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A closer look at top MDUSD administrator contracts and trustee benefits

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, April 23rd, 2012 at 12:02 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Although the Mt. Diablo school district has posted the contracts for administrators being suggested Monday for extensions, these documents do not show the total cost of employment to taxpayers.

Based on information received by the Times from the district for 2011, here is a breakdown that shows base salary and “other” compensation, along with gross salary, Medical Dental Vision, “ER” (I’m not sure what ER stands for, but this equals the Total Pension costs), Misc. Benefits, Total Cost of Employment, then Total Pension.

Superintendent Steven Lawrence
Contract amount: $249,500 (with option to have portions paid to supplementary retirement or tax sheltered annuity)
Base Pay: $245,982.18
Other: $2,629.92
Gross: $248,612.10
MDV: $19,617.86
ER: $20,510.41
Misc. Benefits: $3,583.23
Total Cost of Employment: $292,323.60
Total Pension: $20,510.41

General Counsel Greg Rolen
Contract amount: $166,219.44 Dec. 1, 2009-June 30, 2010. As of July 1, 2010: $190,000 (with longevity increases in each of the fourth, eighth and 12th years of employment)
Base Pay: $186,857.06
Other: $3,499.92
Gross: $190,356.98
MDV: $19,617.86
ER: $24,589.22
Misc. Benefits: $9,235.77
Total Cost of Employment: $243,799.83
Total Pension: $24,589.22

Bryan Richards, Chief Financial Officer
Contract amount: $140,000 as of July 1, 2010 (with longevity increases in each of the fourth, eighth and 12th years of employment)
Base Pay: $139,184.70
Other: $1,080.00
Gross: $140,264.70
MDV: $15,783.38
ER: $18,121.82
Misc. Benefits: $8,607.57
Total Cost of Employment: $182,777.47
Total Pension: $18,121.82

Rose Lock, Assistant Superintendent for Student Achievement and School Support
Contract amount: $140,000 as of July 1, 2010 (not including longevity increases and stipends for advanced degrees; with longevity increases in each of the fourth, eighth and 12th years of employment)
Base Pay: $142,529.80
Other: $9,680.64
Gross: $152,210.44
MDV: $15,648.87
ER: $11,964.91
Misc. Benefits: $2,135.58
Total Cost of Employment: $181,959.80
Total Pension: $11,964.91

Julie Braun-Martin, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Services
Contract amount: $140,000 as of July 1, 2010 (not including longevity increases and stipends for advanced degrees; with longevity increases in each of the fourth, eighth and 12th years of employment)
Base Pay: $139,097.87
Other: $8,854.20
Gross: $147,952.07
MDV: $19,483.35
ER: $11,647.10
Misc. Benefits: $2,071.95
Total Cost of Employment: $181,154.47
Total Pension: $11,647.10

The total cost of employment for these five administrators is over $1 million, at $1,082,015.17.

Board President Sherry Whitmarsh is not recommending extending the contract of Mildred Browne, assistant superintendent of special education and student services, who earns $164,431.88 gross and has a total cost of employment of $189,299.75, including benefits.

For comparison purposes, the only other administrator who earns as much as these top cabinet-level administrators is Deb Cooksey, associate general counsel, who earned $150,640.99 gross and has a total cost of employment of $196,657.78, including benefits.

The board will also consider capping trustee benefits at the employee-only rate. Some trustees opt out of benefits coverage, if they receive it through their other employment.

Here is a look at Medical Dental and Vision benefits paid to trustees in 2011, along with salary and total cost of employment:

Trustee Gary Eberhart
Base Pay: $8,630.57
MDV: $14,661.06
Misc. Benefits: $425.84
Total Cost of Employment: $23,717.47

Trustee Linda Mayo
Base Pay: $8,664.00
MDV: $14,341.52
Misc. Benefits: $407.43
Total Cost of Employment: $23,412.95

Trustee (now Board President) Sherry Whitmarsh
Base Pay: $8,630.57
MDV: $1,560.08
Misc. Benefits: $660.22
Total Cost of Employment: $10,850.87

Trustee Cheryl Hansen
Base Pay: $8,664.00
MDV: $0
Misc. Benefits: $662.77
Total Cost of Employment: $9,326.77

Trustee Lynne Dennler
Base Pay: $8,630.57
MDV: $174.46
Misc. Benefits: $125.61
Total Cost of Employment: $8,930.64

The total cost of employment for the five trustees is $76,238.70. Trustees Gary Eberhart and Linda Mayo appear to be paid benefits in excess of the single employee rate.

In an effort to cut costs, the board previously eliminated benefits for employees who work less than four hours a day.

Do you believe taxpayers should pay more in benefits for trustees than they pay to part-time employees working less than four hours a day?

