OPELOUSAS — The St. Landry Parish School Board set a salary range and established an application deadline Thursday for the position of school superintendent.
Only seven of the 13 board members were present when the board unanimously voted to pay the next superintendent from $100,000 to $120,000 annually. The board set a deadline of noon Aug. 27 for applications.
One board member, Quincy Richard, left his seat at one point and threatened to walk out of the meeting if the other board members did not agree to pay the superintendent $100,000 to $120,000.
Richard’s action came after board member Roger Young made a motion to pay the superintendent $120,000 to $140,000 per year.
After several questioned whether the financially-troubled district could afford to pay that high of a salary, Young withdrew his motion.
If Richard had left, the meeting would have been adjourned without a vote on the superintendent’s salary range, since there would have been no quorum to conduct business.
Board members Josie Frank, Ronald Carrriere and Candace Gerace did not attend Thursday’s meeting. John Miller and Anthony Standberry left the meeting after the conclusion of the Personnel Committee report. Board member Scott Richard announced his resignation in July.
Richard, Young, Kyle Boss, Harry Fruge, Huey Wyble, Raymond Cassimere and Charles Ross voted for the superintendent’s salary range.
Former Superintendent Michael Nassif, who resigned in November, was paid a $123,000 annual base salary. Other incentives in Nassif’s contract boosted his yearly pay to nearly $130,000.
The prospective superintendent initially will have no incentives as part of the contract.
Since Nassif’s departure, the district has operated with two acting superintendents. Joseph Cassimere is St. Landry’s interim superintendent.
The board discussed an Executive Committee proposal to pay the next superintendent the same salary as Nassif.
The 2012-13 budget approved by the board last month stipulated the district pay the superintendent $100,000, said Cassimere, the Finance Committee’s chairman.
Board attorney Gerard Caswell recommended the board should not be too restrictive in what to pay the superintendent.
He said creating a salary range instead of a fixed amount allows the board room to negotiate salary terms more suited to an applicant’s qualifications.
ALTERNATIVE LUNCHES: The board also accepted unanimously an Executive Committee report that sets a new policy for students who are delinquent in paying for school lunches.
Under the policy approved Thursday, students paying for lunches will have a minimum of five days to pay the balance of their meal bills.
If the amount owed is not paid by then, Food Services Director Lucretia Chancler told the board that students will be offered cheese sandwiches and milk as an alternative meal.
Richard said he did not favor the new policy.
Chancler said the district’s food service program needs to be run in a businesslike fashion.
“By law if a student does not have money, we don’t have to feed them,” Chancler said.