July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Brunswick Schools: Teachers, staff OK salary freezes

BRUNSWICK — For the fifth, straight year, Brunswick Schools administrators and central office support staff will take a pay freeze, saving the district about $50,000.

School board members voted unanimously Monday night to freeze the wages of 32 administrators and 18 office personnel for the 2014-15 school year.

The cuts include a freeze on step increases for both groups. Administrators, however, could increase their pay if they complete an advanced degree or if they are promoted to a higher-paid position.

The change is expected to pare about $50,000 from the budget as the district looks to pass a renewal levy and cut at least $2 million in expenditures.

“This group has been very supportive,” Superintendent Michael Mayell said. The group includes building administrators, districtwide administrators, central office employees and information technology staff.

“I want to say thank you to all the groups who are helping us to get through these difficult times,” board member Nancy Zelei said.

Mayell said the district projects a deficit of between $2 million and $4 million under current spending. He said a deficit is predicted even if a 6.1-mill renewal levy passes in May. If the renewal levy fails, the district would have to make deeper cuts.

At their meeting Monday, board members also voted to remove two underground petroleum tanks on school district property and approved a $36,924 contract with a Richfield company to remove the tanks.

The board passed the motion as an emergency measure and waived traditional bidding practices because the tanks do not meet code.

The district was ordered to replace the tanks by the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations, a division of the state fire marshal’s office.

“We were informed we need to remove them immediately,” Mayell said.

Mayell said the removal can start today now that a contract is in place. He said the tanks will be replaced with above-ground tanks so the district can continue to fuel its vehicles on-site.

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.