April 18, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
48°F

UPDATED: Medina superintendent put on paid leave, Stepp responds

UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Medina Schools Superintendent Randy Stepp responded to the board’s decision to put him on paid administrative leave with an email to the news media. To read Stepp’s email, click here.


MEDINA — Medina Schools Superintendent Randy Stepp was placed on paid administrative leave Monday morning pending completion of an investigation into his use of district money held in a “carryover” fund at the Medina County Schools’ Educational Services Center.

The announcement comes three days after the school board asked state Auditor Dave Yost to conduct an audit of the fund, which has been used to pay more than a quarter-million dollars for Stepp’s college education costs and travel expenses.

Randy Stepp

Stepp’s contract obligates the board to pay the cost of his old college degrees and a master of business administration degree he received last year from Case Western Reserve University. But board members said they did not know how big a bill Stepp had run up.

“I want to stress that this leave is being taken as part of a standard investigatory procedure,” board President Karla Robinson said at a press conference Monday. “It is not a disciplinary action; it is not an adverse employment action or a finding of wrongdoing on his part.”

Robinson said Stepp has been ordered to turn in his keys to school buildings, swipe cards, district credit cards and other district-owned property.

“We have also instructed Dr. Stepp to not be on district property or report to the district office, unless granted special permission by the board, except for transporting his children to and from school,” she said. “He cannot use any school-controlled use of communications or communicate in any manner whatsoever with employees of the district while on leave unless he has prior permission from the board or has been instructed to do so by the board.”

She said Stepp also has been asked to refrain from professional development or board-paid travel during the leave.

Robinson said the board had not requested Stepp’s resignation, saying that would be premature.

“We will have to see where the investigation takes us,” she said.

At today’s board meeting, Robinson said the board plans to discuss appointing an interim superintendent.

Robinson said the board decided last week to place Stepp on leave, but said school policy required Stepp be notified in person. He was with his family on spring break in Florida last week and returned to work Monday morning.

Robinson said she requested the audit and placed Stepp on leave under her authority as board president. She said the full board would take a vote on the actions at a meeting tonight.

She said Stepp left the building without incident Monday after he was notified.

Stepp responded to being placed on leave by sending out a mass email from his personal account to area news media and district parents minutes before the start of the 2 p.m. press conference.

“I feel the time has come to set the record straight and address the growing number of inaccuracies surrounding my contract and its provisions, which have always been unanimously approved by the board,” Stepp said in the four-page email.

Stepp said the board was aware he was paying for his educational expenses out of the district’s carryover fund held by the Educational Service Center.
Between 2010 and 2012, Stepp authorized $94,000 in payments to Case Western Reserve.

In January 2012, he directed the Educational Service Center treasurer to cut a check for $172,000 to the U.S. Department of Education to pay off his three federal college loans for his other degrees.

He earned a bachelor’s in education in 1993, a master’s in education in 1998 and a doctorate in 2010 — all from Ashland University.

Stepp said Susan Vlcek, who served as board president in 2011, was aware of the changes in his 2011 contract that obligated the district to pay for his student loans.

“I also provided her an approximation as to the amount to be covered,” he said in his email.

Stepp also said Vlcek and the school district’s human resources director and legal counsel, Jim Shields, knew the payments would come from the carryover funds.
“I clearly indicated to Mrs. Vlcek and Mr. Shields that I intended to use funds from the ESC to cover the costs associated with my past education,” he said.
Shields declined to comment. Vlceck is out of town and could not be reached Monday.

Board members have acknowledged knowing Stepp’s tuition at Case was being paid by the district, but in a March 22 statement, said, “The board was not aware of the extent of the reimbursement or that it applied to all degrees.”

Stepp’s email does not address the question of his travel expenses, which also were paid from the ESC carryover fund.

On Wednesday, The Gazette reported Stepp had taken his wife and three adolescent daughters with him to a 2008 National School Boards Association conference in Orlando, Fla. Records show he was reimbursed $4,782.89, including two nights at a luxury hotel after the four-day conference ended.

John Leatherman, president of the Medina City Teachers Association, representing the district’s more than 400 teachers, speculated that The Gazette story about the Orlando trip may have prompted the board to request the special audit.

