NESHANNOCK Denied pay raise prompts concern

Two members voted against giving the superintendent a pay raise.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The Neshannock school board may be in violation of State Act 93 by rejecting a pay increase for the district's elementary school principal.
The board approved all but one of the nine administrative and supervisor salaries at Thursday's monthly board meeting.
Elementary Principal Matthew Heasley was denied a 3.5-percent pay increase by a 6 to 3 vote. There was no discussion before the vote.
Board members Richard Canciello, Mary Jo Coyne, Joseph Gierlach, James Kearney, Frank Rondinelli and Tracy Stevenson voted against the raise, while Dr. John Dietz, Cheryl Kimmel and Jay Vitale voted for the raise that would have increased Heasley's salary from $71,210 to $73,702 a year.
"What do we do now that one of our administrators does not get a raise?" asked Vitale. The board agreed to meet in executive session after the meeting to further discuss the issue.
Rondinelli, board president, said no action was taken after the executive session. "Although no board member has commented, I think the action speaks for itself," Rondinelli said.
Act 93
After the meeting, Solicitor Jonathan Solomon explained Act 93. He said it is essentially an administrator's compensation protection plan because administrators are not protected by a contract.
The board sets salary increases from zero to 5 percent based on the superintendent's evaluation. If the board goes below the recommendation of the superintendent they could be violating Act 93, Solomon said.
In other action, the board unanimously approved a 5-percent pay increase to junior high school Principal Nick Perry. His new annual salary will be $72,166.
The following received 5-percent increases by a 7-2 vote: board secretary Carol Robinson, $43,315 a year; director of building and groups Brian Glass, $46,191; and assistant director Mike Hall, $36,236.
Stevenson and Coyne voted against the 5-percent increases.
"I am not in favor of a lot of 5-percent raises. Everyone deserves a raise, but not that large," Stevenson said. Coyne said her decision was similar to that of Stevenson.
The board voted unanimously to give 3.5-percent increases to bus supervisor Todd Exposito, to $44,291 a year, and curriculum director Mark Ferrara, $84,688.
High School Principal Maynard Harvey received a 3.5- percent increase by a 6 to 3 vote, with his salary at $85,896. Canciello, Coyne and Gierlach cast no votes.
Stevenson and Coyne also voted against a 3.5-percent pay raise for Superintendent Dr. Michael Hink. His salary will increase to $103,213.
In other business, the board:.
UApproved the employment of Patrick Buckley Sr. as full-time custodian.
UApproved Julie Evanoski and Natalie Fisher as volunteer girls volleyball coaches.
UApproved Steve Wilson as volunteer marching band director.

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