In what one senior school board member called a “very easy process”, the Manchester School Board gave Keith Brewer the obvious nod as its next schools superintendent.
It also gave him nearly 30 more money than outgoing schools director Prater Powell. Brewer also was the only candidate the board sought for a job that will pay him $120,000 with benefits. A $5,000 in state travel expense stipend was added to the base offer of $115,000.
The 4 to 1 vote was an inevitable conclusion to a push made by school board chairman Susan Wood and longstanding member John Mayberry. Brewer, who has been negotiating contracts for the school systems since leaving the Department of Education two years ago, apparently will have a hand in negotiating future “performance bonuses”.
The lone dissenting vote made by Mike Lewis was brushed over in the process that focused squarely on bring back Brewer to the position he once held before bolting to a job as the number two man at the State Department of Education in 2003.
“Mike, you’re new to this, I know, but this is a hard process,” Mayberry said of picking a schools director for Manchester’s three schools. “Let’s make this easy, Mike.”
Let’s make this easy, Mike
Brewer was quick to sell his skills: “I’m just saying, I’m going to do a good job for that price. I can get another job in superintendency, but I’d have to leave here [Manchester].”
Brewer’s wife, Anita Brewer, is an administrator in the system, but will step down when her husband takes the director’s job. Keith Brewer’s contract stipulates that the board must approve her for any future hire.
His base salary of $115,000 for four years was apparently a minimum amount for Brewer to take the job. “If you don’t want to pay that much, then I shouldn’t be here.
“I’ve got to come back to with something that’s going to be a long-term benefit to my retirement.”
In passing the package for Brewer, only Lewis and Lisa Gregory seemed to question the cost.
“In my opinion, this [base salary] is high,” said Gregory, who voted for Brewer’s compensation.
Coffee County Schools Director LaDonna McFall makes a base salary of $108,000 handling bus transportation for over 4,700 children, 700+ employees and six more schools than Manchester’s education system. Her salary trumped that of former county schools director Kenny Casteel who was not offered a new contract last year.
When asked for his reaction, Manchester alderman Ryan French said, “I hope they [the school board] can make it work inside the budget they have.”