Leatherman said many teachers were upset after reading the story Wednesday and he urged the teachers to reach out to the school board.

“They continued to see more and more articles, and certainly the Florida trip — it really stressed them out, and they were wondering if the board was going to do something,” he said. “I guess the board decided there were enough issues that an investigation needed to be done.

“I do think this is going to be a start to the healing process.”

Robinson said the board began discussing the need for an audit during a closed, executive session March 27. Only four board members attended that meeting because board President Charles Freeman resigned March 26 amid the growing controversy surrounding Stepp’s contracts and compensation.

On Monday, Robinson said the school board didn’t know the full cost of Stepp’s education until March 6 — after the teachers’ union made a public records request.

The union became interested in Stepp’s fringe benefits after learning in February that the board approved a new contract for Stepp during a work session on Jan. 7 that included an $83,000 signing bonus.

On March 7, the union announced the teachers had taken a “no confidence” vote in both Stepp and the school board.

Robinson said the board’s review of Stepp’s spending over the past few weeks was not a formal investigation, but did prompt it to move forward in requesting help from state Auditor Yost.

Robinson did not rule out a broader investigation.

“That will probably expand in scope once we begin to find out more information,” she said.

The board is scheduled to meet with representatives from Yost’s office this morning to finalize the scope for the state audit.

Robinson said the board will request the auditor to look back 10 years through district payments made using the ESC carryover fund. State law requires the ESC to keep specific invoices for 10 years.

“The problem has been there have not been enough checks and balances for that account,” Robinson said. She said the district is implementing procedures to create greater oversight and has asked the state to review the board’s proposed procedures as part of the audit.

The state has projected the audit will be completed by the end of May. Robinson said Stepp will remain on leave at least until then.

That means Stepp likely will be on leave when voters head to the polls to decide the district’s 5.9-mill levy on the May 7 primary ballot.

Residents and students said the continuing public outcry over Stepp’s compensation has all but ended hope of voter approval of the tax.
The Medina district has failed in the last five levy tries.

Andrew Shea, a junior at Medina High School who serves as a student representative to the school board, said asking for the audit was the right move, but he fears the levy is headed for defeat.

“There’s still a need for the levy. That part hasn’t changed,” he said.

Heather Davis, 35, a Medina resident with a 15-year-old daughter in the district, attended Monday’s press conference.

She called the audit and putting Stepp on administrative leave “a starting point.” But she said she would not vote for the levy.

“I can’t in good conscience support until I know that it will be spent responsibly.”

John Finley, who also attended Monday’s press conference, agreed.

“I feel like we still have a long way to go,” he said. “It’s sad it’s come to this.”

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

  • Fedup

    I have a question teacher, what is the difference between paid administration leave and vacation ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=618610984 Angie Kovacs

    the connotation. It’s a start.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dctoph Christopher Kovacs

    I bet they wish they had an assistant superintendent.

  • OF81

    I understand this is procedure- but it seems to me this guy has been on “paid leave” quite a lot (ie:- the vacation days that were vacation days that he never claimed as such.

  • Ron Smith

    It is a start…3 more to go….

  • CarolinaGirl22

    To have this criminal on paid administrative leave is nothing short of disgrace. He has been fattening his bank account long enough at our children’s expense. Why simply not ask for his resignation? Not only has he been shown as an expert liar, but he continues to behave as a top notch thief as well. Do the district, the families, the schools, and most of all; the CHILDREN, a favor and call for his immediate resignation. He has done enough damage to a once respectable district and in no way deserves further compensation for that damage.

  • OLDNAVYVET

    “Thief”

  • Stepp and the board must go

    This crook better bring his check book with him to repay over $300,000 he stole from the taxpayers, and students from this District. It should be unpaid leave, and if no wrongdoing is found (which I doubt), then itcan be paid. Vlcek, Grenfell, Robinson should follow with unpaid leave. They are just as much to blame, and have also stolen from the students. Vote no for any levy by this Board!

  • mommy

    The community is mad now? wait until the levy fails and all our kids school hours are cut by 2 hours! What will the community feel when teenagers and little kids are out on the streets at 1 p.m. because there is no money!

