Board approves new deal for superintendentFarmington School Board members said Monday they are happy with a new contract they say will put superintendent Brad Meeks slightly above average when it comes to superintendent salaries in the area.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Farmington School Board members said Monday they are happy with a new contract they say will put superintendent Brad Meeks slightly above average when it comes to superintendent salaries in the area.
The new deal will increase Meeks’ base salary from $160,000 to $172,000 in its first year, a 7.5 percent increase. Meeks will make $176,000 in the contract’s second year and $180,000 in its third year.
“In my view this is a very fair contract,” board member John Kampf said Monday. “There were concessions from Dr. Meeks. There were concessions on behalf of the board.”
Board members said as they reviewed the salaries of other district administrators in Dakota County they found assistant superintendents making as much as $13,000 more than Meeks current contract pays him.
Hastings superintendent Tim Collins, whose district is about 1,000 students smaller than the 6,200-student Farmington district, has a base salary of $157,500 this year. John Currie, the retiring superintendent of the 28,000-student Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District, has a base salary of $193,171.
Along with the increase in base salary there are a handful of other changes in the contract, which will take effect next Sept. 1. Among the changes:
• A new $9,000 bonus Meeks can achieve each year if he meets “mutually agreed upon goals and objectives.”
• Meeks will receive two additional vacation days (30 rather than the 28 he has in the final year of his current contract) and can trade more unused vacation time for cash at the end of the year (10 days, up from five). Using the district’s figure of 224 duty days, if Meeks cashes in all 10 vacation days in the first year of the new contract he could get about $7,600.
• Meeks will accumulate sick leave faster, at a rate of 2 days per month rather than the current 1.5 days. At the end of the year he can cash in up to 15 unused sick days (up from 10) and put the money into a tax-sheltered annuity. That would be about $11,500 in the contract’s first year if Meeks cashes in the maximum number of sick days.
• A section added to the contract grants Meeks, currently in his fifth year, 100 percent health insurance coverage for one year if he leaves the district after six years here. That provision is void if he is covered by another employer.
• The new contract reworks language about severance pay for Meeks. Under the old contract he was scheduled to receive 50 percent of his annual salary as severance pay if he left the district. The new contract retains that figure, but cuts severance pay to 25 percent if Meeks leaves to take another job.
Most board members spoke in favor of the new contract Monday.
“Dr. Meeks has done an excellent job and deserves another contract,” said Terry Donnelly, who will leave the board in January after winning a seat on the Farmington City Council. “I’m very pleased to have worked with him the past five years.”
Board chair Julie McKnight told Meeks the board was “grateful that you are willing to stick with us for the next three years.”