Park City Board Of Education Defends 30 Percent Increase To Superintendent Compensation Package

Jun 25, 2018

Credit KPCW Interview

The Park City Board of Education plans to spend about $1 million out of the $20 million capital account surplus to purchase a house for use by the incoming Superintendent.  Carolyn Murray has this:

Park City School Board President, Andrew Caplan says when they began the search process to replace Ember Conley, they did a tremendous amount of community outreach, meeting with about 150 stakeholders.  He says they decided early on they wanted to insure current and future superintendents would be able to live in the community.          

“You know, got a lot of feedback for what they’d like for a superintendent and what their expectations were and  one of the things that came back, you know there was in interest for the superintendent to live within our community. And that’s very similar to other branches of the municipal government, you know in the past, we’ve had situations where the superintendent didn’t live within the district and that hasn’t sat well with the community.  You know it’s shared interest with the community and the board, so it’s something we’ve been looking at for quite some time.”

Caplan says they followed the Open and Public Meeting requirements but in the cases of compensation and land acquisition, they had to take the issue into closed sessions.            

“Like when we are looking at acquiring property for future school use, which we are constantly doing, we are never going to get into details about what properties we are looking at,  how much money we are looking to spend, that’s something that takes place in closed session.  We have an open dialogue on capital expenditures, and release information once decisions are made on compensation but both compensation and property discussions do not take place in public.”

As previously reported, the base compensation for incoming Superintendent Jill Gildea is $235,000.00 a year. The complete package includes a Housing Benefit outlined in her contract.  She’ll receive $10,000.00 in relocation costs, a district vehicle, Professional Development expense coverage, health, dental and life insurance plans, technology supplies including a computer, cell phone and data plan and retirement contributions as outlined in the district benefits package. 

Gildea’s compensation package is a substantial increase over past base salaries paid to previous Park City Superintendents.  Caplan says this package is about 30% higher than what outgoing Superintendent Ember Conley was paid. But he says the community wanted this and the guidance they received from the recruiters led them to offer this package.        

“Puts her, I believe, tied for…in the top three or something like that for compensation for superintendents in the state of Utah.  It is roughly in line with other Mountain Town superintendent compensation packages and it’s also in line for compensation packages for top performing school districts around the country.  And again when we did the community outreach, one of the consistent pieces if feedback was Okay we want someon who’s great, someone who’s a leader and who can up our game to the next level and that who we went out and got.”

Caplan says Conley’s departure had nothing to do with compensation so at no time would it have been appropriate to offer an increase to encourage her to stay on in Park City.

“You know again, I think you and I have discussed this before, the reasons Dr. Conley gave for resigning were not financial in consideration so atno pint did she indicatye to us she wanted a higher compensation package and when she did in previous contract renewal negotiations and we had just renewed her contract in Septem ber, she had given us an indication as to what she would have liked, we gave it to her.” 

Caplan says as a board they are comfortable with the numbers and the full compensation package.

“You know we are talking about someone who has over 11 years as a  previous superintendent…our previous superintendent who came in, this was her first job as a superintendent.  You know, it’s a very different…..it’s not apples to apples. You know, I don’t think we are paying a ridiculous rate or one that is outside the norm for Dr. Gildea’s experience or for what she’s going to bring to the district.”  

Caplan is not sure when Dr. Gildea will start but is certain she will be in the district by the start of the 2018/19 school year.