Our View: Mellor earned extra money

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— For a school district that has repeatedly - and correctly - stressed the importance of attracting and retaining good personnel, we're a little surprised the situation with Director of Finance and Operations Dale Mellor hasn't been resolved.

To that end, the School Board should authorize a one-time bonus of $7,770 - the difference between Mellor's salary and that of the superintendent during the seven-week period for which Mellor was tasked with leading the Steamboat Springs School District.

Mellor assumed the duties of superintendent on Aug. 10, when the previous School Board voted to buy out the contract of former Superintendent Donna Howell. The buyout was effective immediately. Mellor continued as acting superintendent until Oct. 1, when interim Superintendent Sandra Smyser began work. That seven-week period included a difficult transition from the old Soda Creek Elementary School to the temporary facility at Seventh and Pine streets.

Mellor recently approached the School Board about being compensated for his additional work. School Board member Denise Connelly has been designated as the liaison between Mellor and the board. The two sides hope to work out an agreement in the next week or two.

The simple fact is that the School Board should not expect an employee to take on the duties of his supervisor - who in this case happened to be the highest-ranking administrator in the district - for an extended period of time without compensating him for it.

At a School Board meeting Nov. 26, board member John DeVincentis questioned whether Mellor deserves extra compensation.

"The intention of the board at that time was not to have Dale become the acting superintendent," DeVincentis said. "That was the chain of command the former superintendent put in place."

What DeVincentis is conveniently forgetting is that School Board policy mandates that the superintendent "assure that no fewer than one other executive staff member is familiar with Board and District Superintendent issues and processes and is capable of assuming Superintendent responsibilities on an interim basis should the unexpected need arise" (Executive Limitations policy No. 2).

The district's administrative organization chart puts the director of finance and operations and the director of curriculum and instruction directly beneath the superintendent in chain of command. Director of Curriculum and Instruction JoAnne Hilton-Gabeler started her job Aug. 1 and certainly was in no position to take the reins of the district. Mellor was the obvious choice, and there is no indication that board members had any issues with Mellor's role as acting superintendent until he asked to be compensated for it. In fact, it was board members themselves who told Mellor on Aug. 10 that he would be in charge of the district until a replacement could be found.

By all accounts, Mellor worked tirelessly to make the best of a difficult situation.

"I will be extremely happy to get somebody else on to do this job," Mellor told the Steamboat Pilot & Today on Sept. 14. "I am working twice the hours and falling further behind. I'm finding it difficult to do the job I was hired to do. I was happy to do this job, but will be happy when we find someone else."

It's not a job he signed up for, but it's a responsibility he accepted when it was thrust upon him. Unlike district teachers and support staff, who have negotiated policies dictating extra duty pay for additional responsibilities they assume, district administrators have no such agreement in place.

Mellor and the School Board should have addressed the compensation issue months ago, but they didn't. Now, the School Board should do the right thing and give Mellor a one-time bonus of $7,770.

Comments

another_local 7 years ago

Well said. Pay the man. Considering that he was still reponsible for his regular duties paying him the difference is the minimum that should be done.

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JustSomeJoe 7 years ago

Yes, he should be paid for his extra work. I wonder how long John will be blaming previous superintendents for issues that arise?

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dimwitiguess 7 years ago

Pay teachers for their extra work! I support paying him if this means teachers will be paid for their extra duties.

The only bloggers to respond to this point to "pay the man"have been Howell supporters.

Pay him and send him on his way too.

dimwitiguess

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RoxyDad 7 years ago

Dimwit

Your name fits perfectly.

I do not and have never supported Howell.

I don't support Howell in the new job either.

I am in the corporate world with my own company. Many job descriptions include the term "and other activities as needed and related to the position" . This would cover what a teacher would do on a daily basis above and beyond the classroom and therefore would not require paying more.

If someone is put in a different positon than what they were hired for then the salary could/should change. This also includes teachers.

If a teacher was asked to perform the duties of the superintendent then they coul/should also be paid the extra amount.

It doesn't matter what the position is, if they are asked to perform the duties of a DIFFERENT position then they could/should be paid for it.

If they do extra work in the position they already have then it may or may not require extra pay.

So, if you can't find a quote from me supportig Howell (as you say I do) then I guess you are a dimwitiguess

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summerbird 7 years ago

Don't assume anything. Ask up front what the compensation is. Get it in writing. Then and only then, assume the extra duties.

