The Charlotte Valley School District in Delaware County had a tough employment situation on their hands until just last week. Former building principal Edgar Whaley had been a focus of controversy — going back at least a year. But that’s all settled now, thanks to a secret, lucrative contract settlement passed by the school’s board of education late last week.
At a special meeting, the board of education approved a $328,000 contract settlement with the School Administrators Association of New York State, which resulted in Whaley’s resignation. The parties also agreed not to disclose the terms of the agreement.
Case closed, right?
$328,000 is a lot of money in a district the size of Charlotte Valley, whose local tax levy is about $2.8 million. While the board is entitled by law to hash out personnel issues in closed executive sessions, it’s difficult to come up with a justification for keeping the severance agreement itself confidential. In a time of fiscal austerity, the board has agreed to pay someone the equivalent of nearly 12 percent of tax receipts. The terms of that agreement should be public.