Groton School Board Approves Short-Term Contract For Interim Superintendent

John Ramos would be paid $644 per day until his long-term contract is approved Oct. 9.

The Groton Board of Education voted Monday to approve a contract hiring John Ramos at a cost of $644 per day until his final contract is approved Oct. 9.

The board voted 7-1 for the short-term contract, with member Beverly Washington against.

The board had three questions about the contract, including a clause that would provide Ramos $75 a day for travel expenses, as he lives 70 miles away.

Board Vice Chairwoman Beth Gianacoplos said she'd rather hire Ramos immediately rather than delay the vote until the issues are resolved.

“I think not having a superintendent on the job puts us at risk,” she said.  “I think we need to have somebody running the ship. I think we have too many things going on.”

Ramos said he would accept a day-to-day contract in the short run in the interest of stability for Groton.

“The only way it doesn’t make sense in the long run is if we don’t get it resolved. But I trust that we will,” he said.

Ramos started working Monday without a contract and visited three schools: Fitch High School, West Side Middle School and Catherine Kolnaski Magnet School.

He said he would visit the remaining elementary schools this week, meet with central office staff and meet with building administrators.

One of the technical issues with Ramos’ contract is also how much he earns and how that will be divided. Since he is retired, Ramos cannot earn a salary of more than 45 percent of what he collects in retirement without a penalty.

Because of this, the contract with Groton stipulates that whatever he collects beyond the 45 percent would be put into one of two retirement accounts.

Ramos was given a one-time, yearly lump sum of $228,000 in January 2012, when he left Bridgeport, he said.

He also said he negotiated an arrangement to forego raises for two years in exchange for health coverage for himself and his wife until he turns 65. He is 60 years old.

Concerned Parent October 02, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Please read Good job Groton http://www.thehour.com/news/norwalk/former-norwalk-educator-john-ramos-fired-as-bridgeport-superintendent/article_d0ec357b-7eab-52c5-bb28-06cbfac553e7.html
Brad Julian October 02, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I am curious as too how much more tax payer dollars the Groton Board of Education is going to waste. Isn't there an Assistant Superintendent of Schools and could that person not have filled the vacant position until either the Board of Education terminates the current Superintendent or decides on keeping him. This is the second interim Superintendent that has been hired and to be quit honest, they seem to be making out like bandits. Healthcare coverage for him and his wife will cost Groton much more than giving him a raise every two years and who says he will even last two years. Good job Board of Education, I can always pay higher taxes, no problem.
Groton Parents October 02, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I don't believe Groton is paying Ramos' health insurance. The last sentence of the article relative to health insurance in lieu of raises refers to his arrangement with Bridgeport.
CA October 02, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Actually in the last line of this article, it implies that he is going to get health insurance from Groton. Why isn't the assistant superintendent filling in on this position?
Groton Parents October 02, 2012 at 02:40 PM
FYI - I think this clears up this discrepancy. This article originally appeared in the CT Post. http://www.theday.com/article/20120930/OP05/309309923/1044
Groton Parents October 02, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Wow - $644 per day plus $75 for travel and he still has health insurance through his former employer. At $644 a day he should easily be able to afford his own gas or rent a local apartment to stay mid-week when there are late meetings. As a middle class family that is struggling we shouldn't be paying his gas and I find this shocking. These sorts of perks, for those paid with our tax dollars, are out touch compared to what people in Groton and across the country are facing. People out there are losing their jobs and have no health insurance. Our region knows this all to well dealing with uncertainties at Pfizer, EB, the Sub Base and now the Casinos. Some people have to go much further than 70 miles to find work, leave their families for days or weeks at a time, and no one is paying their travel expenses or health insurance. Anyone is lucky to have a job in this day and age, let alone a good paying job and benefits, and should appreciate it.
Rick Cady October 02, 2012 at 03:15 PM
It looks as though not enough thought went into this so called short term contract. In addition to the Bridgeport baggage accompanying Mr. Ramos, I feel the BOE could or should have done a better job.
Deborah Straszheim (Editor) October 02, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Dr. Ramos' health insurance coverage was negotiated with his former employer.
Rick McDonald October 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Most companies allow between fifteen and twenty cents per mile for travel, fifty cents a mile is unbelievable.
Groton Parents October 02, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I agree. Most people do not get reimbursed mileage / travel at all for their normal commute to work. I got reimbursed at the federal tax deduction mileage rate (which is about 55 cents a mile now) when I had to drive my own car to an off site meeting or other work event, but not my regular commute to the "office".
Mariellen V. French October 02, 2012 at 06:51 PM
The heath care issue should be clarified, as it is definately ambiguous. Mr Ramos can only get 45% of his retirement without a penalty? Isn't putting the 'extra' money in a retirement account still pay? $225,000 lump sum from his previous job last January? 10 months ago? And he needs travel expenses daily from Groton on $644 a day? While we are still paying Kadri? On MY (and your) piddling income? I don't receive as much per month as he will in a week ($3000+). I certainly hope this guy is worth that much money! As I often say, administrators do not teach children!
LegacyMom October 02, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Getting paid to drive to work, and earning $644/day?!?!? Enough said...
JJ October 04, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Has anyone answered the question as to why the Assistant Superintendent isn't filing in?
Brad Julian October 11, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Can someone answer this question for me. Is the Board of Education appointed or elected?
Brad Julian October 11, 2012 at 01:29 PM
No one has answered the question as to why the Assistant Superintendent isn't filling in. If the Board of Education does not believe that person is capable of temporarily filling the position then that person should not be the Assistant Superintendent. The amount of tax payer dollars this board has wasted is criminal.
Rick McDonald October 11, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Groton Parents you are right, travel to and from one's normal place of work is considered commuting and not normally covered under travel expenses. Getting to work is his problem if he chooses to work 70 miles from home.
Rick McDonald October 11, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I am not sure that there even is an Assistant Superintendent right now. The Assistant that was in place when this started moved to another District shortly after it started.
Deborah Straszheim (Editor) October 11, 2012 at 02:37 PM
The board of education is elected.
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