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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 30 years."


 

Maybe no bargain here... You may remember I wrote a few weeks ago about FBISD’s contract with its current superintendent, Dr. Tim Jenney. At the time I said that we may be getting a bargain with Jenney because he was leading a larger school district than some of his peers who may be making as much or even more money with fewer campuses and students.

However, at the time I told you that I was having trouble determining how much the annuities he was getting as part of his contract were adding to the bottom line. After help from a local CPA I can now say that we aren’t getting any great bargain as far as his salary is concerned although he may be living up to the expectations of the FBISD board.

Although Jenney has a base contract of $260,339 which isn’t bad for a district that is pleading a tight budget and laying off employees, his total paycheck could reach $350,000 with all the perks.

In addition to the $13,800 for car and communication devices each year, he also gets $20,000 per year added to his Texas Retirement account but that can balloon up to $36,000 per year if he meets certain “performance” goals. These “performance” goals are laughable. They are actions that any superintendent should take unless he/she is brain dead. For example, he gets an extra $2,000 per year if he formally visits all 70 school sites.

Are you kidding me? Shouldn’t any superintendent visit every campus at the very least once a year?

He also gets about $1,000 if he meets with department and grade level chairs at least three times per year, and another $1,500 to meet with a random group of new teachers three times per year. 

And so it goes. $6,000 for conducting a thorough analysis of teacher absenteeism and creating a marketing campaign to improve attendance. And another $5,000 for improving all aspects of the Transportation Department’s fuel dispensing. (Heck, I thought just hiring a competent transportation director would be worth its weight in gold since according to complaints I have had for years, that has been severely lacking for some time.)

In any event, the $36,000 annuity which is supposed to be performance based is actually based on a performance that any superintendent should execute. Specifically, these goals are simply activities, (visit, write, file) and not performance.

He is also eligible for another $34,000 salary if he meets certain target gains. However, these target gains are achievements that a majority of school districts are expected to reach. Most districts in the Houston area will exceed them. 

For example, they are things like increasing scores by 1 or 2 percent in sub populations, like African-American, Hispanic, or Economically Disadvantaged. He gets a $1,000 extra dollars if he increases the number of students by 1 percent taking Advanced Placement courses and another $1,000 if 1 percent more students get a score of 3 or better.

He also receives a whole life insurance policy with a payout of over $500,000. Whole life insurance policies are much more expensive than “term life” as the whole life policy accrues value. The contract does not stipulate how much the district pays each year for that benefit nor how fast the value accrues or any other detail. The contract is suspiciously silent about this feature.

Dr. Jenney can accumulate up to 70 days of unused vacation which he can be paid at his daily rate when he leaves the district. He is given 18 days vacation days per year. He can also cash in any unused personal or sick days at his daily rate when he leaves the district. 

As I mentioned before, Katy puts its superintendent’s contract on-line. FBISD takes about 10 days to get Jenney’s contract to you after you file an open records request. If you would like to see his contract without going through all this rigmarole, e-mail me at Beverly@fortbendstar.com for a copy and I will send it to you for free. TeeHee

Pools gone..... I can’t believe the community is not up in arms about the pool closures in First Colony. Evidently, many people have not read the master plan for the pools and parks. Admittedly, it is hard to find at the FCCA website and it is hard to read as it loads so slowly when you try to look at it on line.

And speaking of on-line reading, our story about the First Colony pools was not online last week. When you clicked on the headline, you got a story about Missouri City’s Juneteen celebration.  That has now been corrected.

But more to the point, I read the entire master plan and discovered that of the five pools that will be closed--Alcorn Oaks, Austin Park, Creekshire, Crescent Lake and Woodstream--it will cost over $1 million to fill them in with dirt, and currently First Colony Community Assn. plans to leave them as “passive’ parks. In other words, nothing will be put in their place. They will remain simply as green space. 

OhBoy..... The recent publicity about FCCA has opened up a whole can of worms. People are coming forward to tell their stories about their treatment at the hands of FCCA. I am appalled. I will relate some of those stories in the coming weeks. You need to know what your community fund is using your money for nowadays.

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Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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