  • They are crooks

    Just got done reading Randy’s response to the media, and once again, these idiots can not keep their story straight. Randy said in his response that he informed the Board, namely that lire Vlcek how much he owed for his education, and the Board and Vlcek have said they did not know how much it was. You all look like fools trying to cover for each other, and all need to resign. Didn’t that $20,000 of the taxpayers money you just spent on that public relations firm inform you to tell the public the truth. Just another great message to send to our kids. You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

  • Medina Working Stiff

    A wise man once said, when someone is about to get the “backside” kicked, they start to talk a lot. is doing a lot of talking now and he`s throwing anyone and everyone under the train that is about to hit him. What gets me is this guy, , still continues to claim he did nothing wrong. It`s not all that difficult to understand why cannot pay the entire $83,000 “retention” bonus back in one lump sum. nnnHopefully, the good people will see him ( ) along with past and present board members and treasurer`s Hudson and Gordon in orange Lucasville inmate jump suits.

  • Medina Working Stiff

    Don`t forget about the previous board members Dolan, Wilder, Freeman, and Ebner along with equally complicit treasurer`s Jim Hudson and Wallace Gordon. nnnThese people simply cannot leave without being legally punished in some form.

  • Medina Working Stiff

    Hey mommy……………why in the world should anyone in their right mind give these criminals any more of their hard earned dollars? In typical fashion, these clowns mismanage the public`s tax dollars and then make their bosses, i.e.: the students, parents, and community at large, the ones who pay dearly for their own ineptitude. Nice. nnIt looks like you bought into King Randy`s and his minions lies.

  • Medina Working Stiff

    Stepp continues to blame others for his actions. Now I`m expecting the board to blame him. Each and every one of them have betrayed the good people of Medina.

  • Medina Working Stiff

    The board would have paid the assistant over $200,000 of taxpayer money. Thankfully, that is not the case.

  • Mommy

    No, I have not “bought into” whatever you “think” is being sold! I am just worried about the children’s education. The kids suffer from all of this. You are not burning Randy or the board when you vote down the levy. They just make cuts and hurt the kids. Now with all this uproar, the levy funds will go back to our education programs because the public finally has a watchful eye! Our kids are suffering and are not getting the education they deserve.

  • get real folks

    Typical sour grapes here folks are upset it is not them making this money. The district seems successful graduation rates are doing well the contract was approved by two lawyers and the board unanamously this guy is guilty of being a good negotiator that is all. My money says he cuts bait and is hired somewhere else making as much or more than he is now. Besides getting a good contract what did he do wrong??? Why dont some of you get off your buts go to school get a masters degree then you can make this kind of money… And reimburement for education is nothing new ask your local police or fire department how much they pay to reimburse education… Here is a news flash folks no one will want to come to work for your dishonest school district why would they when they dont honor a legal approved by a lawyer contract, when the parents are about nuts, and when the unions are smelling blood in the water and “care” only because they might get another pay raise in their contract now… So Medina City go over to Black River and look at them as it is your futyure now you will get a superintendant but he / or she will be the only one who would take the job. They will be there for 3 year contract use you and your kids as a stepping stone and then off to another district who will cough up the cash. Your school board will be of members who want a bit of power and not dedicated as the smart ones will never run for that office after they have seen what you insane and seeming jealouse he has a good pay check you dont. So get ready for your kids education to go down hill, your disricts quality of employees to fall. If you want quality you pay for it you would think you Cleveland sports team fans would realize champion teams are built with cash and the same goes for great industries and make no mistake education is an industry. Lets make this easy issue vouchers to all the parents in the district and lets send them all to private schools those teachers do a good job but make way less than your public buddies and the same goes to the administration but wait we cant do that the unions will freak so what is it you want cheaper as in private vouchers or you want more money in up front costs like all public districts require. I do not know why but public administrators cost more it is the market so you get what you pay for. And lastly is three or 4 years when Medina City Schools District is subpar and out of cash all the nay sayers here will be whining about the children and their terrible education they are now getting…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=618610984 Angie Kovacs

    Haha. You funny.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=618610984 Angie Kovacs

    Even if they did dismiss school at 1pm, none of my kids would be ‘out on the streets’. I’d pick them up and bring them home.

