July 1, 2016

Mostly clear

Brunswick Schools: Administrator salaries could be frozen

BRUNSWICK — Last month the Brunswick school board voted to freeze Superintendent Michael Mayell’s salary at $125,000.

This month, the board is set to vote on whether to freeze salaries of about 50 administrators and essential office personnel.

Mayell said he asked for the freeze — his fourth salary freeze since taking the job five years ago — because the district is facing a deficit by the end of the next school year.

“We’re hurting for money, we’re trying to find ways to cut funds, and I didn’t think it was appropriate to increase my salary while we’re trying to cut,” he said.

He said he will ask board members to freeze the salaries of 32 administrators and 18 essential office personnel at a meeting March 17.

“I’ve talked to both groups and they seem to understand the situation we’re in,” Mayell said.

He said he doesn’t expect employees to protest the freezes.

Overall, the savings of the salary freezes are estimated at less than $50,000 and only will make a small dent in the $3 million the district hopes to cut in next year’s budget.

“My goal is not to cut jobs but to save money so we don’t have a deficit at the end of fiscal year 2015.”

Mayell said the district plans for a deficit of between $2 million and $4 million under current spending. He said those deficits are predicted even if a 6.1-mill renewal levy passes in May.

“If we fail in May, we’re looking at a $6 million deficit,” he said.

This past year, the district cut about $4 million in expenditures and eliminated 20 jobs, but the cuts weren’t enough to convince voters to approve an emergency 4.9-mill levy in November.

Mayell said the district is focused right now on passing the renewal levy.

On Tuesday, he posted a message online to voters in the district promising to keep them up to date on any other proposed cuts as the district approaches the May renewal levy.

“We are hopeful that the pending cuts will have a minimal impact on the quality of education we provide, but we simply do not know,” he wrote.

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

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.