School Bd. nails down $700/mo salary

WINNSBORO – Shortly after School Board member Willima Frick and Rep. Marygail Douglas made opposing comments regarding Frick’s proposal last month that Board members should be compensated, the Board passed second and final reading on the compensation ordinance with a 5-1-1 vote at their June 6 meeting. Paula Hartman voted against and Annie McDaniels abstained.

With that, Board members will each begin receiving compensation of $700 each month without respect to how many meetings they attend, and the Board Chair will receive $750. Board members currently receive $35 per meeting plus travel expenses.

Frick presented the proposal to the Board at the May meeting saying, “It is simply fair, and because we have not always had the fiscal stability in this district that we do now.”

He said the compensation would be revenue neutral.

“No additional funds are needed for us to do this. It is already in our $38 million budget. It will come out of money already allocated to the board,” he said.

Rep. Marygail Douglas read a statement during public comment period expressing her opinion that the increase from $35 to $700 is excessive.

“It is my belief that a monthly amount of $350/$300 per month is more in line,” Douglas said. “That’s $8,400 per year. It’s difficult to justify this amount just because there is money there to do it,” Douglas said.

Frick disagreed.

“This is in line with other municipalities that have similar budgets to ours,” Frick said. “Also, in comparison to school districts around us – Richland 1 and 2, Newberry and Lexington 5. They pay comparable if not more,” he said.

Although the Board meets only once per month, Frick said members would not be paid more if they meet more often.

“It is important to compensate Board members fairly to ensure we continue to have quality leadership,” Frick said.

“It should be a position fairly compensated,” he said.

“I thnk my friend Mr. Frick made a good point,” Annie McDaniels said. “The compensation should be because we are elected officials, the same as the Fairfield County Council. We’re only asking for half what they get,” McDaniel said.

“In fairness to us as elected officials, we should be compensated for the hard work we do. When it comes to sticking together, one of the things the school boards in South Carolina don’t do is stick together enough,” McDaniel said.

“If anyone on the Board is opposed to it,” Chairman Beth Reid said, “they can turn it down.”