  • concerned

    hey get real folks, is your name Stepp by any chance or have you done this also to a community–us middle class are trying to stay afloat, we dont need anyone stealing our money

  • maggie

    I’ve been reading up on this and to be honest, it appears he made an outrageous contract proposal and they agreed to it rather than have him leave. It is the school board, lawyers and administrators etc who are to blame for giving him the darn thing to begin with and how they paid him. Now they are spinning their wheels trying to avoid taking the blame. He didn’t steal anything, although I can’t believe the nerve he had to request past education expenses, but the fools handed it over on a silver platter. .

  • http://www.facebook.com/dctoph Christopher Kovacs

    I assume that an assistant would be paid less than the superintendent; however, I feel that having someone else responsible for what is happening in our district and ready to take over is worth the money. Every organization I’ve worked for or with understands that key players need backup, and not having backup for Dr. Stepp is irresponsible. Additionally, having one more smart person watching the store might not be a bad thing, given what we just went through and are still paying for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dctoph Christopher Kovacs

    Which two lawyers approved the contract? It seems whoever posted this has inside information that was not released to the public.

  • ohioguy10

    Wow! You are either related or blind to reality. The boardndid screw up. They did a very poor job in representing the community as theynshould. The three left should leave in shame as well. Randy took advantage of ansituation that people of high integrity would not do. He is hurting kids andnthe community will get torn apart from this he said, she said. I think there isnenough blame to go around. They all need to go. If the kids are the important partnof this than do not make it worse for them. This goes to Stepp and the boardnmembers. You were all an embarrassment and continue to be one. Be honorable,nleave now. Medina is the worse run district in the county. That is notnsomething to be proud of. All of them need to leave now so the rebuilding cannstart.

  • BereaBrave

    I would think the cookie jar was raided prior to Jim Hudson’s reign also. He needs to dime out what he knows. Too young to have these chuckleheads destroy his career.

  • Ohioguy10

    Based on He-Who-Must-Not-Be u2013Namedu2019s letter, in which hendoes bring throwing people under the bus to a whole new level, the board approvednthis outrageous contract on the first day they saw it? Being written up by thenperson receiving the contract? Without legal to look it over! There was an article in the post last week about anotherncounty school district approving new contracts and the article stated they hadntaken months to complete and they had taken some advice from the State of Ohio.nCan we get them to run our schools? Medinau2019s board has no business sense or commonnsense for that matter! Please leave so the school can re-build trust and start fresh!

  • BereaBrave

    Actually, I don’t want to see any more money spent. Randy can just sit in his office for the next 5 years and I would be fine with that. No more field trips, no more education, no more seminars… THAT IN ITSELF would probably make up the money these idiots gave him. The Ohio Ethics Committee needs to handle the Board and the Treasurer. They have broke multiple state laws. Having the BOE instructing the scope of the auditor’s investigation is like having the fox guarding the hen house.

  • steepp down

    Legal or not, out in the open or not, approved by the board or not, the bottom line is it’s greedy and WRONG to take that amount of money for “staff development including myself” in these times, in this school district, where there are no buses to the high school (impacting some parents ability to work at all), where teachers have been cut, where there are more cuts to come. Medina superintendent is a public service job, to be held by a person who puts the education of children above all else, who is satisfied with a fair wage, who repays his own loans, who makes sacrifices along with his students, parents, and teachers. In his letter, he admits everything, and even if he does not go to jail, or have to repay, the problem is that it was wrong and he just doesn’t get it at all. Blaming the idiots on the board does not change the facts that his monetary demands and payments were wrong, wrong, wrong.

  • Medina Working Stiff

    The board and have proven to be abysmal failures and to cover their failings, they make the students, parents and taxpayers pay the price for their ineptitude. Since when does this group of incompetents fail their bosses, the good people of Medina, cut services if their demands for more money are not met? nnIf Medina`s residents actually approve the levy in May without any current board member or himself out of power / office, then these people will have the last laugh on all of us. Commit all of these despicable and heinous acts, have the community then give them more of their money will embolden them into doing whatever they feel is best for their own personal interests. nnThey have violated the public trust and should not be rewarded in any way shape or form. Thank goodness your views are in the minority on this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorri.ritter Lorri Ann Ritter

    Now he’s starting to feel that he is in real trouble…HA! A suspension with pay….what a joke! He should be placed on suspension without pay with every cent of what he would be collecting going toward payment on what he owes! He wants to throw all his friends on the board under the bus now that he’s feeling pressured……& take his buddy Jim Shields with them…..they should all resign! What happens when his employees make a mistake….suspension without pay…..he wants to blame everyone else for his greediness. He knew with the financial state this school system is in that what he did was wrong but he did it anyway to fatten his bank acccount! He’s just sorry now that he got caught!

