Parsippany Reduces Allotted Salary for Seitz After County Superintendent Fails To Approve Budget
Salary slashed to about $205K for next year.
After County Superintendent Kathleen Serafino withheld approval of the Parsippany School District budget on Monday, Board President Anthony Mancuso reduced the line item amount of School Superintendent LeRoy Seitz's salary, according to school board member Andrew Choffo.
The line item was reduced from $216,000 to about $205,000 according to Choffo, who didn't have the exact figure offhand.
But he said that Seitz's contract still stands and his actual salary would be unchanged. The line item only reflects the amount of money budgeted to pay Seitz next year. By the time the money is spent down, Choffo said the board expects to have heard a decision from the state appellate court on the validity of Seitz's contract.
Choffo declined to comment on what might happen if the state decides against the BOE.
He called the alterations submitted to Serafino "a compromise."
Last month, Serafino threatened to reject the budget unless the board rescinded Seitz's contract, which pays $216,000 this year and would pay about $234,000 in 2015. But under a statewide salary cap, administrators in districts the size of Parsippany cannot make more than a base rate of $175,000.
Under the proposed budget, Seitz would receive the $5,000 allotted by the state for districts with two high schools and a 15 percent merit increase, Choffo said.
Board member Robert Crawford said he didn't think the terms of the new budget met Serafino's requirements.
"Dr. Serafino instructed the board to take certain actions in terms of bringing the superintendent's salary in compliance with the law," he said.
According to Crawford, Mancuso's response letter was writte in a "combative, arrogant" tone and he didn't consult the full board before sending it.
"Once again, the board president has taken a unilateral action in response to Serafino," he said.
Mancuso could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Crawford questioned whether Seitz was deserving of a 15 percent merit pay increase, saying the board never reached a consensus on what would constitute exceptional performance and whether Seitz met those standards.
Crawford said he was requesting an "emergency meeting" to discuss the budget.
"I think we should meet as soon as possible," he said.