the contracts to be tabled and released to the public before a vote was taken, as did virtually all who addressed the subject.
If you take a look at the contracts, it’s no wonder they wanted to keep them ‘secret’. In all three contracts, Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Business Administration, each position gets four weeks’ vacation. Mind you, Livingston herself has only been in the position since July 2013. Most ‘regular’ citizens who are paying for her salary and benefits don’t get four weeks paid vacation until they’ve worked at a private sector business for many years.
All three positions also get 15 paid sick days per year. That’s a far cry from what the majority of taxpayers footing the bill for these contracts are getting on average. And of course 80% of their health care premiums are being paid. Unlike union contracts, there are no details about any co-pays. One has to wonder if there are any.
It’s interesting that Livingston would choose to keep these contracts from the public before being voted on by the school board. The school board is made up of people who are elected by the Manchester citizenry to represent them in all matters related to education in the city. How can the public possibly weigh in on the contracts or how their school board members should vote if they aren’t allowed to see the contract before said vote?
Would the school board have voted on the contracts without public input? You bet they would have. Just like when they said they wouldn’t use Common Core but turned around and used Common Core anyway. Girard and others are holding the Manchester School Board and Livingston accountable for their actions as should all taxpayers. It’s no wonder Girard is running for school board.