Today parents and community members were emailed the latest "Community Connections," D181's Newsletter. It included the following announcement:
"Administrator News from the Director of Communications: Director of Communications Bridgett McGuiggan has announced that she will be leaving the district, with her last day in D181 being February 2, 2018, pending the Board's approval of her resignation as part of the Personnel Agenda at the January 29, 2018 Board meeting. Please watch for a statement following the Board Meeting regarding Ms. McGuiggan's future plans and information on how the vacancy will be addressed."
We have decided to weigh in on how the Board should fill this vacancy. IT SHOULD NOT!
With a confirmed $1.5 million budget deficit, that could potentially be $500,000 larger due to the new HMS budget not including line items for needed technology and to move the District Wide Technology Hub to the new HMS, the district can ill afford a Director of Communications.
Let us remind our readers that Ms. McGuiggan's current annual BASE salary is $96,370 (excluding insurance and retirement benefits). Source: 4/17/17 Personnel Agenda. The district website has not posted the 2017-2018 comprehensive Salary and Benefits report, so we cannot report what her current total compensation package is. However, the district website has posted the 2016-2017 Salary and Benefits report which shows her BASE salary as $92,663, and insurance and retirement benefits as $21,631 for a total compensation package (excluding the "value" of 20 sick days and 20 vacations days (over and above national holidays off) of $114,294. (Source: https://www.d181.org/uploaded/Departments/Business_and_Operations/Financial_Reports/Salaries_Benefits/Salary_Benefit_Report_2016-17.pdf)
Assuming her insurance and retirement benefits have not gone down this year, her current compensation package is worth AT LEAST $118,001.
That's right, $118,001!
When Ms. McGuiggan was hired on February 27, 2012, her base salary was $82,500. (Source: 2/27/2012 Personnel Agenda. This means that in 5 years, her base salary increased by $13,870, on average, more than 3.4% per year.
It seems to us that now that the HMS referendum has been approved and the district's taxpayers are no longer getting bombarded with fliers and mailings marketing the bait and switch project, there is really no reason to employ such a highly compensated Director of Communications. The Board of Education is about to be tasked with approving over $1.5 million in BUDGET CUTS. The decisions on what to cut will be tough. The Board should now ask what exactly Ms. McGuiggan's current job responsibilities include that cannot be performed by other existing administrators, assistants to administrators and administrative secretaries?
In our opinion, at a minimum, the BOE should make the short term decision to NOT FILL THIS VACANCY and then further explore the real need for a Director of Communications with whoever is hired as the new Superintendent.
Once the new superintendent is hired, he or she must work with the Board to eliminate the $1.5 million plus budget deficit. As parents, former D181 parents and district taxpayers, our expectation is that not one penny should be cut that will have a direct impact on our students UNLESS that cut is absolutely needed to balance the deficit and NO OTHER CUTS are available. We expect that whoever the Board hires as the next superintendent will not only agree with us, but will find a creative way to COMMUNICATE with parents and taxpayers WITHOUT employing a Director of Communications!
Eliminating $118,001 from the deficit by not hiring a new director of communications is a NO BRAINER!
Now the only question is whether the 7 seven board members (or at least 4 of them) will use their very intelligent brains and come to this same conclusion!
STAY TUNED AND SOUND OFF!