Groton’s new Interim Superintendent agreed Tuesday to forgo a $2,400 contribution to his retirement plan after the Board of Education became divided over his contract.
The school board voted 5-3 to approve the contract for former Waterford Superintendent Randall Collins, with members Beverly Washington, Shelley Gardner and Patricia Doyle against.
The dispute was but whether to include about $2,400 for his retirement plan.
The contract covers the period from May 29 to Aug. 31 and pays Collins the same salary as Superintendent Paul Kadri, who is out on leave.
The contract initially included $40,425 in salary, plus $2,413.79, or the pro-rated amount for a $10,000 yearly contribution to his retirement plan.
After the vote, Washington said the board should have paid Collins a salary but not contributed to his retirement. She said she felt the board made an error because it was rushed.
“That’s how we make mistakes,” she said. “You know that saying, ‘Haste makes waste?’”
Board Chairwoman Kirsten Hoyt then sent out an e-mail saying Collins wanted to get off to a good start and would decline the contribution.
“Dr. Collins understood the board’s position and graciously agreed to forgo the $2413.79 in a 403B plan,” she wrote. “ His comment was, ‘We have a lot of work to do and I would rather get off on a good foot and to a good start.’”
The board took the vote after an executive session. Collins was not present for the vote.
Collins is stepping in because May 7 pending an investigation of his "interactions with and treatment of district employees."
Hoyt said she did not know when that investigation would be completed.
Board members said earlier they want Collins for the job because he’s well known, is familiar with the district and has an award-winning record as a superintendent.
Collins met with central office staff Tuesday.
Prior to his career in Waterford, Collins served as superintendent in two other school districts, one in his native state of Maine and another in Massachusetts. Throughout his career in education, he also worked as a teacher, elementary school guidance counselor and principal.
In 2002, Collins won the Connecticut Superintendent of the Year award. He also served as president of the American Association of School Administrators for the 2008-2009 term.