Woodland Hills Hires Administrator Whose $80K Salary Wasn't in Budget

After a debate over spending beyond the budget, the school board voted 6-3 in favor of the hire.

The on Wednesday voted to hire a school psychologist and two administrators, one of whose position was not included in the to the state earlier this summer.

In a 6-3 vote, the board gave the go ahead to hire Kevin Murray as assistant principal at the high school at an $80,000 salary. The position wasn't included in this year's budget. Board President Marilyn Messina and members Colleen Filiak and Bob Tomasic dissented.

This year’s by .56 mill—about $56 for a homeowner with a $100,000 property—and included furloughs for 10 staff members at the high school and several others at the middle and elementary schools. The budget also cut the Boyce Campus Middle College program.

“I did not vote for a millage increase ... so that I could try to get more jobs or higher salaries,” Messina said, mentioning the numerous cuts that went into balancing this year’s budget. “It’s not about the person; it’s about the money. Where is the money coming from?”

Echoing those sentiments, Filiak said the board can’t continue to stray from its spending plan.

“It should have been brought to the board in May or June,” Filiak said.

Murray had previously served as the high school’s dean of students and assistant to the principal since January 2009.

Board member Regis Driscoll alluded to “back-door promises” made between the administration and Murray before former superintendent Walter Calinger left this past May, when Alan Johnson filled in as substitute superintendent.

Driscoll defended the decision and attributed its delay to bureaucratic hang ups, rather than budgetary concerns.

The board also voted unanimously to hire Thomas J. McKelvey as an assistant principal who will split his time between Fairless Elementary and Woodland Hills Academy. A former third-grade teacher in the Beaver Area School District, McKelvey’s $59,000 salary will be funded by government grants.

A unanimous vote approved the hiring of Heather Stotsky as a school psychologist at a salary of $45,000. She most recently served as school psychologist and behavior specialist for the Sto-Rox School District.

Tara Reis August 16, 2012 at 03:30 PM
For the record, this was not a new hire. It's not an additional $80K to the budget, but $14k. This was no more than a change in title. The man in question has been doing this job for 3 1/2 years and will now have many more duties.
Daniel Santiago August 16, 2012 at 06:13 PM
$14K more worth of duties. Yea, right.
Sue T August 16, 2012 at 07:44 PM
The fact that this individual was already working in the school district and performing the functions of the job makes it even more baffling why this "change in title" and associated pay raise were not included in the budget prepared just a couple of months ago. If it had been I'm sure no one would be questioning it now. Every item in the budget and subsequient modifications need to be accounted for to the tax payer. I understand that state funding has been cut, but according to the figures I've seen enrollment has also dropped by about 30 percent in the last five or so yrs. WIth the size of the reduction in the number of students, I've seen no real justification that a milleage increase was necessary. And, still two months later we;'re are already funding unbudgeted items (that we knew about back in June since this is only "a title change". Hmmmmmm). Thank you to our school board members that voted against this.
Lois Longo August 20, 2012 at 03:56 PM
What job has he done for 3 1/2 years? In the last 3-5 years there has been a fast moving moving train of administrators in the high school and a slow train of any real progress...
David Franklin September 16, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I'm convinced that anything remotely connected to this Alan Johnson guy has "suspicious" written ALL over it!!! (Probably due to his shady past!)


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