By Alex Malm
The School Board voted to end the consultant contract with former Business Administrator, Peter Curro, during their March 21 meeting.
On Sept. 20, the School Board approved a contract with Curro to help give advice on different areas that Curro ran until this summer when he retired.
The contract was for $90 an hour and the billable hours would be paid each month.
The idea was to consult for Business Administrator, Lisa McKenney, and Superintendent, Dan Black, who had recently taken over their roles. At the time, McKenney was without an assistant director.
“This is a 85 million dollar business, to ask one person to handle all the finances is a little much,” said Bob Slater at the time.
Slater during the March 21 meeting said he thought five to ten hours a week was reasonable when it was approved in September. He added that there were stipulations made, including the subject matter that was discussed during the consultation, how many hours it took, and the total sum of how much the district would have to pay that month.
In October, the bill was for around $4,800, and around $3,700 for November, Slater said. He stated that because of the budget and bond being prepared, it made sense.
“That’s the reason I didn’t question the bills,” said Slater.
However, it was later learned that the billable hours were happening earlier than they thought.
“We voted on the 20th assuming it started then,” said Slater. He added that he also felt the criteria that was set up wasn’t being followed and wasn’t happy with it.
School Board member, Kevin Gray, said he also wasn’t aware of the back billing.
“I wasn’t happy, to say the least, when I found out about it,” said Gray.
Grey also wasn’t satisfied with the minimum amount of details being provided on the invoices.
“I’m personally not satisfied with the spirit of the contract being followed,” Gray said.
One question raised by Vice Chair, Sara Loughlin, was whether or not they were in a good place to go without a consultant.
McKenney said they were able to hire a Finance Director and felt they were in a good place to move forward without a consultant.
“At this point in time I have a Finance Director in place and we’re moving forward and will be fine,” McKenney said.
When asked during public comment, Slater said they didn’t have the total amount paid readily available, but said he believed it was around $12,000.