Finance director seeks extra pay

Dale Mellor served as acting superintendent for six-week period


— Steamboat Springs School District Finance Director Dale Mellor filled in as acting superintendent for six weeks this fall, and now he'd like to be paid for his extra efforts.

On Monday, the School Board appointed board member Denise Connelly to negotiate an agreement with Mellor after he told school district officials he'd like to be financially compensated for his work during the period between the buyout of former Superintendent Donna Howell's contract in August and the hiring of interim Superintendent Sandra Smyser in October.

"As far as the negotiation, I don't feel comfortable talking about it before I meet with Denise," Mellor said Wednesday via e-mail. "We will be meeting on Monday, so there will probably be an update at the (School Board) meeting that night."

Connelly said Wednesday that by meeting with Mellor she hopes to get a better understanding of the additional duties Mellor took on as interim superintendent.

"We try to find some kind of equitable pay just for the extra duties he may have assumed for six weeks," she said.

Mellor relinquished his dual role in the district Oct. 1, when Smyser filled the interim superintendent position.

"I will be extremely happy to get somebody else on to do this job," Mellor told the Steamboat Pilot & Today on Sept. 14, before Smyser's hiring. "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."

On Monday, board member John DeVincentis questioned whether Mellor deserves any extra compensation regardless of what role he assumed after Howell's contract was bought out Aug. 10.

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

Mellor's base salary for the 2007-08 school year is $87,231. Howell's salary was $145,229, and Smyser is being paid $102,353 under her prorated contract. Her base salary is similar to Howell's when calculated over a full work year.

DeVincentis said he too would like to see a list of responsibilities Mellor was entrusted with as acting superintendent.

"There is nothing in our policy that talks about making reimbursements for those kinds of services," he said. "Our principals, assistant principals and teachers take on all kinds of other duties than they are expected to take on."

Board President Robin Crossan said Monday's negotiation with Mellor must be done in executive session because it's a personnel issue, but she noted that the School Board aims to vote on a compensation package at the board's Dec. 10 meeting.


another_local 9 years, 5 months ago

It seems to me that a bonus on the order of 10K would be fair.

As to what constitutes a high paying job, some of you guys are out to lunch. Overall responsibility for the same size budget, number of employees, amount and value of real property and equipment (not to mention students!) would pay twice as much in the private sector. Nobody in ecucation is overpaid and that includes the administrators.

Additional hours spent on the job you have is not the same as additional responsibilities taken on for another position. When others (teachers/staff) in the district take on additional responsibilities they do not "chalk it up as part of the job" as posted above. They get paid for it. Dale should too.


autumnwitch 9 years, 5 months ago

So, the last time a teacher also had to be a principal two weeks before and five weeks into a new school year, was when? Oh, right, never. And when did a principal have to be the finance director or super of the entire district two weeks before and five weeks into a new school year? What's that? Oh, right, NEVER!!! As already pointed out, when a teacher has to do extra duty, they get extra duty pay. If it's a volunteer extra job, they have the option to say no. Was Dale given that option? Did John, who thinks the district doesn't even need a superintendent, decide to have the board take on that job? No. The board recklesslessly chose to oppose their constituents and surreptiously decide to fire the super two weeks before school started, when there was still a huge mess at Camp Soda Creek, and put the finance director in charge of a job he has never done, nor, I'm sure, ever wanted to do, and not give him anything extra in return, including help. Where in his contract does it say that if the board acts irresponsibly that he has to pay the price?


AmebaTost 9 years, 5 months ago

Everyone should get paid extra for having to listen to this armchair city counsel constanlty spew gibberish from the back seat.


Scott Wedel 9 years, 5 months ago

You've got to be kidding. They ask him to be acting superintendent and then then don't think it is obvious to pay him at a prorated superintendent pay scale for that period of time?

Maybe he didn't do everything expected of a superintendent, but he also was asked to step into a job for which he was not experienced at the start of the school year while still doing his old job.

He probably does not deserve superintendent pay PLUS finance director pay for that period of time, but he certainly deserves the higher superintendent pay for that period of time. If that wasn't expected then they should have simply left the position vacant until filled.


JustSomeJoe 9 years, 5 months ago

It's just Doctor D looking out for his Ego, oops, I mean the kids.


dogdog 9 years, 5 months ago

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

So he is blaming Howell for the board decision to place Mellor in charge in the interim. This is a sick, sick man. Please get some help before making anymore decisions that affect other people. Leadership is about being accountable, stepping up and doing what is right, not blaming others. Shame on you D. Shame on you.


dimwitiguess 9 years, 5 months ago

Yep, the "boo birds" are still out there. Howell was fired, yes fired, because she was untrustworthy. Good riddance to her. Mellor got a $6500 raise this year. How much does he want? What was the average teacher raise? What was the average support staff raise?

