Editorial: Right board made contract decisionSet aside for a minute any thoughts about whether District 192 superintendent Brad Meeks deserves the contract school board members gave him Monday.
Set aside for a minute any thoughts about whether District 192 superintendent Brad Meeks deserves the contract school board members gave him Monday. There are too many variables that go into considering whether that was a good decision, and there's not much we can say here that's likely to sway anyone on either side of the debate. So let's focus on one of the other big questions that became part of the contract's approval: Did the right people make the decision?
Short answer? Absolutely.
Two soon-to-be board members showed up at Monday night's meeting to argue that they, not board members who are nearing the ends of their terms, should be responsible for setting Meeks' compensation. They're the ones who will have to balance the budget come January. And they're the ones who will work with Meeks over the three years of the contract. Shouldn't they be the ones to make the deal?
No, they shouldn't.
The contract Meeks received Monday isn't about what he will do over the next three years. At least not directly. At the most basic level it's a reflection of the work he's done for the district in the three years since the last time his contract was renewed. And however you feel about what happened during that time, there can be little question the current board members are the ones who know best how Meeks performed.
We don't buy the argument some board members made that making the contract decision now is some kind of defense against Meeks moving on. It seems unlikely a matter of a few weeks after a contract has been worked out will make a significant difference one way or another if Meeks or anyone else wants to move on. And even if it would, we'd hate to think board members were rushing because of some perceived threat of being forced to go through a superintendent search.
Yet board members made that argument repeatedly.
"It was very overwhelming to have to make that (hiring) decision," board member Terry Donnelly said Monday.
That argument is silly. It was also unnecessary. We believe the board already had all the reason it needed to make a decision this week.