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outsiderlookingin 7 years ago

Hence, the problem with an at -will state. Bring in a union!!! He should have refused the addtional workload and then would have be fired. Just like at the ice rink. do your job and nothing else and out you go. Problem with all kinds of jobs in this place. How many times have we seen ads for VOLUNTEERS for this or that.. The rich always want everybody else to work for free but never do anything themselves, when asked they just write a check.

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RoxyDad 7 years ago

Summerbird

Very good advice. And that may be the only reason he may not get paid extra.

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another_local 7 years ago

Dimwit, teachers ARE paid extra when they assume extra duties outside the responsibilities of thier regular teaching workload such as coaching sports or helping with staff development training. This is a common practice and one which many teachers in our district avail themselves of to increase earnings.

So,... I guess that means you support paying him now too. At least something good came out of this exchange.

And yes, I am and was a Howell supporter. I have worked with her on many occasions and found her to be smart, capable, reasonable and effective, but that has nothing beyond coincidence to do with this issue. Her departure, whatever the cause or merits of that event, was the reason Mr Mellor (who I have never met) had to take on the added workload. That cause is unrelated to whether he deserves to be paid for the extra responsibiltities.

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dimwitiguess 7 years ago

Teachers are not paid for anything that happens after 3:45. When we're asked and required to serve committees it is called in our contracts "..and others duties as assigned."

Wasn't Mellor assigned this duty by Howell? Yes, he was. End of case.

Another_L, we'll just watch the YVHA and see what happens there. Bet nothing will happen but the illusion of movement. Just like the school district.

But, hey, another- you know me, just another_local dimwitiguess.

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Mike Forney 7 years ago

Have these people learned nothing from the consequences of their previous actions? Now it is Denise Connelly preaching fiscal responsibility while opposing a professional search for a new superintendent. on the heels of a 6-figure buyout of the previous superintendent.

And John DeVincentis questioning what most in business would recognize as legitimate extra compensation when an employee is asked to step in and manage their job and the work of their former supervisor. This, by the way, just one more consequence of their ill-advised decision to pay off the last superintendent during one of the most demanding times for the district.

Hello folks! Did you miss the fact that a recall petition failed despite the signatures of more than 2000 eligible voters, because hundreds of signers put down their post office box rather than their physical address?

Did you miss the fact that the voters swept out every incumbent they could because of profound disgust with the the old School Board ?

Only two of the "old school" remain. Their act has not changed. Hopefully the new team members will bring some common sense to the board's decision-making.

Even so, perhaps its time for another petition.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years ago

mikeforney- It said Connelly was "designated" as liason. That means a majority would have had to agree to put her in this position. If the new members are standing behind your assertions about "Their act has not changed," (remember- 3 new members to 2 old ones) then I think Mellor would already have been paid, don't you? Where are the ABC comments on what they think should happen? Maybe even new members on this BOD didn't mean a whole lot was going to be different.

On that note, I do believe Mellor should be paid, just because he WAS doing the duties of his supervisor; a higher paying position. I also agree with dimwitiguess's statement about the teachers should also be receiving extra if they are doing other duties. If it's duties that pay a lower amount, they should still get that pay as extra. Fair is fair.

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RoxyDad 7 years ago

Dimwit

Please don't consider this a personal issue, but it seems that you are a teacher that is upset that Mellor is asking for extra money for not only performing the duties of his job but another as well. There is some merit to him asking for more money but I guess it boils down to how it was presented to him to do the job. Maybe funds were promised, maybe not. He can at least ask.

As far as your having to be on committees I would think that is part of your job description. I also think Mellor sits on committees or would do so if requested as part of his job without extra pay.

The fact is he was doing a different job so the circumstances are different.

If you were asked to be the superintendant then you also should be compensated unless it was specifically stated you would not be.

It seems you may be very bitter at your present employer. I hope that does not transfer to the children you are teaching.

This isnt personal, just my thoughts.

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wishin4champagne 7 years ago

Pay the man. Period.

If they continue to punish acts of goodwill, they are paving the way for unions; which in my opinion outlived their usefulness around 1945.

Clearly he "took one for the team" when he assumed the duties, it's this kind of bickering that undermines morale and puts everyone in a defense mode of "that's not in my job description"

Goodwill should beget goodwill. I believe the council should look up the definition of reciprocity.

Anyone opposed, show up after your own full-time job and fill in for him.

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another_local 7 years ago

Dimwitt, what you don't know about your own workplace would fill a library.

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