MOUNT VERNON — By a 3-2 vote on Monday, the Mount Vernon City Schools Board of Education approved a two-year contract for Superintendent Steve Short, effective Aug. 1, 2012 through July 31, 2014. Salary and benefits will be frozen for the 2012-13 school year. Short’s current salary of $122,000 is the same as it has been for the last two years.
Preferring a one-year contract, board members Sharon Fair and Steve Thompson voted against the proposed two-year contract.
Thompson said his no vote is not a vote of no confidence in Short; it had to do with the duration of the contract.
“All I want is to have a reasonable contract with reasonable expectations over a two-year period [including this school year],” Thompson said. “I want to accentuate the fact that Mr. Short is a major cheerleader in the school district for the kids. There is no one who can question that. Academically, no one would question his commitment and his excellence and his pursuit of excellence in the area. I just believe that when you lay all the stuff at his feet that he inherited from the previous administration, he’s had a lot of baggage to deal with. We have to get him away from that baggage and let him perform as a superintendent. I don’t want three years for that to happen. I want that to be accomplished over the next couple years.”
Thompson said the district is short-handed in the business area, and Short and Treasurer Barb Donohue, in addition to their regular duties, have been handling tasks previously performed by a business director.
“Let’s face it,” Thompson said. “Mr. Short has been very tied up with issues that were laid at his feet when he took over as superintendent. I want to see what the superintendent can do over the next couple of years to help us position ourselves to transfer that [business] responsibility to others so he can be freed up and we can get some real exposure here on him being allowed to perform as a superintendent.”