Remember all that hand-wringing back in April when four newly elected members of the Lyons-Brookfield District 103 Board of Education were so concerned that the school board was wasting money by paying more than one superintendent at the same time?

Unconscionably, the school board had hired two — count ’em, two — interim superintendents (not working at the same time but, hey, it sure sounded hinky) to take over in the wake of Superintendent Mary Jo Vladika’s retirement.

And, by God, the four new board members weren’t going to stand for it. They had themselves sworn in privately and then called a special meeting to start throwing everyone out the door.

The man who swore them in, attorney Burt Odelson (who would soon be hired to represent the school board), shook his head in disbelief at what the school board was doing.

“The statute says there’s only one superintendent, not three,” Odelson said. “They got one sitting at home, who they’re paying, and two here.”

Odelson also said this when the board majority’s hand-picked man for the interim job — Orland Hills Mayor Kyle Hastings: “Kyle won’t start until [Vladika’s] gone because you can’t have two superintendents.”

Well, Odelson and crew must have done some soul searching about the state law governing how many superintendents you can pay at one time, because last week the District 103 board approved Hastings’ contract. And it is retroactive to May 8, the day after the board actually voted to hire him. And Vladika’s status hasn’t changed as far as we can tell.

So in addition to the 100 days that Hastings will be working in the 2015-16 school year that begins July 1, he’ll also get paid for 30 days work in the 2014-15 school year. That’s a nice sum — $117,000 for part-time work.

Because Hastings draws a pension from the Teachers Retirement System, he’s not allowed to work more than 100 days during a fiscal year without it affecting his pension.

Hastings, who does not have a Ph.D., will be paid $900 per day to temporarily run the school district. That’s $100 more per day than the district paid the two men (one of whom had a Ph.D.) the prior school board had hired for the job.

Those two, Patrick Patt and Griff Powell, have since been hired to be co-interim superintendents in Riverside District 96, where they’ll be paid $750 per day.

There’s also been no discussion to date with the new school board about beginning a search process for a new permanent superintendent. That process ought to begin sooner rather than later — unless, of course, they already have someone in mind for the job.

It seems like just a couple months ago that four candidates for the Lyons-Brookfield District 103 school board were touting their message to “take politics out of the schools” and “stop wasteful spending.”

When does that start again?


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