, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 13, 2013

Politics scare candidate from high-pay job


Committee member Scott Wood, who argued strongly against Jack being appointed without a School Committee interview, noted that state law specifies that school committees have authority over hiring superintendents, business managers and special education directors.

“He has a solid and impressive resume,” Wood said of Jack. “But we need to have a chance to meet and question the person before we appoint someone to this key position. I also think this needs to be a fair and open process in which any other candidates are given a chance.”

Now that Jack has withdrawn, Scully said he will review the pool of applicants to see if there are any other suitable candidates for the interim position. If not, he said he might look at hiring an accounting firm for a few weeks or months. He warned that using an outside finance consultant could get expensive, however.

According to a proposed contract for Jack, the city would have paid him $750 per eight-hour day for approximately 10 days per month. That would bring him $7,500 per month or $90,000 per year.

Jack’s proposed $750 per day rate of pay would have brought him $195,000 annually if he worked a traditional five days a week.

Scully stressed Jack would have actually saved the school district money because he was only going to work the 10 days per month.

“There just aren’t a lot of experienced, available, certified school business managers out there,” Scully said, noting that Whittier-Tech received only four applications for its opening from people who are certified business managers, out of dozens of resumes that came in.

“I won’t hire a neophyte in school finance,” Scully said. “This is a very complicated and difficult job. Jack is an experienced business manager and a former superintendent who did the same thing for Whittier when they needed an interim business manager.”

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