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  • g

    Oops: Why did the Board rush to put their own compensation on the agenda? Maybe they knew this was coming: http://www.cc-courts.org/_data/n_0038/resources/live/rpt1204.pdf

  • Doctor J

    Shameful. The legislature needs to amend the Ed Code to ban school district boards from receiving non-cash benefits such as medical that are now twice as expensive as the cash compensation. I hope someone sends a copy of this Grand Jury report to the Governor and every legislator in the state.

  • Doctor J

    I told the Governor we can get millions more into the classroom by amending Ed Code to prohibit local School Boards from receiving non-cash benefits such as medical, dental, and vision, at NO COST to the State just by limiting Trustees to receiving only the cash stipends permitted and no non-cash stipends. I referenced the CCC Grand Jury report #1204 issued April 2012. Tonight I will contact the legislature. http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php

  • Theresa Harrington

    We will be doing a story about the Grand Jury Report. If anyone would like to comment (on the record) about it, please call me at 925-945-4764.

  • g

    Sadly, it seems the Grand Jury may be little more than a toothless social club. They did the same type of report just last year regarding what the cities pay council members. Name a report in the last dozen years that has brought about significant change. They did try to suggest a reprimand of the district’s legal department, but then the head legal schmuck responded on his own behalf with no word to/from the board! Hilarious!

    There are far more serious things they could be looking into, but apparently they don’t want to “really” hurt any particular politician’s feelings.

  • Doctor J

    You have permission to use on the record my comments to the Governor in #53.

  • Theresa Harrington

    g: What are the “far more serious things” that you suggest they could be looking into?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s an opportunity to see how business communities in other areas of the country contribute to school board governance: http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1073443

  • g

    Theresa; The beauty of the Grand Jury is that it can decide to dig into “anything that catches its interest”. However, we need them to have more punch than a typical Blue Book essay!

    Certainly in current matters a good place to start is the handling or mishandling of what is destined to be well over a Billion tax Dollars for just 2010 Measure C, using Alicia Minyen’s blackballed Minority Report as a jumping off point.

    Then let’s do the same thing with the equally expensive 2002 “C”.

    —–

    However, lurking in the shadows is Mello Roos. Who’s minding that store, the law, its payments, interest and future. How much is in the kitty? Who decides where the earnings are being spent?

    Some folks who oversaw 2002 Measure C, and are now on 2010 C, ALSO were (are?)on Measure A (Mellow Roos)oversight going back 20+ years. Where are our Annual Reports for Measure A?

    If we’re still spending money, we have to have audit reports!

    This may not seem important since it does not depend on ADA, but someone who is being paid some big bucks to watch projections and demographics might want to take note of some facts you just can’t hide:

    1) Twice yearly those of us who haven’t yet defaulted on our mortgages, and thereby our school tax obligations, still pay our Mello Roos Tax, but-
    2) Every single day, exponentially more and more of us turn 55, and no longer have to pay Mello Roos!
    3) SO–Fewer and fewer of “you guys” are going to be stuck with the following sad story.

    —–

    Let’s pick a scab off of Mello Roos (1989 Measure A)!

    Every once in a while we see purchases being made using Measure A funds. But, with what we owe on those bonds, how is there a single penny available for new purchases?

    Is the Special Facilities District hoarding tax funds over and above what is needed to make the payments on the four bond issues? If there is an excess, shouldn’t it be used ONLY to make a payment to the debt service of those bonds?

    Let’s count the money: We voted for an aggregate Mello Roos not to exceed $90million in bond sales.

    Now, unless I’m way off, between 1990 and 1996 the district sold Measure A bonds totalling $113,500,000.00

    –$23,500,000.00 MORE THAN APPROVED BY VOTERS!

    Issue #1, 8/1/1990: $33,800,000.00
    Issue #2, 8/1/1992: 28,700,000.00 –(refinanced in 2002 for $29,000,000.00)
    Issue #3, 3/1/1995: 15,000,000.00 –(refinanced in 2005 for 15,760,000.00)
    Issue #4,10/1/1996: 36,000,000.00 –(refinanced in 2006 for 29,995,000.00)

    These refinancings did lower interest rates a bit payable out to 2026, but did leave some horrendous balloon payments due in the last 3 or 4 years.

    BUT– what about that Issue #1 up there? I do not see it being refinanced (ever-at-all). It has a killer balloon payment due in 2020 of $27,790,000.00 “plus accrued interest at 7.05% since 1990.” INTENTIONAL SHOUTING HERE! INTEREST HAS BEEN ACCRUEING SINCE 1990 AT 7.05 PERCENT ON NEARLY $30 MILLION DOLLARS???

    Please, Alicia–tell me I’m wrong! And please tell me having that issue through Lehman Brothers has had no negative repercussions on us.