Saturday, July 23, 2016

Joplin R-8 bills include Price expenses, Johnson deposition mileage, Rotary dues

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education refused to approve a bill last month for airfare for Communications Director Kelli Price and her assistant, Whitney Warren, to attend the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).seminar in Chicago, Illinois.

When the board meets Tuesday, it will consider a $355.36 bill for Price's expenses at that conference.

The airfare that was removed from last month's bills was listed under U. S. Bank, indicating that the item had already been paid by credit card. CFO Paul Barr said, "Administration approves removal of prepaid airfare of $656.40 bill that's for the July NSPRA Conference.

District taxpayers have had to foot the bill for NSPRA seminars for several years, while former Superintendent C. J. Huff became a national officer in the organization. 

As part of Huff;s severance agreement, the board agreed to pay $8,000 for his expenses to attend the July 2015 seminar in Nashville, where he made a presentation about Bright Futures USA.

The taxpayers also spent at least $1,078.55 for Price to attend the seminar.

The price, no pun intended, taxpayers are paying for public relations is not limited to the NSPRA junkets.

During the last weeks of his tenure at Joplin R-8 superintendent, Huff took care of favored employees, giving them different job titles and giving them sizable increases in pay, including two in the public relations area.

Price, who was already receiving a $48,053 salary that was far more than most of the teachers in the district receive, was given a  nearly $15,000 boost to $63,000, and a new title as communications director.

The money was taken from 15 teachers who were receiving $1,000 stipends to update the Facebook pages for their schools, an expense which also came under fire when it was announced.

Huff also gave a raise to Warren, who had been his events coordinator, boosting her salary from $38,475, which was already more than many district teachers were making, to $42,000 a year.Warren's title was changed to "communication specialist."

Other bills to be considered Tuesday include the following:

-$4,500 to LB Associates for training in Cognitive Coaching

-$140 to Daybreak Rotary of Joplin to cover the quarterly dues for Assistant Superintendent Kerry Sachetta

-$179.52 mileage reimbursement for Mike Johnson to give a deposition at the Polsinelli law offices in Kansas City for the P1 lawsuit.


Anonymous said...

Why exactly does a School District need a Public Relations function? It seems to me that this should be handled, if necessary, by the Board of Education.

Anonymous said...

Ask Norm. He seems pleased with these two. Norm and CJ are alike in wanting to have well paid cheerleaders helping them promote their personal preferences ...Norm's "strategic plan" CJ's "Bright?" Futures"..both sound nice but lack intensity on academics.Hope next Superintendent is not a Prima Donna like Norm and CJ.

Anonymous said...

On whose credit card was the $656.40 airfare (for Price and Warren) charged???

Anonymous said...

Let sachetta pay his own dues.

Anonymous said...

No one pays my dues for my professional organizations. That's not fair. They get so much more than we do and can't pay their own dues? I call BS. On another note, I thought Warren was gone. She was said to be when I tried to get hold of her at the AD Bldg. Guess it's just no fun anymore.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason to have a public relations position within this district. Most districts the Superintendent is the PR person. Why does Joplin continue to think they are the size of Kansas City or St Louis. Wake up! You are not one of those districts and there is NO REASON to have a PR Staff.