Maybe the district should have given some of that money to the custodians and there wouldn't be a custodian crisis.

Just another thought from a dimwitiguess.


id04sp 9 years, 5 months ago


This school system is the most mis-managed organization on the face of the Earth.

The need for a highly-paid super is something created by the NEA to provide higher paying jobs for administrators who never spend a single moment in a classroom actually doing the job of the schools. The administrative bureaucracy exists ONLY to justify high salaries for "executives."

A super should make what a principal makes, plus 5%, max. Others in the administrative department (such as the director of finance) should make no more than a principal.

The admin folks provide SUPPORT services for the schools. High performers in the educational system should be encouraged to stay where they can do the most good for the kids; in the SCHOOLS! If you want an office job with high pay, go work in private industry where they require RESULTS and pay based on productivity.


elk2 9 years, 5 months ago

Dale, although I appreciate the extra work you did. Why not just chalk it up to part of your job. Which by the way most teachers would love to have. Do our teachers get extra pay when they put in extra time? No, they accept it as part of the job. I'm kind of surprised and Dale should be embarrassed.


ColoradoNative 9 years, 5 months ago

Meanwhile teachers and children are doing extra duty cleaning Strawberry Park elementary because of a shortage of janitors.

I guess we should start cutting checks to the 3rd graders also because being janitors wasn't part of their agreement as students.


heybartender 9 years, 5 months ago

Giving Dale the extra pay goes against the idea of being a salaried employee.Have you noticed how many departments can't seem to find help in our city....teachers,school bus drivers,city bus drivers,janitors,etc.? Seems like the administrators are getting a really big piece of the pie while the lower echelons are scrambling to make ends meet or simply leaving for better paying jobs.


AmebaTost 9 years, 5 months ago

Amen heybartender! If this town wasn't run by a bunch of people from out of town maybe we wouldn't be in this situation all the time. i wish the working class people had more time to participate in local government.


twostroketerror 9 years, 5 months ago

'04 nailed it on this one, short, sweet, to (and on) the point.


Carrie Requist 9 years, 5 months ago

I am just floored that this wasn't dealt with prior to Dale taking on the extra work.


dimwitiguess 9 years, 5 months ago

id, I AGREE with you. Many times we have different opinions. The board could pay him something for his extra responsibility during that time period; however, that sum should NOT be negotiated. The board should decide a fair price and award that amount.

Nothing like an public administrator with a tin cup in his hand.

Had there been a disaster (something more than attending to a few parents or other non-complex issues) while he was serving probably some additional $ could be added.

Making over $100K per year is quite a bit of dinero, Baby! And what kind of high-paying superintendent are we going to get and how much should we pay? Howell was making $140K. And they both get/got FREE FAMILY benefits.

Your response was right on, id. But you know me...I'm just a dimwitiguess


Bog 9 years, 5 months ago

Hey, I support teachers as much as anyone, but Dale was doing TWO jobs, which included the unusual task of getting temporary Soda Creek ready.

When teachers take on an extra position, like coaching or sponsoring a club, they get EXTRA DUTY pay.

If you don't think Dale deserves any extra pay for doing the Superintendent's job, then why do you accept without complaint a 10K consultant to find a new one, for 140K a year. ID is right, the schools run just fine regardless of who the super is, because the teachers and school administrators are working directly with students. Superintendent value is way overrated.

Dimwit, this time you are. Mellor took the extra job because the board chose to eliminate the person in the superintendent position, pay 300k for nothing, and you complain he already got a raise? That was for his job as finance director, not to run the entire district at the same time. Sounds like you have a personal issue with him.


justathought 9 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, but you or anyone else doesn't "have to listen", being on this forum seems to be of your own choosing. With statements like you made on your previous post, you're welcome to get out of the backseat and spew elsewhere at any time.


BigOil 9 years, 5 months ago

General John wants his cake and to eat it too. His time has come & gone and I can't wait till 09 when we can vote him out.


dwahzner 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey guys, What most of you don't know is that Dale had this position thrown at him at the last minute, after Donna walked out of the board room. This was not by Dale's own choice. I believe that if your employee's are willing to step up to the plate and go above and beyond the call of regular duty for the company, compensation is required to show that gratuity! Some would argue that it's their job to go above and beyond is a condition to stay employed! I am a firm believer that leading by example is the way to model work ethics and integrity among employees. If administration can receive a bonus for such actions of employment heroism, then shall it's employee's receive the same! Doe's are school district model the same behavior of our children when it comes to who get's what in the monetary department? Sometimes I think so! Money and politics. The squeaky wheel get's the oil!


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