Letter – School Board goes ‘rogue’

Published 7:43 pm Thursday, August 11, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

So, according to Ms. Lynn Briggs, superintendents’ contracts are negotiated separately from the school system’s administrative and teacher pay scales (“Supt.’s retirement payout exceeded policy,” Aug. 3). Ms. Briggs, please make that contract available to the taxpayers and thank you.

So, the School Board voted to amend Dr. Thornton’s contract to grant his request to retire a year earlier than his original contract specified. That’s fine. My question is how in the world did this board vote to provide this superintendent with an unspecified dollar amount for “transition appropriations? Is that even legal? Who doesn’t complete this section of the contract?  What does this contract cover?

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Apparently, according to the Times, a March 10 memorandum regarding Thornton stated he was to receive a “gross payment” representing the unused vacation, sick and personal leave, and again the dollar amount was not filled in.  What was his final unused leave time and why in the world would anyone sign a contract with the dollar amount left out? It feels as if county officials just go “rogue” on so many issues.

I am in great hope that the Times will continue to investigate this issue and let taxpayers know the outcome. Seems very “fishy” to this taxpayer to say the least.

Thank you, Stephen Faleski, and please keep up the exceptional research and reporting.


Shirley McGee