Friday, January 7, 2011

Monkey Business With Stinson's Contracts - Why?

There were two contracts for Decatur Schools Superintendent Don Stinson for last school year. One was provided to the Indianapolis Star and published by them as part of their Superintendent compensation database. I downloaded that file and I have reposted it here. The Star database continues to contain their summary of each of the contracts, but the links to the actual contracts no longer work. The summary page for Stinson's contract, shows a base salary of $189,287.41, and scrolling down, it shows an annuity of $40,000. This is also what is contained in the contract I downloaded from a year ago.

The school district, however, is now supplying reporters with a different contract from last year. WRTV posts the first page here. It shows a base salary of $302,433.41 and an annuity (VALIC) of $55,500. The contract also states that he will be paid in 24 pays of $12,601.39, which adds up to $302,433.36 -- within pennies of the stated base pay, not that amount minus the cost of the annuity.

The district now claims that the number listed as Stinson's base pay, is in fact more than just the base pay. They are claiming the following items go into that figure.

base pay -- $189,287.41
health insurance -- $19,812.00
disability insurance -- $834.00
vehicle allowance -- $12,000.00
bonus -- $20,000.00
incentive pay -- $5,000.00
annuity -- $55,500.00

Several questions arise. Why were there two contracts for last year? Why is the annuity different in them? Why would you report, on one version of the contract, a base pay that is inflated? Which figure was supplied to the Teacher Retirement Fund? (salary is the dominant component for calculating retirement benefits from the Fund) How much did the district pay into the Teacher Retirement Fund to purchase the two years of service also required by his contract? (this is about 15% of salary, so it is a significant amount of money) How much did Stinson take home every payday? Was he being paid monthly for a bonus he had not yet earned? Was he receiving money in his paycheck that duplicated the amount the district was paying into an annuity for him, as the figures on the newly release contract imply?

Now, on to the new contract, which you can view here. The District is claiming that new contract is patterned after the newly release version of the old contract. Thus, they say, while the contract states that his base pay is $275,539.41, it is really not his base pay. His base pay, they claim, is $189,287.41, unchanged from last year. They claim that $275,539.41 is composed of these items:

base pay -- $189,287.41
health insurance -- $19,812.00
disability insurance -- $834.00
vehicle allowance -- $12,000.00
bonus -- $20,000.00
incentive pay -- $6,500.00
annuity -- $27,106.00

More questions arise. Why put in a contract, an inflated number for base pay? Is the contract legally binding as written, or is it legally binding as claimed? The 2nd and 3rd page of this contract shows all of these items except base pay, plus other items like the purchase of additional years of service for Stinson from the Teacher Retirement Fund. These pages are the addendum to the contract. This addendum begins:
The Board of Education of the MSD of Decatur Township and Donald H. Stinson has entered into a Regular Teacher's Contract for the employment of Donald H.
Stinson as the Superintendent of Schools for the MSD of Decatur Township.

The Board and Superintendent now desire to supplement the provisions contained in the contract and agree to the addendum as follows:

The items listed in the addendum SUPPLEMENT the contract. If the District's claims are true, then they have a contract that first inflates the base pay, and then adds all of those extra items in yet again. What would a court enforce as payment to Stinson? What are the taxpayers on the hook for? What is the real size of Stinson's paychecks?

Of all of these questions - the most important are:

Why were there two very different contracts for last school year?
If their claims are true, why are they inflating the value of the base pay on the contract?
What are the taxpayers on the hook for - what the contract says, or what the district claims the contract really says?


Anonymous said...

To the owner of this blog and residents of Decatur Township:

I am a paralegal and work for a legal firm that specializes in contractual law. As a resident of the township, I obtained a copy of the contract in question from the township yesterday. I might add that it was funny they wouldn't email it; I had to pick it up in person and pay for it even though it was electronic. Here is what two of the attorneys I work for tell me. The contract is 3 (three) pages long. First page is the standard boiler plate teachers contract. Key word on this contract is BASE. His BASE salary is listed on the first page as $275,539.41. Legally and contractually, the district is paying the owner of this contract $275,539.41 for 260 days of work paid out by the specified contract of 24 pays of $11,480.08. The balance of $27,106.00 will be paid at the end of the contract to bring the total BASE pay to $275,539.41. The $27,106.00 is a purchase from VALIC for a retirement annuity.

