President Barack Obama has just announced that a new Pay Czar will oversee compensation for top executives at some of the businesses benefiting from government bailout money; the idea being that where public money flows, public oversight will follow.
It is in that latter spirit that we bring you a contract which will be funded entirely by public money, for the newest superintendent for Harford County Public Schools, Dr. Robert Tomback. The contract was released in full by HCPS after a request made by The Dagger.
In these tough economic times, it’s especially easy to jump on a six-figure salary being paid to any public official. Fair enough. But some perspective is also in order.
Public education is arguably one of the most important services currently provided by government. Education is the key to both personal and collective prosperity and without the underpinning of an educated populace, our democratic republic is easily undermined. So it is in the interest of every citizen to see that every other citizen has access to a top quality education. And while a school board may provide the public oversight in that regard, it’s the superintendent of schools who is directly responsible for delivering the goods.
It is also important to note that the $190,000 base salary provided for in Dr. Tomback’s contract is in line with national data on superintendents’ salaries in other large school systems of 25,000 students or more. And finally, some of the benefits are similar to those found in other superintendents’ contracts, including that of Superintendent Jacqueline C. Haas, whom Tomback will replace.
With that said, here are some highlights from the contract, followed by the full text:
– An annual bonus of up to 10% of the superintendent’s salary dependent upon the outcome of a performance evaluation, the form and process for which will be proposed by the superintendent and approved by the school board.
– Annual cost of living adjustments (COLAs) and longevity pay, at the same rate and on the same schedule applicable to other supervisory/administrative employees within HCPS.
– Health, dental, life and disability insurance, provided at no cost to the superintendent.
– Annual payments for unused vacation, personal and sick leave.
– One-half of the cost of the employee contributions and all of the employer contributions to the Maryland State Retirement System each year and $10,000 in contributions to a qualified tax-deferred annuity in year one, increasing by $1000 each year thereafter.
– An all wheel drive vehicle, including the cost of gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs.
– A home office, including personal computer/laptop, personal digital assistant (PDA)/ cell phone, fax machine and printer.
The full, signed contract can be read below: