[LCSD] Super Question

If I remember right, there was very little time between the end of the meet ‘n’ greet candidate forums the evening of April 9th and the April 10th announcement that Rob Hess had been hired as the new LCSD Superintendent (Friday afternoon around 4 PM). Traditionally, hiring announcements are not made until a contract is signed.  However, given the limited time available, and in light of Jane Ruck’s letter suggesting that the board had already made up its mind, I am wondering – just a little bit – about the exact timeline of events.

Please be aware I am not suggesting any board impropriety.  Instead, I am suggesting that a confirmation that the negotiations and contract signing with Hess really did happen between the board deliberating “late into the night” Thursday and an announcement by 4 PM the next day (in a span of what, 18 hours or less and overnight and with Hess working in a different town?) would calm people down and clear the air.  After all, given the events of the last few years in the LCSD, the mere appearance of impropriety can be plenty damaging.

As well, assuming that all the proper procedures were followed, then the negotiations must have been very smooth between Hess and the Board.  Again given the history, that could mean several things.  I’m curious, among other things, to know if Hess has a rolling three-year contract.  Hey LCSD, you plan on posting the Super’s contract any time soon?

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6 Comments on “[LCSD] Super Question”

  1. Russ Says:

    We spent an awful lot of time on it. Many, many hours. (Ask our spouses and co-workers how much time we spent!) Site visits with two board members to Springfield and Coos Bay. Many hours calling references. The original search committee spent many hours on the process, probably on average 6-8 hours each times about twenty people on the committee. Mr. Hess was the committees’ first choice by far. Two sets of interviews. We spent 2 1/2 hours that night discussing and reading every note from the public forums. The public input was vital to my thinking and decision making. The district attorney was working on a contract during the process to have it ready. If the candidate gets the contract offer in the AM, he can sign it immediately, and the info can then be made public. If he has problems with the contract, or maybe has an appointment with his attorney, it may take longer than that for him to sign. I don’t know if Mr. Hess used an attorney or not. It was a very thorough process and I was happy with it. The final outcome: we had two outstanding individuals who both could do outstanding work for Lebanon. The board votes next week for final approval.

    Speaking for me, I think the board and the community did an outstanding job.

    And we don’t do rolling contracts!

  2. Tre' Kennedy Says:

    Dennis, I think (I don’t know), that many of the big contract issues were probably discussed with both candidates during the interview process. Such things as contract length (2 years I’d bet) with one year extensions (again, I don’t know this for sure). If these things were discussed at the interviews, there really wasn’t that much to negotiate. Salary is probably market which is dictated by size of the district and what other districts pay (again, might be less). There was no secret that Mr. Hess wanted this job and I would bet he didn’t play hardball on contract issues. I think this is probably good because there will be no hard feelings from negotiations. As much as I like a good conspiracy theory, I don’t think there is one here.

  3. someone Says:

    We can put lip sticks on a pig, it is still a pig. No matter how much we try and hide behind the process, it still smell fishy….

  4. Lebanon Mom Says:

    In most education/public agency searches, the search committee makes a recommendation to the hiring authority. It’s fine for the search committee can have their minds made up before a community meet and greet. The public is not making the decision. If something terrible came out during a community session, then the committee could put the brakes on, if necessary. I don’t see anything wrong with the timing of the announcement. However, one part of the recruitment process I have noticed missing on LCSD searches is any attention being paid to diversity. Most public institutions need to attempt to have a diverse pool of candidates and employees and the process for doing so is reviewed by HR professionals to help curb intentional and unintentional bias. Maybe that is part of the process at LCSD and I’m just unaware of it though.

  5. Dennis Says:

    Russ: If Hess had any quibbles with the offered contract, who would have done the negotiating? I would have assumed it was the board, but it sounds like either Hess had no quibbles or you’re not aware of any negotiations…. or, since the board votes on Monday, that the board could still choose to reject the contract, yes?

    And you almost sound happy about not having a rolling contract. Not sure I’m quite as happy….

  6. Russ Says:

    If Mr. Hess had problems with the contract, he would negotiate with the District’s attorney. The board’s attorney wrote the contract with basic parameters from the board. You are correct that he may have had no quibbles or he may have negotiated changes within the parameters originally set. I could imagine the board could vote against it on Monday, but that would be unlikely as we were ok with the outline of the contract.

    I guess I could have been less flippant on the rolling contract comment. The OSBA opposes rolling contracts. The majority of the board in general comments over the last year has expressed frustration with rolling contracts also. I think one could make good arguments for or against them.

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