2011-08-11 / News

Houghton Lake board members considering pay request

The Houghton Lake Community Schools Board of Education Monday mulled over a pay increase request from former interim superintendent Pete Injasoulian for the 40 days he served the district during Superintendent Kevin Murphy’s administrative leave.

In his letter to the board, Injasoulian said he initially understood that he was only able to earn a percentage of his retirement from 1997, but later learned that his pay was not limited since reaching full retirement age. He wrote that when he originally served as superintendent for the district, he worked 260 days for a total of $103,200, or $397 per day.

Treasurer Tim Scherer said the finance committee reviewed Injsoulian’s list of hours he compiled for his request, totaling 576 hours (an average of 72 hour per week).

Injasoulian requested $397 per day, plus $600 for each of the six Sundays he worked (a total of $18,280). Scherer, instead, suggested paying Injasoulian $145 for the first 27 days worked and $397 for the remaining 13 days.

Murphy said the minutes of the board’s April 11 meeting (which Murphy did not attend) reflect the board’s desire to pay Injasoulian $145 per day (a total of $5,800).

“That’s the way I interpreted that,” he said.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Lori Sajdak and Jonathan Talbot questioned Injasoulian’s request.

Sajdak said the public will have a hard time with the issue and questioned the amount of time Injasoulian actually worked.

Talbot said Injasoulian was brought in to “cross T’s and dot I’s, not work 18 hours a day.”

“I feel it’s ridiculous,” he said of the board’s “open checkbook.”

No decision was rendered. The board is expected to vote on the matter at its Aug. 22 meeting.

President Tom Dean passed out sub-committee assignments for board members, suggesting that each committee have an organizational meeting and set a regular meeting schedule. He recommended a chair for each committee. There will be three main sub-committees, finance, human resources and curriculum/data.

Houghton Lake High School Principal Brent Cyderman reported on the district’s Curriculum Council, now called the Curriculum Commission. The focus of the commission will be the Common Core State Standards, he said, adding that commission meetings will focus on both grade specific content and a K-12 vision.

The board approved motions on the following: NEOLA board policy, an agreement with Baker College and a 2011-12 shared service contract with COOR Intermediate School District for Data Director.

Also approved were bids for fencing and paving bond projects. Bids were awarded to T-Rex ($8,590) and Sergeants ($87,334), respectively. Fencing will be installed on the west side of Collins and paving projects will be divvied up between the high school and the area between the middle school and Houghton Lake Public Library.

The board also approved an increase of the middle school lighting project, based on new state building code requirements. However, bids for work on the high school track were declined because they were too high for the $50,000 budget allotted for capital outlay for the year.

Motions to approve an increase in athletic tickets and for membership with the National School Board Association failed.

At the end of the meeting, the board voted to go into closed session to discuss negotiations.

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