  • Mad

    And everyone was so worried about Mike Butts and youth football, this guy wastes hundreds of thousands of dollars, money to pay off his student loans, money to take his kids and wife with him on conferences! Where are the ethics of people we are supposed to trust these days. Who OK’s $174,000 to pay off his student loans. Get these clowns off the school board and put some teachers on it, people who actually are in the classroom, people who have first hand knowledge about how a school is supposed to be run, people who teach our kids as a full time job, not people who have other professions and dont even send their kids to school in Medina.

  • Buffalo

    Um, “get real folks” – did YOU graduate? Maybe you’re bitter because your grammar and spelling are on par with that of a second-grader. If you actually do have kids, maybe you should let the teachers (and not the administrators, whom you seem to absolutely adore) educate them instead of you.

  • Terry Massey

    LET US NOT FORGET ALL THIS,,,,WHEN IT COMES TO LEVY TIME !

  • Terry Massey

    oh yea….is that PAID leave ?nnnmaybe he has time for another trip to Florida….on us of course.nnnat least the B.O.E. is making a ” stepp” in the right direction

  • nmason

    It’s the board members that are to blame here. They are supposed to be making the decisions and using judgment that represent the interests of the community and the voters that elected them. Approving expenses and contracts in this manner without market comparisons, without oversight and without follow up is negligent. They failed to act in the manner in which they were elected and entrusted to. They should be repaying money. I can’t so much blame Stepp, his school district is performing and he is cutting costs. His employer asks him what it will take to keep him and he asks for what he does. Shame on the board for approving it. Every remaining board member needs to resign.

  • An interrested citizen

    There are several issues. Stepp seems to have taken advantage of an ill informed board. The ESC apparently is a non regulated pool of money . If the board was not aware of Doctor Stepp educational payments there is a huge problem of secret information.. Does the ESC not have an open agenda? Are they not subject to open meeting laws ? If the board was aware of the educational payments then they should suffer the current public ridicule . As we have observed many corporate boards have been negligent in performing their duties. Part, if not all of the problem resides in the source of information presented to the Board. I intend to vote for the levy,, our children got a wonderful educations some ten plus years ago, It is my hope today”s students can receive the same.

  • Ethicslady

    A PhD AND an MBA and still haven’t learned ETHICS in public service?!?nApparently untrainable … which explains the constant need for further professional development.nnOf course incentivizing yourself like a Top-10 Harvard grad being courted by Wall Street wasn’t “Procedurally” wrong, but Financially, Morally, and Ethically. Any child in your Public School District could have told you that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=618610984 Angie Kovacs

    That levy money never was going to the kids.

  • Richard

    Get over it hurting students. Levy must not pass until these crooks are all out of office. Everyone must vote no only until this happens!!!! What you think it is doing to tax payers.

  • http://twitter.com/Mielegirl Mielegirl

    Because they need to do the audit and hopefully find something that they can fire him for.

  • http://twitter.com/Mielegirl Mielegirl

    So, your answer is to vote for the levy anyway? When the BOE and administrators have proven that they don’t know how to handle public funds? Right.

  • http://www.beyondschoolwalls.com/ Travis Scott

    I think a question we must pose is why did he have $172,000 in student loans? This appears to be fiscally irresponsible to me. How can a man take care of a school district when he is unable to take care of his household finances?

  • snooglebuff

    Although your writing skills are less than perfect “get real folks”, I agree with your general analysis and conclusion. Does anybody on here know what the average compensation package is for Superintendents across Ohio at similarly sized school districtss? Seems like if we are concerned that the man is overpaid the logical first step might be to compare his compensation package to his peers. If he is overpaid, which i do not know because i have not seen the data, we should be challenging the Board that approved the compensation package, not the man that legitimately negotiated the terms in good faith.

