PERRY -- Houston County school board members voted unanimously Tuesday to raise Superintendent Robin Hines’ annual salary.
The superintendent will receive a $19,000 pay raise, bringing his salary to $194,000, on par with previous superintendent David Carpenter’s pay. Carpenter was making close to $195,000 a year when he retired.
Hines’ salary was set at $175,000 when he was hired before the 2010-11 school year due to budget constraints at the time, said board member Toby Hill, who made the motion for the raise at the board’s monthly meeting.
“I believe we did the right thing at that time reducing the superintendent’s salary considerably given the time that we were in and the types of issues that we were facing -- the fact that we were asking many of our employees to take furloughs,” Hill said. “As we examined our financial prospects and also, I’d have to say, as we’ve had enough experience with Dr. Hines and found that, in my opinion, he’s the premier superintendent in the state of Georgia, I’ve asked the board to accept my motion to fund the superintendent’s position at the same level that we did in 2009-2010.”
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Board members said the decision was made after a comparative analysis of other districts in the state and districts of comparable location and size. Bibb County Superintendent Romain Dallemand’s base salary is set at $198,000.
“Even with the level that it’s being changed to, it’s still below the average,” said Tom Walmer, board chairman. “I would challenge somebody to find one at one of those other systems that performs at a higher level.”
Hill said board members are aware some other district employees are still under contracts that were reduced due to budget cuts, and they are working to bring those back to their original ranges as well.
Hines said he was humbled by the kind words expressed by board members at the meeting.
“It’s important to me that I’m doing the job that they want me to do,” he said.
Hines is currently in the middle of his three-year contract, which is set to expire in 2013. The raise will retroactively take effect Jan. 1, as the paychecks aren’t cut until the end of the month, Walmer said.
The board also handled several annual business items at its first meeting of the year, including reorganizing the board.
Marianne Melnick was named vice-chairman, replacing Hill, who held the position for three years. Walmer retained his title as chairman.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Caryn Grant, call 256-9751.