Written by Chris Boyle Wednesday, 22 January 2014 00:00
They made him an offer he could easily refuse. Fortunately for Mineola, he didn't.
The Mineola School District Board of Education has persuaded Superintendent of Schools Michael Nagler to sign a new contract, agreeing to stay on until January 2019—even though they offered less money and fewer days off. The deal, which officially went into effect on Jan. 17, includes a lower overall payout and the elimination of several perks.
Nagler, whose original contract was set to expire at the end of the 2015-16 school year, nevertheless agreed to stay at the helm for another five years.
“I feel very blessed to work in Mineola...I love my job, and I love this community,” Nagler said. “This is where I want to be, this is where I want to retire, and I want to be fair about the contract I have.”
Nagler's prior contract called for the superintendent to earn a base salary of $250,236 by 2015-16. The previous superintendent, Larry Licopoli, earned $257,670 in 2009. A provision allowing the buy-back of unused sick or vacation time, which was instituted by
Lipocoli, had the potential to raise Nagler’s total salary to $272,985.
Nagler will get a raise from his current 2013-14 base salary of $210,912 to $242,735, which is in line with the Nassau County average for superintendents as of 2012; however, that amount is frozen for the duration of the contract—until 2019. Furthermore, Nagler
gave up some personal days as well as the option to buy back unused sick and vacation time. On the plus side, the new contract provides full health coverage in retirement as long as he remains until June 30, 2016.
Board of Education President Artie Barnett expressed admiration for the job that Nagler has done. The new contract was the right thing for the students, administration and parents, he said.
“I appreciate where he’s taking less-than-average salary and for doing a more-than-average job,” Barnett said. “It’s a no-brainer for us. In eight years here, he’s only taken one increase...his salary has been frozen otherwise. No one ever thought that they would extend his contract before it would run out.”
The superintendent, for his part, was willing to give up some benefits for stability in a job he loves.
"I don’t want to go anywhere," he said. "I have been approached to go elsewhere, and I don’t care to investigate if the grass is greener."
The upcoming 2014-15 school budget discussions was covered, with Nagler stating that the next several board of education meetings would be devoted in-part to them.
“The tax levy cap mandated by New York State is 2 percent, and we will have a tax levy less than two percent...we’re estimating something in the neighborhood for Mineola of 1.6 percent,” Nagler said. "We will do that calculation at out next meeting. I am fairly confident that we can continue the current program as is, and possibly even add some items that the board would like us to tackle.”
The next board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 30 will also see the presentation of the 2014-15 school calendar to the public, which will outline the start and end dates for the school year, as well as holiday breaks.