  • lookingallaroundme

    Randy’s salary is about what it should be if compared to other superintendents of similar sized schools. The problem is the fringe benefits. ALL SUPERINTENDENTS get these fringe benefits that add on to the pay after the salary. Randy just slurped at the trough too long. If you took the time to request public records from other districts and asked for all salary, benefits and addenda that contribute to total compensation, you would find that each super makes a salary plus an additional 40 or 50 k in fringe. Randy makes way more that this 50k chump change. Just ask the treasurers–but wait, they get many of the same fringe benefits too.

  • MHS Parent

    What don’t people see here? Mr. Stepp’s job is not a private entity. He works for each and every tax payer in the City of Medina. If he worked for a private company his salary would not be public knowledge, but he doesn’t work for a private company. He works for you, me and most of all for our children. Knowing some of the challenges the district has faced, I cannot believe he ask for more money! I can’t believe the BOE thought it was a good idea to give him more money!nnThe teachers, the administrative staff and our children have all done with less, but not Mr. Stepp. In fact, he continues to receive more and more. Besides his salary, benefits, perks (car allowance), continuing education and training, he felt it was acceptable to take additional reimbursements for his previous education. And now we might owe the taxes on the gift of educational expenses. Of course, he says this is all “above board” because it was part of his contract. I just don’t see how someone who knows how bad things truly are continues to take so much for himself. nnIt’s greed. It’s entitlement. It’s whatever you want to call it. – I just know it’s wrong.nnMr. Stepp, my family and I have faced hard financial times over the past 5 years. We continue to support the community, our children and their interests. We work 50 weeks per year, our 2 weeks of vacation are typically taken to do things with the kids here in the city, to volunteer at a school program or a sporting event. We don’t take vacations at hotels that cost $550.00 per night. You are certainly disconnected and not in touch with the common family of Medina. nnI think the families of Medina need to clean house. The remainder of the BOE needs to go. You are all volunteers who choose to represent Medina’s educational system, granted you receive a small stipen of $125.00 per meeting that you attend, but in general this is a volunteer position, you serve at the request and approval of the tax payers. As with many volunteer positions, these are thankless positions. Please allow me to thank you for your service and then ask you to please ‘Stepp’ aside. There are many qualified individuals who recently came forward to fill the two options positions. Many of these people are just common individuals, regular working folk, not those with MBA’s, Phd’s or doctorates. These are individuals who know what it is to make ends meet, what it feels like to have to choose between paying the electric bill or dining out. We need people with common sense in the positions. People who will take the time to read the documents provided, not just “rubber stamp” them because someone else read them. We need people who will ask questions and be the watch dog to ensure the schools are doing everything they should be doing for our children. This is where you, current BOE members, have failed the community of Medina. nLet’s deal with this and get things cleaned up. It’s terrible to turn on the radio each morning as I’m driving to work only to hear Medina being reported in the news or to have radio conversations revolve around all of the problems in Medina. There are daily headlines about some new secret that has come to light or an email from the Mr. Stepp defending himself and lining up each member of the current and former BOE as he drives the “it’s not my fault” steam roller over them. There are lots of people to blame and much fault to spread around, let’s be adults and show the children of Medina how responsible adults take responsibility for their mistakes.

  • no-moral-compass

    Humm, the ‘I asked for the sky and they gave it to me’ is not a defense. I actually wanted to believe that you had higher standards and ethics, but your reply proves otherwise. If you consider yourself a true community leader/public servant, then all your actions must set the right example to the community and the students. Your actions demonstrate not a public servant, a well-paid one no matter how you cut it, but someone who in the end does not care about the financial health of the district but how they can grab as much $ as possible. You did notnpropose a ‘responsible’ contract offer, you went too far, own up to it and donu2019t blame a incompetent school board.

