OSWEGO, NY ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ The Oswego school board voted 6-1 Tuesday night to create a new administrator position despite opposition from a current board member and a former board president.
The position is Director of Grants and Partnerships.
“I’m a little confused about why this position is necessary,” former board president Maggie Tiballi said during the public session. “We already have assistant superintendents and directors that do write grants; in fact they bring in a ton of money.”
During budget discussions regarding the 2008-09 spending plan, board members Dave White, Sean Madden and Dan Hoefer spoke of the need to reduce the number of administrators in the district, she added.
Some students at OHS have been unable to get science classes, due to a shortage of teachers, she claimed. The district seems to need another teacher instead of another administrator, she continued.
“I would like for there to be a very clear job description that demonstrates a measurable benefit to the district for this position. I’d also like for you to convince me and the rest of the taxpayers that not only is this position needed but it is of a higher priority than a science teacher, or a kindergarten teacher or a music teacher or an art teacher,” she told the board. “I certainly hope that you can convince the community that there is a real need for this position, and that it is not simply a job tailor-made for a friend.”
Board member Fred Maxon, the lone no vote, said he had some concerns about creating the new position and sought, unsuccessfully, to have the motion tabled.
He asked who the administrator would answer to and where the position fits into the district’s chain of command.
The administrator would report to the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Acting Superintendent Bill Crist explained.
Maxon also wondered how the position would be funded.
Some grant writers receive a percent of the grant money they bring in, noted board member John Dunsmoor.
“Generally, grants do not include any kind of funding for the grant writer, Maxon said.
“I don’t know how we’re setting this stuff up. But, I do know that you can set it up so the person can get a percentage of how many grants they bring in,” Dunsmoor replied.
Board member Sam Tripp said he believes the position would benefit the district.
“There’s money out there for energy. There’s money out there for facilities,” he said, adding the people who currently apply for grants for the district don’t have expertise in all the fields.
The new administrator will have such proficiency and “will bring many, many dollars into the district,” Trip said. “It would be beneficial for the community and district. I don’t see it as creating another position out of the taxpayers’ pockets. I see it as self-sustaining.”
Crist said, right now, it’s hard to say when the new position would get under way.
“We have to post the position. We will also go back and put in a more concrete job description, also,” he said. “We’re just getting the ball rolling on this.”
The salary range would be in line with other director positions, between $60,000 to $75,000 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ based on experience.
Securing some grants is a year-long process, Crist explained.
“Other grants can be very quick. Generally speaking, the smaller dollar amounts are grants that can be obtained more quickly,” he said.