Committee negotiates separation package

Friday, October 26, 2007

Three members of the school board," Jerry Campbell. Randy Perryman and Craig Michael ," met as a special sub-committee with former Director of Schools John David Pierce. The public meeting was held on Oct. 23 so the two parties could attempt to negotiate a separation package for Pierce, who was fired by the school board effective at 5 p.m. on Oct. 5.

According to Michael, members of the previous board negotiated a four-year contract extension with Pierce in 2006, extending his contract to 2010. With approximately three years remaining on the contract, Pierce was owed compensation for the contract.

Michael opened the negotiations saying it was not unusual in business practices to pay the equivalent of one month's salary for every year of service. This offer would have paid Pierce approximately $60,000.

Jerry Campbell felt that paying Pierce $.50 for every dollar owed on the contract was a fair resolution. This offer would have paid Pierce approximately $144,000. Michael was upset by that offer during the meeting.

"We want to be fair to Mr. Pierce, but we need to be fair to the kids and the taxpayers as well," said Michael.

According to Michael, in the end, the deal struck between the two parties to be taken back to the board of education for approval breaks down as one year's salary ($96,000) and $12,000 worth of medical insurance. Added to the $108,000 is the pay out for remaining vacation days, or approximately another $15,000.

A special call meeting of the Marshall County Board of Education will be held on Oct. 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the central office to finalize the former director's separation package.