This fall, the School Board surprised the superintendent with a raise of more than $4,100 per month, equal to nearly $50,000 per year. I say surprise, because it was not on the agenda. You can guess why.
Naturally, the teachers and support staff got a lot less. You have to remember that they are less influential; no one in the system really cares about teachers, janitors or cafeteria workers.
Still, the superintendent needed to do something to show gratitude.
The voters provided a great opportunity, electing Ida Wright to the position of former School Board member. Whether due to lousy schools, poor personal skills, or even high taxes and wasteful construction projects, Wright now is in a position to watch with the rest of us.
The superintendent created a nice, new job for Wright. Ensuring that it went the right way, or “Wright Way” if you will, the job was custom-tailored. Wright’s last day on the board was Nov. 10.
By Dec. 5, she had a new job with the school district. It is listed as a part-time job, and it pays $35 per hour. With a pay rate like that, you can understand why the position was not advertised, and why no application was available if you wanted it. There is no formal job description, either.
The duties may be vaguely defined, but then so is the term of the job. It started pretty much right away, so as to keep the money flowing. The job is described as “very temporary,” but there is no end date in sight.
The hiring manager Rachel Hazel denies the allegations. She calls “categorically untrue” the rumors that Wright got a job after losing her election, which pays $35 per hour, starting before the end of year, with no application available, and no formal job description. No sensible person believes her.
Normally, a revolving door has a little wider sweep. Officials move between the government and the companies they regulate. They are expected to bring along some influence.
Here, however, it is a tight circle: The voters pushed Wright out the door, and the superintendent brought her back in before the wintry breeze died down. That makes it easy to tell what the superintendent was thinking — Christmas is coming soon, and the taxpayers should be in a generous mood.
— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.