  • Common Sense

    Let’s fast forward this a couple of weeks, shall we? First, the levy will go down. And go down big. Then, to save face, the school board will ask good ‘ole Randy to step down. Has anyone seen what that will cost us? I’m sure a bunch. Then, he will take “our” education and go elsewhere and we will have nothing to show for it, while he is laughing all the way to the bank. Then, we will have to go and get another super, so we can have two on the payroll. Meanwhile, the school board will tell us how broke they are and in turn will take it out on the kids. And, because each and everyone of them are too egotistical to admit making a mistake, we will have to put up with them until we can vote them out of office. What a mess. Nice going guys. Way to set this community back 10 years. All because YOU where too lazy to do YOUR jobs in the first place.

  • lookingallaroundme

    You could share superintendents with Cloverleaf! Take ours–please.

  • Thomas Prebis

    What aren’t you people getting here? Mr. Stepp DID NOT “have the nerve to ask for more money;” YOUR SCHOOL BOARD offered as much, and Superintendent Stepp, doubtless thinking as if he had won the lottery, merely ACCEPTED the school boards’ standing offer!!! If anything, you should be directing your ire at the Medina City School Board which YOU ELECTED!!

  • Theft In Office

    Just how did taxpayer money end up in some other fund, and just how stupid must we be to not realize that this is outright theft? Stepp should be on immediate unpaid leave. These outrageous costs are probably just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Newguy

    I have read all of the articles and comments on this issue. While I would agree it was stupid for Stepp to accept a new contract/ bonus/etc. with the current state of the schools. I do not see anything illegal. He seems to have abided by his contracts and followed protocol. I don’t think it was smart or ethically right to accept money in such a dire situation, but it is not legally stealing or theft. It is just stupidity and unfortunately stupidity is not a criminal offense. nnAlso, I do not see any criminal offenses committed by the board, but their stupidity can fixed, vote them out of office. Unfortunately Stepp has a contract I believe for 5 more years, so unless he leaves I think we are stuck with him. nnI say lets find board members who will do what is best for medina and our students. It is the board that runs a district, the super has no power without the board. If we had a board who shot down all of Stepp’s initiatives he may look to leave, but even if he doesn’t at least we would have people looking out for kids making decisions.nLike I said I do not agree with Stepp’s decisions or the boards proposals but I think we may have to live with it and find another way to restore Medina City Schools.

  • WisemanSi

    I could not agree more. Superentendent is a paid hired job. He has every right to negotiate a contract. It is the boards fiscal responsibility to approve/ deny/ rattify. He followed past practice and school protocol. The board is the ones who approve/ deny. The super just recomends… People need to get off of Stepp and realize he does not have the final say in decisions for the school only the board does. They could tell him no anytime…

  • wisemansi

    Not theft, as long as the board approves alloting funds to other entities that is their job.

  • WMS

    Blaming the board is who we should be blaming. The board makes decisions. The board has to vote for everything Stepp recomends. The public hires/ votes the board and they approve/ deny recomnedations from Stepp. The super has NO power without the board approving his recomendations. The board needs to go, Stepp works FOR the board. If they give him bonuses and raises he is entitled to accept them. Get rid of the board, they are the problem not Stepp.

  • http://www.facebook.com/traci.rydbommonroe Traci Rydbom Monroe

    HE took the contract to the board NOT the other way around, no one was watching out for the taxpayers.

  • new guy

    agreed…

  • Theft In Office

    You assume there are proper checks and balances in the system, and that Stepp merely manipulated them for his own benefit. If so, he is ethically bankrupt. However, it is even more likely that there were little or no checks and balances, and so Stepp went crazy with spending for his own benefit, and then covers this by claiming board approval, etc. The Board has already said they didn’t know what he was doing and for how much, so how can you claim they approved everything? Stop believing Stepp – he is not trustworthy!

  • Tom Prebis

    Richard, sir: “get over it hurting students?” REALLY??? Superintendent Stepp & the school board DIDN’T do anything illegal, so on what basis are you calling Randy & the board “crooks,” sir? Vote YES on the Levy, everyone!!!

  • Tom Prebis

    Angie, perhaps YOU enjoy the freedom to be able to do just that, ma’am, “pick up your kids & bring them home.” However, what about the vast majority of households who have TWO working parents? Who DO NOT enjoy the flexibility to be able to “pick up [their] kids & bring them home,” ma’am?

  • si

    What did he do that was wrong? What is it you think he got “Caught” doing?