Next, the following 2 (two) pages of the owner of the contract are what are called ADDENDIMUS to (in addition to) the standard teachers contract of BASE $275,539.41 (rember page 1 of the standard teachers contract). When we total the items for cash placed into the owner of the contracts pocket, we come up with an additional $85,418.00 (contractual points 4, 13, 14, 20, and 21). Remember, contractually this is in ADDENDUM (in addition to) the $275,539.41 BASE pay on the standard teachers contract.

Based on the legality of this contract, the owner of this contract is owed $360,957.41 over the course of 260 days.

Two scenarios are possible here:

1. The board of education of the MSD Decatur Township made a glaring and obvious error when entering into this contract. The word BASE on the teachers contract is the legal mistake.

2. Are they really paying him a BASE of $275,539.41 and addendums of $85,418.00, totaling $360,957.41?

Had Enough Indy? said...

You did an excellent job recapping this contract. Thank you.

The school board needs to insist that the contract accurately state the amount of the base pay involved.

Diana Vice said...

This is a blaring example of why Indiana needs school reform. The mismanagers are out-of-control in the education industry. All of this nonsense must be put out for the general public to see; otherwise, it will only get worse.

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

Anonymous said...

So does that mean that he's making:

$1,059.75 A DAY......


$1,388.29 A DAY?

Yes Decatur residents....that's a DAY.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Anon 12:29 - we need to see a pay stub to know for sure. If this contract isn't rewritten, though, we could be on the hook for $1743 a day.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:10 a.m. and HEI: Isn't his DUI enough reason to terminate him immediately for just cause (his behavior is not acceptable for a Decatur superintendent? Can someone please ask an attorney?????

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:29: He can't be terminated. If you'd bother to get the contract (which HEI has offered to send to anyone), there is no language in there that he can be terminated for ANYTHING. He can NOT BE terminated legally.

Remember when the story first broke and Wiseman told WRTV6 that they wouldn't fire him? Didn't you think that funny that she immediately knew he couldn't be fired?

That's right. His contract has no provisions to fire him for ANY reason. ANY reason. None.

Get it and read it. See what your elected officials have done.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 2:29 -- there may be some assistance from state law. IC 20-28-7 lists the reasons a teacher's (Stinson is under the teacher's contract, after all) contract may be terminated. ‘Good and just cause’ is mentioned. I should think a DUI could count under that category.

The real problem with terminating him is that the Board doesn't have any interest in doing so. Stinson has given jobs to family members of 3 board members (Wiseman, Huffman, and Collins).

Maybe the legislature can do us all a favor and outlaw the hiring of family members of School Boards.

Meanwhile, the Mooresville Decatur Times is saying that Stinson volunteered to be evaluated to determine if he has a drinking problem, and the Board has asked him to speak to students. The message he is to deliver to them is that if he can get caught, then they can get caught.

With the pressure they are getting, they may stop his $1000 a month vehicle allowance until he gets his driver’s license back. But, I can't see them doing much more.

They gave up serving the public interest long ago.

Anonymous said...

Do parents and guardians have to sign a permission slip for their kids to listen to him talk about driving under the influence???? Hope so because students should not be under his influence for many reasons. Parents might want to have someone who is protected from his retributions speak at the next board meeting - maybe a counselor from one of the treatment centers??????

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Do parents and guardians have to sign a permission slip for their kids to listen to him talk about driving under the influence???? Hope so because students should not be under his influence for many reasons. January 7, 2011 4:42 PM

Perhaps parents should start sending letters to school on their own, not waiting to be asked. Tell the school that you don't want your child to participate in anything featuring Stinson. And send a copy to the media for good measure.

Anonymous said...

I believe we need to put pressure on Stinson to resign. The idea to write letters complaining and stating that parents do not want him talking to their children is a good start. I know he and the board have not given us any reason to think they would do the right thing but constant public pressure may help wear them down. It must be made clear that parents are not accepting this appalling leadership! Picketing outside the central office would be great! Even a few people would draw attention. Stinson thinks time will solve this problem. He thinks people will forget. You have to keep the pressure on him and the board. I can not publicly because I am an employee. You bet I'm angry reading that he is making that amount of money when we took pay freezes and lost employees! He doesn't even deserve 10.00 an hour! Our custodians make 10.00 an hour or less and actually work for their pay, in freezing buildings! Shame on him! He has embarrassed our schools. He is an embarrassment to our township and so is the school board that enables him!

Anonymous said...

I hear PHIL WEBSTER's paycheck went up too.

Call it a hunch.

Anonymous said...

Webster got another raise? Wow. Seems like our MSD leadership needs a little professional counselling on impulse control. Whether it's boozing, smoking weed, eating too much at catered dinners, pilfering cash from our kids educational funding, or showering themselves with raises, they just can't seem to "just say no". The SOB's should be horse-whipped out of the township.

