Make him stay? Make him pay? Or just move on?
Pinellas School Board members may have differing ideas on how to replace outgoing superintendent Clayton Wilcox, but there was one point they all agreed on last week when they met to begin discussing the process: They don't want to spend a lot of money on a national search during such dire financial times. Fair enough.
But it turns out they may be able to conduct a national search without paying a penny.
A clause on Page 5 of Wilcox's contract says that if he leaves the district prior to June 30, he's liable for up to $60,000 toward the cost of finding his replacement, "with said sum being withheld from final salary payments or otherwise paid by the superintendent until the full cost is paid to the board."
It's unclear why that wasn't brought up when the board met Friday. Board member Janet Clark tells the Gradebook she thought that portion of Wilcox's contract had been removed.
Board member Linda Lerner said she knew the clause was there, but that she would be willing to waive it if the superintendent asks the board to consider doing so at its May 13 meeting. "There is no doubt in my mind he would stay through June 30 because he won't want to pay the $60,000," Lerner said. "I think it's in the best interest of the district to not hold him to that extra month."
- Donna Winchester, Pinellas education reporter (Photo from Pinellas school district)