By Chris Paul
The role and the payment for services for retire School District Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Peter Curro, was questioned during the Public Comment section of the Tuesday, Aug. 2, School Board meeting.
Resident, Glenn Douglas, questioned the School Board on what the district will be paying Curro after learning during a recent Budget Committee meeting that he will be “staying on as a consultant.”
Curro retired from the district in the beginning of July, after working for several decades in Londonderry.
Douglas said he had sent an email to the school board asking about how much the district is paying Curro and who approved of the decision, but never received a response to his questions.
School Board Chair, Amy Finamore, responded by saying there are certainly sensitivities around discussing personnel issues, but added that Curro does not have a contract with the district and is not receiving any pay.
Douglas was a bit perplexed by the statement, “So when the CFO said he’s staying on, he just made that up? Or is he staying on for free? He’s not getting paid?”
Douglas also questioned why Curro was presenting the 10-year plan proposal on behalf of the school district at last week’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) meeting.
“I’m assuming a consultant gets paid. He’s not just doing it for free, or does no one here actually know that?”
School Board member, Bob Slater, interjected, “I think he was there because he submitted the paper work back in June, before his retirement started. I think he was there as a courtesy, because he was the one that filled those documents out.”
Douglas still questioned whether the board understood what was happening in regard to Curro “staying on.” Adding that at the Budget Committee meeting Curro stated he would be covering a number of vacant positions this spring.
Douglas also questioned why the School Board had not given an opinion on the nearly $300 million 10-year Plan proposal deliver to the CIP Committee.
Douglas said, “The plan is being proposed by a company that builds schools.” He added, “If you got a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In my opinion, it’s the residents that are getting hammered right now with no opinion from the school board.”
To those comments Slater responded, the district hired the architectural company for $150,000 and they did an assessment of the overall conditions of schools in town. Saying that nothing is set yet to move forward and when they are ready to move forward, the school board will give their opinion and there will also be plenty of opportunity for public comment.
He added that the district will need community support to get these projects done, so we want all the questions answered to do it.
Resident, Laura El-Azem, also addressed the district’s future plans saying that she would like to see plans be put off a few years, at least until the economy recovers. She cited the tax increases residents recently received after the latest assessment increase saying, “These tax increases are unsustainable.”
The board did not respond to El-Azem’s statement.