Education

Jordan-Elbridge school board to vote on abolishing positions, including long-suspended business official

2013-01-15T03:05:00Z Jordan-Elbridge school board to vote on abolishing positions, including long-suspended business officialKelly Voll The Citizen Auburn Citizen
January 15, 2013 3:05 am  • 

The Jordan-Elbridge school board will vote Wednesday on abolishing five administrative positions, one of which is still occupied by Bill Hamilton, assistant superintendent for business and finance.

According to the Jordan-Elbridge Central School District, annual savings from eliminating the positions, combined with the 2011 cut of a sixth position, special projects administrator, will be around $412,828.

Hamilton has been suspended with pay for almost 2.5 years on 3020-a charges. He has yet to argue his case before a state hearing officer.

Although the resolution on the meeting agenda states that only three full-time positions will be eliminated, a press release sent Monday from the district states that five full-time positions will be considered for elimination:

  • assistant superintendent for business and finance (Hamilton, $108,721)
  • interim business manager (contract expires June 2013, $110,000)
  • account clerk/special program assistant position (vacant, $37,000)
  • director of operations (vacant, $105,463)
  • director of special education (vacant, $88,840)

Another part of the administrative reorganization involves a promotion for treasurer James Mahaney, who will take on more responsibilities in the district's finances. He will get a raise, from $58,000 to $78,000.

According to the district, the eliminations are for the purpose of economy and efficiency, and savings from the administrative reorganization are expected to be used to expand student programming, including the pre-kindergarten program.

The savings will also be used to hire a school resource officer, a police officer who does security and mentoring in the schools, according to the press release.

"Jordan-Elbridge is a small school district," Superintendent James Froio stated in the press release. "We have to operate like a small school district."

But Hamilton's lawyer, Dennis O'Hara, doesn't believe money and efficiency are the true reasons for cutting Hamilton's position and therefore not having to pay him after June 30.

O'Hara believes the district is trying to avoid the 3020-a hearing.

"They know they can't prove the charges (against Hamilton)," he said.

"You can't abolish a position to get rid of a person," he added.

O'Hara said if the board approves the elimination, legal action could be forthcoming.

"We'll certainly challenge it," O'Hara said.

Staff writer Kelly Voll can be reached at 282-2239 or kelly.voll@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenVoll.

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