“Buyout deal for Lebanon schools chief to get hearing”

From the DH:

The buyout package for the superintendent of the Lebanon Community School District will receive a hearing Monday as part of the Senate Education and General Government Committee.

Sen. Vicki Walker, D-Eugene, said she wants the committee to examine whether the $400,000 settlement agreement between Jim Robinson and the Lebanon School Board violates any part of the state’s new “golden parachute” law passed in 2007 as Senate Bill 384.

Interesting.  What happens if it’s found to violate the law?

UPDATE:  From the LE version of the story:

The purpose of the hearing is to get clarification on whether the contract buyout violated the section of the law that prohibits school administrators from being paid for work not performed, she said.

“It depends on the circumstances. In Lebanon, it’s kind of interesting,” Walker said. “You had a couple of school board members who had really taken a dislike to this man, at least from background information from his attorney.”

Yes, I laughed out loud.  Beautiful understatement from Walker.

This bit is also interesting:

Walker said the Education and General Government Committee does not have the authority to invalidate the contract between Robinson and the school board.

“Somebody else would have to bring action. It’s not up to the legislature to challenge it,” Walker said.

I wonder who would want to do that?  No, seriously – is there someone from the anti-Robinson camp who thinks the district could get a better deal?  Or is there a pro-Robinon supporter out there who is thinking along similar lines?  If so, which one is right?

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5 Comments on ““Buyout deal for Lebanon schools chief to get hearing””

  1. anonymous Says:

    Robinson isn’t getting paid for not working–he is getting paid to leave the District WITHOUT CAUSE–because, as the article states, some board members had “really taken a dislike” to him.
    If the Board had simply followed it’s own policies they would not have needed to buy him out.
    Now those Board Members are saying that if they can get rid of Robinson who had a contract it should be no problem to get rid of people who don’t have one.
    I wonder if that same committee will bother with checking out the behaviors of the school board members mentioned in the same article.
    If they are going to legislate one side they ought to legislate the other as well.
    They ought to look at the WHOLE situation and come to some helpful conclusions for future situations about Board Members behaviors as well as Superintendents buy-outs.
    I think if someone brings a suit against the severance package that Robinson will sue those Board Members personally and they won’t have any way to use the tax payers money to buy their way out of it like they did last time.

  2. NobullNative Says:

    You almost always defend Jim Robinson. Alright, you get to pick who to respect and back. Once you join that team though, you need to be prepared to answer hard questions.

    Mostly, in reading your blog, you are willing to do that. So here is a hard question:

    Will Jim Robinson qualify for PERS full benefits under the terms of the agreement? If he were to work more than half time then he would have to give back all of the retirement money because he would not really be retired. Being bought out, is that different? Can he still collect a full salary and benefits in addition to a hefty PERS retirement benefit?

    If so then the tax payer is paying him twice for doing nothing.

    Find out about that.

    If you find that he is double dipping the tax payer for nothing when he could have simply retired and collected a nice income at no expense to the district…

    Then can you still defend his moral position?


  3. NobullNative Says:

    And another thing. The list published by the school district, that list of publicly generated list of qualities needed in the new superintendent, who boiled down the responses?

    Is it accurate and complete? Is it edited? Why not publish the exact words or each contributor?


  4. anonymous Says:

    Mr Robinson is not retiring, and will not be collecting PERS benefits while still continuing his contract for the next 19 months. At that point, he can retire or work another job, it is up to him. He is not double dipping.

    As far as the qualifications, they are a summary if they are repeated from several people, or a summary by the note taker in a public session. The person giving the suggestions in the public meeting agreed with the summary that was put on the list. It was difficult to put all the thoughts on paper while the person was speaking, so it was the best the scribe could do. No hidden agendas there.

  5. rhetoricalwasteland Says:

    NN, I don’t know the answer to your first question. Frankly, beyond calling the district’s HR director – which you can do as easily as I can – I don’t even know how to find out.

    As to whether or not it matters…. yes and no. Assuming your scenario is true also means that a) Robinson has no intention of ever working again, and b) he would be held to a higher standard than the board. After all, they could have looked into that just as easily as he could have.

    Also, I don’t think Robinson really wanted to leave. That’s the other part: The LCSD Board chose to pay him to not work.

    If your scenario is true, then your reading of it takes into account only the financial part. There is more going on than that.

    Bottom line, though: I would still have trouble faulting Robinson given the childish and petty way the board treated him. If no one on the board, nor their supporters, was smart enough to ask that question, why should we expect Robinson to volunteer that kind of information?

    That’s not a rhetorical question, by the way.

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