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.