I have officially started a "Decatur School Board Watch". I'm asking if anyone sees any of the school board members in public to please report it here. They've been making themselves mighty scarce lately. I noticed our red-nosed fire chief even refused to appear on Channel 6's camera this past week. Let's all keep an eye out for the sleaze bags. They can't hide under their rocks forever. They can't have you thrown out of Marsh's or the CVS pharmacy if you ask them questions they don't want to hear.

Anonymous said...

What is Wiseman's official place of residence - law says she has to live in school district in order to serve on school board???????

Go to Tuesday's board meeting - should be a full house at every board meeting - just because people care???????????????????

Since the board won't fire DUI Don, they should be told again and again and again that the community does not support a superintendent who is paid the outrageous salary and drinks and drives. In fact, does the public support a superintendent who uses alcohol, by his own admission, to deal with stress????????

Phil Webster said...

beselanonymous Jan 8 8:54 A.M. and Jan 8,10:59 A.M.

I hear PHIL WEBSTER's paycheck went up too.

Call it a hunch.

January 8, 2011 8:54 AM

Anonymous said...
Webster got another raise? Wow. Seems like our MSD leadership needs a little professional counseling on impulse control.

I want you to know that my pay check did not go up. I would appreciate an apology from the two of you who are spreading rumors based on hunches and call people names while hiding behind the anonymous signature. Pat Andrews even though you feel as if the Superintendent needs to be removed from his job, I wish you would ask those who use your blog to be honest and respectful and to stop the name calling and have an honest discussion of the status of our schools based on facts rather than hunches and innuendos .

I will be waiting on your apology

Anonymous said...

There can be no "honest" discussion with our school administration, Phil. Heck, they even refuse to answer any questions at board meetings. You get a timed 5 minutes to 'voice your concerns' then you're told to sit down and shut up. Who you trying to kid? YOU should apologize the the parents of this township for endlessly trumpeting Stinson's dubious virtues while trying to earn yourself a seat on DWI Don's central office gravy train. Did it upset you that Random Robin got invited aboard before you did? You keep telling us how much you have to offer.

We'll be waiting on your apology.

Phil webster said...

You are amazing. You participate in disseminating misinformation about me based on a hunch. You call a decent person who you probably do not even know a name. You are critical of me for defending a decent man who admits he made mistake and issued an apology for his behavior.
After you do all of this you ask me to apologize to you. You made a mistake and all you have to do is say you are sorry and that you will promise to check your facts before you make innuendos against people. I understand that people make mistakes and we often forgive people after they say they are sorry

Anonymous said...

I see we have more of Webster's narcissism on display again.
If the previous anonymous users owe P. Webster an apology for disseminating false or misleading information--as P. Webster would suggest.Following Phil's rubric,it then becomes obvious that common decency would suggest the township is then owed a number of apologies from the administration and school board.

Of course,that is not gonna happen.

P. Webster,you've been quite the disingenuous court-jester through out your participation in this blog. Serious discussion? You've repeated those two words on innumerable threads, only to ignore the more inquisitive,substantive and pertinent contributions offered, in favor of responding to the most over the top comments. When someone accuses you of crony capitalism and calls you a commie in the same sentence--that's the comment you choose to engage?

Frankly,the township's schools will be much better off when the residents stop voting for folks that are only interested in board membership for personal gain and some perceived notion of cachet. I'll admit,there have been moments when I thought the township deserved the administration and this particular school board. Thankfully,those thoughts were fleeting and a defeatist attitude only allows these grifters to become further ensconced into their fiefdom.

Decatur schools have been around a long time. P. Webster has stated he's taught at Decatur for 40 years. Here's a little suggestion to help everyone still drinking the soma from Stinson Inc. Take a look at the Wikipedia page for Decatur Township H.S....Then take a look at the Wiki page for Lawrence North HS. This school started in 1976,not really that long ago. Even a cursory glance at the differences between the two should cause one to ask themselves why we are not doing a better job in our curriculum. Decatur Township is certainly paying a premium dollar for its administration.

Anonymous said...

It is NOT an innuendo that Stinson drank alcohol and drove a vehicle. He has publicly admitted this. He asked for forgiveness. He can be forgiven but that does mean that he should be allowed to continue to receive his huge superintendent salary. There is a huge difference between the two - forgiveness and enabling. There are many decent people who are not paid more than $200,000 per year to be school superintendent.

How many people are arrested for drinking and driving when they are 60 years old??? Might want to check the arrest records.

Anonymous said...

