Regarding Mehlville school board, ‘vote them out at the first opportunity’

To the editor:

I am astonished that taxpayers are surprised with the most recent $226,000 annual contract plus perks given to Mr. Terry Noble by the Mehlville Board of Education for simply doing his job.

This board and this district have been out of touch with reality for over 20 years — the length of time I’ve lived in this district.

They just continue year after year to overload an already bloated budget. Then they “cry” and “beg” the overtaxed district residents to vote for another tax increase so they can continue their fiscal irresponsibility. It was laughable that Mr. Noble has made his decision to stay on the job “for the kids.” Really? Are you sure it wasn’t for the money and future pension?

If you were really sincere, you would have turned down the controversial, extravagant increase in salary and benefits and asked that the additional moneys be designated to fund programs for district “children” or offer tax relief to the overburdened residents of this locale. By increasing the tax rate, every bit of savings from our devalued properties was no savings for hardworking people or retired seniors.

Did the thought even cross the minds of this school board that some area residents might need some monetary relief themselves?

How many have received a 24-percent increase in salary for having the same job description? How many still have a job?

After a request to the district office for contract particulars, I was given this information: Health insurance benefit for Mr. Noble and his wife is $10,749.24 and his life insurance benefit is $900 a year for $100,000 in coverage. Mr. Noble is also entitled to five weeks of paid vacation. The school calendar for 2009-2010 had 27 days that classes were not in session. These benefits are in addition to his salary and the $10,000 moving expense allowance paid “directly” to Mr. Noble if he chooses to move into the district he serves, personally saving Mr. Noble daily commuting expenses.

Adding insult to injury, Mr. Noble will receive an additional $25,000 plus interest in the form of a money market account if he chooses to remain in his job for three years. Imagine, Mr. Noble will earn nearly $750,000 or three-quarter-of-a million dollars for the 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, his package for serving as superintendent for “only” three years.

Moreover, Mehlville School District also employs five additional deputy or assistant superintendents. This is insane.

Board President Tom Diehl called Mr. Noble’s new contract “an investment.” If Mr. Noble’s retirement is based on his best three salaried years plus service years, this additional increase will surely be a tremendous “investment” in Mr. Noble’s annual pension fund/pocket. It was noted that prior to his contract, his “annual” pension was “only” $177,000. This new contract awards him substantially more in the long term.

District taxpayers: What is your retirement?

A recent writer was correct. Rid this district of the entire school board. Americans are responding by a resounding “throw the bums out” of our federal government, so we should do the same thing with this liberal, fiscally irresponsible decision-making school board.

Americans are not as forgetful about such things as they used to be. Voters have been awakened by reckless, asinine and indulgent decisions when it comes to spending. We must all remember this unbelievable disbursement when these officials come whining for more money to run this district — and they always do.

Burdened residents need to vote a resounding “no” to future, wasteful spending and remove the members of the school board.

Vote them out at the first opportunity.

Sue Jernigan