Stuart Rachlin will have to wait one more week to learn how much time he has left in Oysterponds.The district’s board of education declined to vote Monday on a measure that would have cut a year off the superintendent’s employment contract. The board said it would take the matter up at its Nov. 16 meeting, when it is expected to buy out the final year of Dr. Rachlin’s agreement.
Dr. Rachlin initiated talks with the board about an early retirement last August, according to board president Deborah Dumont.
The postponement came after several residents had questioned the board’s impending decision and criticized it for not making the terms of the buyout public prior to Monday night’s meeting. Yet once the board agreed to postpone a vote, former board member Linton Duell criticized it for failing to take action, telling the panel, “You were voted in to make the hard decisions.”
In 2007, when Dr. Rachlin and the board signed a five-year contract, it was agreed that he would be paid just under $155,000 annually and that he’d receive a 5 percent pay hike for each year of the contract.
According to the terms of the proposed deal disclosed on Monday, Dr. Rachlin would retire June 30, 2011, one year ahead of the end of his current contract, and receive a one-time payment of $100,000.
Also, the district would provide a cash payment equivalent to 100 percent of the cost of lifetime medical insurance for him and his wife. And, should she survive him, his wife would be entitled to an additional amount to cover her single premium.
His vacation, sick, personal and holiday benefits would end as of Jan. 1, 2011, and he would be paid approximately $29,000 at that time for accrued sick pay in line with his current contract.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, Dr. Rachlin would work at the school from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and attend evening meetings as determined by the board.
If the terms are agreed to next week, the board plans to hire an interim full-time principal, likely a retiree, who would be paid $400 a day with no benefits, according to Ms. Dumont. That would give the board time to search for a permanent full-time principal, she said. The board also plans to hire a part-time superintendent when members identify an appropriate candidate, she said.
Although the board has not yet released specific numbers, Ms. Dumont said the district would save money. Figures are likely to be posted on the district’s website by Friday, she said.
“Going forward, the board anticipates the administrative costs to be reduced by 30 percent,” Ms. Dumont said.
On Monday, board member Linda Goldsmith declined to join fellow board members in executive session, saying there was no reason to take the meeting behind closed doors since the terms of the contract had already been negotiated.
Ms. Dumont defended the board for not publicly disclosing that negotiations were under way, saying she had been advised by counsel that there was no need for disclosure while in the early stages of negotiation.
Dr. Rachlin was hired in 2006, replacing embattled superintendent Rita Mattus.
Although his arrival in the district was heralded by board and community members, he has come under fire during the past year, as board member and former board president Walter Strohmeyer let it be known he was troubled by Dr. Rachlin’s performance.
Resolutions appeared before the board last year questioning vacation and sick time the superintendent had taken and some recommendations he had made for the purchase of textbooks.