September 21, 2018
The school board (BOE) voted Tuesday night 3-1, with Lewis Rice voting no, to give Superintendent Mike Newton a 3% raise. Bobby Norris did not attend the meeting. Shilling, Barton, and Lynch approved.
Newton currently makes more than $145,000 per year, plus a cushy expense account. He also works as an online professor, and makes somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 a year doing that. Does Newton do that extra work on the Jasper County taxpayer’s time?
Newton announced his resignation to be effective at the end of this school year-June 2019. Bill Shilling, BOE Chair, made the motion acknowledging Newton’s 9 years at Jasper County Schools, and recommended the 3% increase in pay. The 3% raise will insure Newton gets a higher pension when he retires. Newton also was able to get the BOE to vote to extend his contract one month so he could “work with a newly hired superintendent.” This will cost another $12,000 to $13,000 for that extra month.
While the BOE has enough money –after increasing our property taxes again—to give Newton a 3% raise and an extra month of pay, the teachers lack supplies. Recently there was a “fill the window” campaign by the Chamber of Commerce to bring in school supplies that the classrooms lack.
This year alone, the BOE raised property taxes another 7.08%. This increase is reflected in your tax bill that is due now. According to the 5 year history, the BOE has raised our School Tax each year for the last 5 years.
. Year Tax Increase
There have been ever increasing school taxes due to big, and many times, wasteful spending by the compliant BOE. We see how little the BOE cares about spending taxpayer’s money wisely. First, they awarded a $2M contract to a sole “bidder” that was not required to put up a bid bond or even an actual bid, and now they have given a hefty pay raise to one of the highest paid government employees in Jasper County, if not the highest paid.
Folks in Jasper County over 65 years of age continue to pay high school taxes. Why? Mostly because the BOE cannot do without the income they so readily spend without a care in the world for the taxpayer that is working and sacrificing to pay that big bill every year.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.