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Supt. Hathorn gets 4 more years, $119K salary



Published: Wed, June 26, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.

By DENISE DICK

denise_dick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

City schools Superintendent Connie Hathorn will be on the job for four more years, collect 10 percent less in annual salary, and be able to draw on his retirement.

By a 5-2 vote Tuesday, school board members approved Hathorn’s retirement and rehire. He will earn $119,240 annually.

The retirement is effective Sunday. His new contract runs from next Tuesday through July 31, 2017. Before retirement, Hathorn’s annual salary was $132,000.

“This board has one overriding goal, and that is to make the best decisions to benefit our students and families,” board President Richard Atkinson said in a written statement.

He said the board has worked for more than two years with Hathorn and with the city schools’ academic-distress commission to transform the district into “one defined by student choice and student achievement. Youngstown families now have more pathways and innovative programs leading to relevant jobs and college than any school or district in the area.”

The decision to rehire Hathorn allows the district to continue to move forward, maintain momentum and stay focused on students, Atkinson said.

“The board voted as one, and we’re going to keep moving forward,” Hathorn said, adding that he’ll continue to try to direct the district to continue its improvement and boost student achievement.

Board members Andrea Mahone and Brenda Kimble, who cast the dissenting votes, said their actions against the retire/rehire decision

aren’t personal against Hathorn.

Mahone said that if the state report card, released later this year, shows marked improvement, her vote will prove to be the wrong one. If it doesn’t, though, she’ll stand by her vote.

Kimble said she wants Hathorn to stay with the district, believing he’s moving it in the right direction by expanding student choice. She believes, however, that he should have taken more of a salary cut.

Voters last year approved a 10.4-mill renewal levy for the district, and many of those voters are classified employees in the school district, Kimble said. Those employees have taken pay freezes and paid more for their health insurance in the last several years. If they decide to retire, their retirement will be less than it would have been without those concessions, she said.

Kimble said she would have liked to see Hathorn’s salary reduced to between $100,000 and $105,000 annually to pay for a staff member.

“I will continue to work with Dr. Hathorn and with the other board members to move this district forward,” she said.

Hathorn sought to retire and be rehired because of changes to the State Teacher Retirement System.

The changes include a provision that if members retire after July 1, they have to wait five years before receiving a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment annually.

By retiring, Hathorn will be able to draw on his retirement and collect the lower salary.

If members retire before July 1, they won’t receive a cost-of-living adjustment for one year, but then will receive the 2 percent adjustments after that.


Comments

1formerdemliberal(182 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Taking a 10% pay cut while receiving a possible six-digit annual pension as a reward for leading a failed school system, all subsidized by taxpayers? Priceless!

Even the single board member who dissented based on the superintendent's high salary wanted to create another staff position, rather than simply saving taxpayer money.

Unfortunately, not the only example of local superintendent double-dipping by shifting expenditures from local (lower salaries) to already bloated state pension obligations.

Youngstown and other area taxpayers might want to remember these double-dips the next time their school boards and teachers start crying wolf and start begging for more taxes in the name of "quality" education for the "kids" and higher operating costs.

Suggest removal:

2Cubbies(37 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

The big problem is Hathorn is clueless about the district. He has so many central office administrators handling superintendent duties that he is often surprised at operational changes his deputies announce at district meetings. He has often stated in meetings "as superintendent he is no longer in charge of hiring/firing, curriculum, operations, or transportation, I have other administrators who handle those duties." Then what does he do to now make some $235,000 year from the taxpayers through his salary and pension?

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3Knightcap(699 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree with Father Cavanaugh, "They're a funny bunch of squirrels".

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4westcomm11(23 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

What a waste of my tax money ,I will never vote for Youngstown schools again ,this guy doesnt even know what he is doing but I have to admit he is smart enough to milk the system and get away with it.

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5TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Please Don't Blame The Teachers, Staff, and Most Of All, The Students Of Youngstown For The Poor Decision Of The Board Of Education That You, The Taxpayers, Elected. Make Your Voices Heard By Calling Your Board Members And Voting Them Out.

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6glbtactivist(250 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

A sleasy move by the Superintendent to steal from the teachers' pension while making a better salary than any of the retirees ever did. And all this while he leads the worse school system in Ohio. A system where everyone who moves to the city must send their kids to an outside school to get a decent education.

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7allstar720(253 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I want to fail upward like this my whole career too.

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8anothermike(211 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Wonder how much in kickbacks to get that deal approved......

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9Jerry(498 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

One can only assume that, to be able to offer outrageous benefits like this, the public education system in Ohio must be absolutely awash in money. What else could one logically conclude??

I'm glad to know that I never need to support another tax levy or initiative in support of public education; obviously more money from me is not needed.

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10TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Please Don't Make That Conclusion Based On The Decision Of ThE Elected Officials Who Made The Decision.

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