There are any number of very forgiving people who live in this township who understand human frailty, Phil.

However, there are two types of human mistakes. One is a mistake in your head. The other is a mistake in your heart. You and your bloated benefactor DUI Don need to somehow comprehend that people in the township will forgive you for making a mistake in your head. They won't, however, forgive you for making a mistake in your heart. Nor will they forgive someone who screws over their children while lining their pockets with cash. Your arrogance and self-absorbed goal of getting Stinson to give you a fat cat job in central office apparently blinds you from seeing that.

We're still waiting on your apology.

Anonymous said...

Usually, when the horses are put back in the barn they are carefully and securely tied down. They get their daily feedings and they sleep out of the cold but they do not have free reign to jump all over the other horses and kick their way into old hurtful habits. They are not the lead horse any longer. If they don't like the new feeding schedule or amount of the food they can go away and find a new home. People in Alabama are very lucky.

Anonymous said...

Phil as DWI Don's "court jester". Ha. You know, it fits him. :)

Had Enough Indy? said...

I'm going to ask politely that we lay off the nicknames and lay off Phil. I understand the frustration that is behind it. However, it is proving to be a distraction from discussing the real problems facing Decatur Schools and our community.

Phil has a different opinion, and that is fine. I have suggested he get his own blog, but that is his choice, as well.

Anonymous said...

There are two posted board meetings listed for this week. Does that mean that the school board members are going to collect twice as much money for this week? Why not one meeting??

Anonymous said...

Pat, I appreciate your comments. But it is impossible to have a "discussion" with Phil unless you agree to his his demands that we all fall in behind Stinson and push a referendum through. That's always been Phil's goal wherever he posts. He cannot discuss, he can only lecture and then demand you respect him for insulting your intelligence. So perhaps as you say he needs to get his own blog where he can sell his scam at his leisure.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Anon 12:46 -- yes, the Board members get paid for each meeting they attend. I don't know why they can't put it into a single meeting. You bring up a good point.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Anon 1:28 - I wasn't clear enough. The discussion I was talking about was with the community at large, not a particular individual.

Anonymous said...


Do you know how many $$ they are paid for each meeting. The board policy says they are supposed to set this at their reorganization meetings. The minutes of their reorganization meetings for 2006, 2008, and 2010 just state that they will receive the same $ as in the past???????

Had Enough Indy? said...

Anon 2:30 - the minutes of meetings are always washed clean of any details, like amounts of money, that they don't want out in the public domain. No other school district I know of gives so little information on their agendas or in their minutes.

All that said, I am afraid I do not know what the compensation is. If somebody else does know, perhaps they can help out by posting it here.

Anonymous said...

Might be worth asking the television media or newspaper to do an article about how they keep the information from the public. The meeting on Thursday will cost them extra $$ for lights and heat. Interesting that the meeting is about facility rentals and it doesn't say what facility is being rented. This stuff makes it really hard to believe they are doing their jobs and working for the taxpayers. No wonder they hate this blog. The television reported reported the Martinsville board action following superintendent dui there so maybe they will report on Don this week??? Hope there are a lot of people at the meeting.

Anonymous said...

In regards to "facility rental work session", at the last meeting there were people there talking about the youth organizations being charged so much so that is probably what this is about.

Anonymous said...

A question for the OP.

If you don't mind me asking,how much was the cost to acquire your copy of Stinson's contract?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:15,

The answer to that question would be $0.00. All teacher and administrator contracts are free to the public. Ask the television stations or newspapers. The problem is getting them to furnish the public information and the other problem is being someone who is not afraid of retribution for asking.

Now that the public knows these contract facts for Stinson, will the board straighten out the $$$?
Doubt if there is any action taken.

The superintendent keeps on telling how embarassed and depressed he is about this blog and people being upset. If that were so, he would resign, get another job, and follow his common statement of "move forward."

It is only a matter of time until the next secret becomes public - just a guess.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... There is a huge difference between the two - forgiveness and enabling. January 9, 2011 9:35 AM

Well said!

Anonymous said...

There are many questions that need to be asked:

1. Does Cathy Wiseman live in her district? YES or NO? Easy answer.

2. Does Stinson make a BASE of $275,539.41 (as stated on his contract) or is that the TOTAL compensation package? Easy answer.

3. Why did this school board enter into a Superintendant package with absolutely no morals or termination clause? Easy answer.

4. How many people patrons will be at the school board meeting tonight? Easy answer.....5 or 6 if we're lucky.

5. Why doesn't anyone care.

syeds said...

There should be a legal reason to Fire.

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