Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Joplin R-8 Board rejects $50 an hour graphic designer
By a 4-3 margin, the Board of Education rejected a request to hire graphic designer Christina Williams at a cost of $50 an hour with a maximum cost of $18,000.
Chris Sloan, Jennifer Martucci, Lori Musser, and Debbie Fort voted not to hire Williams, with Lynda Banwart, Sharrock Dermott, and Jeff Koch casting "yes" votes.
This is the first time in years that the district has needed to go outside to hire a graphic designer. For the past three years, R-8 taxpayers have been paying approximately $38,000 annually to a person whose sole job was to provide graphic designing services.
That job, which was eliminated during budget cuts this year, was held by Christina Williams- the same person who submitted the low bid, according to Price.
Sloan said he had people tell him they would have submitted proposals for the services, but they never knew about it.
Price said she initially posted the job on the district website (apparently at some point the district website became must reading for graphic designers) and only one bid was received.
Wanting to make sure she had a choice, she said she posted the position with a couple of groups whose membership including local graphic designers. At that point, two more bids surfaced.
No bid documentation was included in the board packet, only Price's request to hire Williams.
During the first part of her presentation to the board, Price explained why it was so important for the district to have a professional graphic designer, reading off a list that included the following:
-Classroom leadership model
-School supply list
-Lots of digital work
Price waxed enthusiastic over how much graphic design had helped with kindergarten registration.
The creative flyers helped the district have a "very successful registration," she said.
Graphic design will also be needed for parent resource guides, teacher resource guides, and new items for the district's remodeled website.
Graphics are vital, Price insisted because information needs to be "simple and easy for stakeholders to understand."
The district cannot gets its message across with just words, Price said. "Communications are becoming increasingly visual." And, of course, "stakeholders" (parents and other taxpayers) would prefer to look at the pretty pictures.
This is not something that Price herself can do, she told the board.
"I am not a professional designer," she said (nor did she get to play one on TV since the meeting was not televised)/ "I cannot do everything a skilled, professional designer can do."
She explained the way the process works. "I write the content and come up with the marketing plan and work with the designer." After the design is completed, Price implements it.
Board member Debbie Fort had a problem with someone making $50 an hour to do graphic design work while teachers, going by their contract hours, are making less than half of that amount.
Price was told to return with a different proposal.