Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 2, 2014

School board eyes sale of $10 million bonds

By DIANE VANCE | May 21, 2013

Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors approved holding a special board meeting at 1 p.m. June 5 to approve the sale of General Obligation Bonds, Series 2013, in the principal amount of $10 million.

This is the amount of borrowing voters approved in an April referendum to renovate Fairfield High School.

Sealed bids or electronic bids for the sale of the bonds are due before 11 a.m. June 5 in the school district office.

The school board approved an agreement with financial advisor Piper Jaffray and Co., to perform the bond owner’s continuing disclosures responsibilities with the Security and Exchange Commission. The law requires certain after-sale information to be filed in the marketplace each year. Piper Jaffray will annually report about the bonds to SEC for the district.

Also at Monday’s regular board meeting, directors approved a payment of 0.25 percent of the principal amount of the bonds, or $25,000, to Piper Jaffray and Co. for work in issuing the bonds plus reimbursable expenses such as printing and mailing, of $2,500.

Fairfield school district business manager Kim Sheets reported Standard & Poor’s assigned an “A” rating for the district’s debt issue.

“The credit rating is a current opinion of an obligor’s overall financial capacity to pay its financial obligations,” said Sheets. “Long term ratings are divided into several categories ranging from ‘AAA’ reflecting the strongest credit quality to ‘D’ reflecting the lowest.”

 

District salaries

Fairfield Community Education Association and the district reached an unprecedented agreement last year, negotiating two-year contracts for teachers. No new negotiations were needed this spring for certified staff.

However, the Iowa Legislature, with the session officially ended May 3, has not settled an education budget, including an allowable growth factor and a Teacher Salary Supplement, causing uncertainties in school districts’ spending.

Superintendent Art Sathoff had hoped to have 2013-14 teacher salary schedules and annual contract recommendations for the school board Monday, but is waiting on the Legislature.

Support staff salary and administrator salary 2013-14 schedules were brought to the board.

Both salary schedules provide a 3.04 percent package increase for the groups, which is the percentage increase certified staff will see in 2013-14 salary/benefit packages.

“Support staff salaries are receiving an across-the-board 32-cent per hour increase,” said Sheets. “We also increased substitute teacher and substitute support staff pay, making it more competitive.”

Substitute teachers in the Fairfield Community School District will be paid $112.50 per day in the 2013-14 school year.

The Technology Department changed job classifications among its employees, which bumped pay higher than the 32-cents per hour increase for other support staff.

“We have technology employees who were hired with more education and experience than the job description called for and have been working on more than the job description outlines,” said Mark Cremer, district director of technology.

“The district has been saving money being able to use in-house expertise from our department. We have come to rely on this and I recalculated what type of job qualifications it would take to replace an employee, then calculated the pay rate.”

A Technology Department specialist begins at $17.24 per hour without prior experience and increases with longevity and experience, as do all associates.

A network specialist in technology starts at $19.24 per hour without prior experience and a data specialist begins at $22.56 per hour.

Board member Jerry Nelson said he didn’t like the increases in pay rates in the technology department.

The board approved the support staff salary 2013-14 schedule unanimously.

Administrative salaries for 2013-14 were approved Monday, specific to each person and time in the job. Total package increases ranged from a 2.06 percent for Sathoff to 3.86 percent for Cremer.

• Sathoff, contracted for 260 days per year, will receive $2,500 more annually next school year at $139,900 in wages for a total package valued at $169,121.

• Fairfield High School Principal Aaron Becker, contracted for 225 days per year, receives a $2,580 pay increase to $104,880 in wages and a total package valued at $127,495.

• Auxiliary Services Director Fred McElwee, contracted for 245 days per year, receives a $2,580 pay increase to $103,674 in wages and a total package valued at $126,090.

• Curriculum Director Marci Dunlap, contracted for 245 days per year, receives a $2,580 pay increase to $98,920 in wages and a total package valued at $120,551.

• Sheets, contracted for 245 days per year, receives a $2,580 pay increase to $92,388 in wages and a total package valued at $112,941.

• Fairfield Middle School Principal Laura Atwood, contracted for 225 days per year, receives a $2,580 pay increase to $83,480 in wages and a total package valued at $102,564.

• FMS Associate Principal Matt Jones, contracted for 215 days per year, receives a $2,580 pay increase to $83,110 in wages and a total package valued at $102,133.

• FHS Associate Principal Brian Stone, contracted for 215 days per year, receives a $2,580 pay increase to $82,908 in wages and a total package valued at $101,897.

• Activities Director Jeff Courtright, contracted for 215 days per year, receives a $2,580 pay increase to $82,610 in wages and a total package valued at $101,550.

• Libertyville and Washington elementary schools’ Principal Jeff Eeling, contracted for 210 days per year, receives a $2,505 pay increase to $82,505 in wages and a total package valued at $101,515.

• Pence Elementary School Principal Chris Welch, contracted for 210 days per year, receives a $2,655 pay increase to $82,505 in wages and a total package valued at $101,340.

• Cremer, contracted for 245 days per year, receives a $2,580 pay increase to $70,908 in wages and a total package valued at $87,917.

The board approved this wage schedule on a 5-2 vote. Board members Nelson and Bob Waugh voted no.

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