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School board signs contract for superintendent search firm

Original post made on Dec 28, 2009

The Pleasanton school board has officially signed with the search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, Ltd. to help find a replacement for Superintendent John Casey, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 28, 2009, 5:44 AM

Comments (11)

Posted by Dixie
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Money that should go into the classroom. Obviously no Succession Plan in place. Isn't someone one on the Staff prepared to take over. I for one don't want the school district loaning money for a home and all the perks. No Sup "walks on water". I believe some teachers do however.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Loaning money for the purchase of a home is a useful incentive towards enticing a new superintendent to live in the community, but it should not be a no-interest loan given that the superintendent will probably make well over Pleasanton's median household income in salary.

Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Given the current status of the economy, the city of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton School District let us hope that the School Board has the backbone to keep the total cost (Salary,Pension,Retiree Medical and all other perks) substantially below the previous occupant of the post. I would say at least 15% below. We are in a bankrupt broken model and have to make big cuts. Get the best person you can get at the lower price. Let the superstars (Or those that think they are superstars) go elsewhere.

Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm

You get what you pay for. I don't think Pleasanton wants to get cheap now. We have worked hard to build one of the best school districts in the Bay Area, and it gives our town great pride. We need a supervisor who is up to the task.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

A reader wrote: "You get what you pay for."

True, but if you don't ask "Are you getting what you paid for?" periodically, you don't really get what you pay for.

Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:59 am

Dixie --

I am surprised, given all of the venom directed at Superintendent Casey over the last year, that you are able to distinguish between Casey and his staff.

I don't know all the assistant superintendents well enough to know whether any of them would consider the job, or would be viable candidates. If they are, they can apply like anyone else. If they match up to the best external candidates who apply, then they'll be considered in the second round.

Internal succession is fairly rare in school districts, I believe. I don't want Superintendent Casey to be able to hand-pick his successor. Protocol would dictate that he should not be involved in the process at all.

I think the search firm contract is a small investment that will yield a big return -- a fiscally responsible superintendent who can also focus on continuing to increase the quality education in Pleasanton.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 29, 2009 at 11:23 am

Sandy, Well said.

As to a salary, the finalist and the board have to get past the idea that the finalist's starting salary should be that of the person leaving (who just spent X years in the position growing that salary over their stay). And it has to balance against what the finalist already earns.

General practice is for the finalist to call other districts to get the contracts of the highest paid superintendents in the state and then try to negotiate the salary and perks based on what they find. I would hope there is a curb on the perks (car allowances for example) and that anyone involved in negotiations does not have a "me too" clause.

Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Someone posted "you get what you pay for".
We payed Casey a lot. What did we get?

Lost to signiture properties in court. Costing millions out of the capital improvement fund. Casey did not start the litigation but he could have guided PUSD away from appealing the initial loss in court.

The new gymnasiums at Foothill and Amador have been postponed due to lack of funds in the capital improvement budget (see lawsuit above).

The teachers are among the highest paid in the area. These contracts negotiated under Casey's tenure.

PUSD's bond rating has been slashed because of its weakened financial postiion (see teachers contracts above).

He presided over the $300,000 Measure G parcel tax debacle.

He got the board to vote for a sweetheart retirement package for his fellow administrators(Poor leadership and an embarrassment).

School Superintedent is a tough job and involves making difficult decisions. This superintedent did not distiguish himself.

Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Don't forget that the district had to go to the City to get a line of credit because the district does not think it will be able to make the payments on the certificate of participation (COP) loans. So they are using one credit card to make the payment of another. This is not a good situation to be in.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Let me cast my vote for hiring a PUTZ!

Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2009 at 5:32 pm

There are not a lot of people lining up for these jobs. Livermore and Fremont are also looking for superintendents this year!

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