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Cheers and Jears

Posted on 15 August 2008

The Sag Harbor Board of Education gets a thumbs up and thumbs down this week.

First, the thumbs down. It was disturbing to learn that a former district employee of five years was replaced after they resigned specifically because what they were earning was not enough for them to live comfortably. We understand their resignation letter apparently made this fact clear to the board. The letter also said they felt like they were a member of a family and that they loved their job. The sticking point was the hourly wage they were earning, the rising cost of living and the current state of the economy.

It is sad when in a community as close knit as Sag Harbor the value of someone who knows just about every person who could walk through the elementary school doors, including our reporters, was allowed to slip away. And it’s even sadder that the same person would have to find out their replacement will be making the kind of money they not only deserved, but that would have enabled them to continue being a friendly face in the school district. 

On Monday this position was filled and apparently the new person will be making nearly twice the hourly wage of the other person. We were told that the new hire had taken a class that might have necessitated the pay raise. We have also been told the former employee would have loved to have been afforded the opportunity to do the same.

Now for the thumbs up. Cheers to the board for filling the newly created position of  athletic director/buildings and grounds director and the assistant principal position so quickly. But more importantly cheers for listening to the people who elected you. This was your opportunity to do the right thing and that’s what you chose to do. You included the right people in the search for the applicants. You had the applicants meet with teachers and administrators and you didn’t have an “angry mob” waiting for you on Monday. And the teachers association will most likely not be filing a grievance against you. Way to go.

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