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Letter: School District Should Clean Its Act Up

And so the shenanigans at the Levittown School Board go on.  First, the board hires an individual, a history teacher, with no financial background as the assistant superintendent for business and then after two years of “mentoring,” at what cost we do not know, she is allowed to leave.  If the board of a publicly traded company the size of the Levittown School District, a $190,000, 000 budget, hired a chief financial officer (CFO), which is essentially what this position is, with no financial training or experience you can be quite sure the shareholders would revolt and the board and the CEO (school superintendent) would be seeking new employment.  Ah, but the taxpayers of Levittown sit back and take it and dig deeper into their already overtaxed pockets with each decision of the board.  People do not cry when a corporate CFO leaves because this person makes the hard financial decisions, hurts people but saves the corporation.  With the financial difficulties that face the taxpayers of Levittown and the district, we deserve someone who knows how to manage finances, who can find where the cost savings are and where the revenue opportunities lie.  Keep in mind, the superintendent blamed the fact that there are millions of dollars tied up in a sick day payout fund the district cannot touch on the mistake of a clerk in the finance office.  Is no one watching the candy store?  The prime candidate to fill the position is the “mentor”, Mr. Schissler, a retired “school administrator” who based on the tax rates and cost increases over the past two years has not shown he can do what is right for the Levittown taxpayer.  This is clearly not the individual needed to clean up the financial mess.

To top it all off, the soon to retire superintendent, Dr. Sirois, has thrown his hat into the ring to replace himself and the board is considering it.  According to Dr. Sirois he retired for two reasons, the pension system penalizes him after 30 years and members of the school board, the same school board that accepted his resignation and is now considering him to replace himself, “have a vendetta” against him (his words).  Keep in mind that the system that “penalizes” probably pays him more than 99 percent of [most of] the household incomes in the district, a district burdened with extremely high taxes that Dr. Sirois has not kept down nor is he burdened with.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a vendetta as “an often prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts or exchange of such acts.”  If we are to believe this was the reason for his resignation, what were those acts?  The letter of resignation has been clouded in the mystery of “personnel issues” that cannot be discussed but if Dr. Sirois is to be considered to replace himself, probably at a significant pay increase plus pension, we the taxpayers of the Levittown School District have a right to know what the details are that prompted the resignation and what is different now.  Why would Dr. Sirois want to stay in a place where there is a vendetta against him?  The school board is just as complicit in these affairs.  It has done the district a grave injustice by not beginning the search for a replacement once Dr. Sirois’ resignation was accepted.  Why is there no succession plan?  Are there no health teachers we can have Dr. Sirois mentor into the job over the next two years only to lose them to another district.

A key role of the school district is to teach children how to be leaders.  Let us hope ours learn nothing from this whole affair.

Tom Frye