The Zionsville Community Schools board is considering giving Superinentdent Scott Robison a 20-percent pay hike in a new three-year deal. And Monday night, July 8, residents had their say.
Zionsville residents spoke both for and against Robison’s potential new contract at Monday’s public hearing.
Some of those in favor of granting the increase cited Robison’s voluntary decision to decline raises in the past six years, which puts his salary much lower than others in the same size school system; his fiscal responsibility; his leadership; the strides made under his guidance; and his student-centric focus.
“We’re all pretty pleased at outcomes, no matter how you look at it ... the outcomes you can’t really argue with,” said board member Shari Alexander Richey. “We’ve been working on this as a board since January ... We didn’t take this lightly. These are our tax dollars, too. ...”
Richey said the increase would be about 2.56 percent per year when it’s taken into consideration Robison hasn’t accepted an increase since he was hired seven years ago.
The increase, if approved, would bring Robison’s salary to $160,000 — slightly above average — with additional compensation of $10,500 for extra duties. His current salary is just more than $130,000 — well below average of $156,000. The package includes a post-retirement fund and health stipend, incentive and performance pay, and an annuity. He would get 25 vacation days, four personal days, 15 sick days and 11 paid holidays.
“It’s not egregious,” Richey said of the proposed contract. “We think it’s very reasonable.”
On the flip side, others at the hearing believe the increase is excessive, saying people in other industries don’t get raises of that size. Some think the benefits package is too inclusive, telling the board the superintendent should have to pay the same amount for health insurance as teachers. Others questioned his expense account and cell phone and technology allowance.
“I think the raise is a little excessive,” said Zionsville resident Ron Mutzl, adding that the board has been fiscally responsible, but he thinks it would be fiscally irresponsible to approve such a sizable raise.
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for more on this story.