Barber takes $600,000 out of School District Coffers

from the 10/10/13 BCSD Press Release:

Trustee Kathryn Graves stated, “We recognize that this is a substantial sum of taxpayer money, but felt that the leadership considerations outweighed the financial consideration.”

Former vice chair Don Nurge kept saying in School Board meetings that we were “getting full value for our money.” I differed in my opinion with him then and I continue to do so now.

Having since been voted out and resigned, respectively, former chair Steve Guthrie and former vice chair Don Nurge seven months ago voted unanimously with the three remaining Board Trustees — Paul Bates, Shawn Bennion and Kathryn Graves — to extend Barber’s contract one more year. Last month, these three trustees voted unanimously with new trustees Kathy Baker and Liz Schwertdle to accept a “separation agreement” with Barber. What happened to change their minds a mere six months later?

The “leadership considerations” Graves mentions must mean that the Trustees decided Barber was doing a poor job. Here were the options of the Board of Trustees:

  1. Allow Barber to keep working as Superintendent. Taxpayers pay him money to continue a job poorly done.
  2. Pay him to sign a mutually agreed upon Separation Agreement. Taxpayers pay him money to go away. Hire someone who can actually do the job well.
  3. Fire him. And lay ourselves open to (yet another!) lawsuit.

So, which of these three choices would you choose?

It took $600,000 to make him walk away. Barber certainly knows how to add insult to injury.

Idaho Mountain Express: Barber termination costs $600,000.


Filed under News, Opinion

3 responses to “Barber takes $600,000 out of School District Coffers

  1. Brian Poster

    The waste of taxpayer money in this valley has got to stop. It started in Ketchum several years ago with fat checks written to separated employees. Then the City of Sun Valley fiasco. Now this waste of money. I’ve done over 10s of millions of dollars worth of business here in the Wood River Valley. I’ ve had “difference of leadership” conflicts with employees and subcontractors. I have never issued a check for services not done. There are other options not listed above
    1) Mr. Barber to take an ethichical role and leave without accepting any excessive tax payer money. Be a man and show some character. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    2) The School Board works with Mr. Barber on his leadership. As a parent,teacher,or coach this is the approach you would take with a student. Why would you not take this approach with an administrator? The Board failed the tax payers and took the easy way out. Shame on you.

    I do appreciate the dedication it takes to be a member of the School Board. I know it is probably the most demanding unpaid position in the Valley. I try not to critique the petty stuff, but this is too big to let go. Also I would not critique without offering another solution as I have above. Thanks for listing to my words.

  2. Excellent solutions, Brian. Each of which would require quite a bit of integrity and character from Dr. Barber.

  3. Lee Thomas

    A constant problem with giving government the power to tax is that the public funds are so often looted like this by the corrupt and selfish.

    “What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue.” – Thomas Paine

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