August 30, 2014

USD 231 board of education approves new contract for superintendent

Bill Gilhaus

Bill Gilhaus

A contract approved May 6 between the USD 231 Board of Education and Superintendent Bill Gilhaus, makes several changes including a base salary reduction and a contract extension thru 2016.
A copy of the contract, and Gilhaus’ retirement agreement, was received under a KORA request by The Gardner News.
Under the August 2012 contract Gilhaus’ base salary for 12 months was $173,929 annually, and the new contract is for $117,723 for 10 months and then $141,267 for 12 months from July 2014 thru 2015. Base salary does not include benefits such as annuity, health benefits, vacation or sick leave or phone and auto allowance.
The contract also stipulates that the new salaries are “Based upon the assumption that, during the Term, the superintendent will be exempt from any KPERS earnings limits applicable to retired licensed school personnel, in accordance with K.S.A. 74-4937(3). Should that statute be repealed or not renewed in substantially its current form to extend past its currently-scheduled expiration date of July 1, 2015, the Superintendent’s annual salary shall be automatically be increased by an amount equal to the KPERS contributions that the Board is required to pay pursuant to” state statute as a consequence of the Superintendent returning to the Board’s employ following his retirement resignation.
At the May 6 board meeting the BOE accepted Gilhaus’ resignation, and then immediately agreed to rehire him after 60 days.
“I am  excited to have this opportunity and to continue working with our current and new board members and district staff to build on the successes our district has earned and enjoyed,” Gilhaus said in a school district-issued press release.
Under the new contract, Gilhaus will continue to receive 60 days accumulated paid sick leave plus 12 days regular sick leave annually, a $34,000 tax sheltered annuity, cost difference between individual and family health/dental insurance, $800 per month automobile allowance and $100 per month for a mobile phone.
The new contract also has additional wording regarding the superintendent’s duties, benefits and post-termination benefits.
According to a press release issued by the school district, retaining Gilhaus through the new contract will allow the district to benefit from experienced personnel who might otherwise have sought employment in other districts.
“With continued enrollment growth, curriculum transitions, and reduced funding and resources, it is imperative Gardner Edgerton School District maintain strong leadership to focus on future planning and excellence at all levels,” School board president Ron Ragan said in the release.
Under duties (section 3) the contract indicates board members must refer all criticism, complaints and suggestions to the superintendent. It also indicates that if responding to an individual board member’s requests impairs Gilhaus’ ability to perform other functions of his job, he can use his discretion on whether to fulfill the elected official’s requests after duly notifying the board in closed session.
A copy of the new contract and resignation agreement are online, or a copy is available for review during office hours at The Gardner News.

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