Knoxville — The Knoxville School Board approved several more employees for early retirement at Monday's meeting, which brings the number of those taking advantage of the program this year to 16. Concern is now whether or not the district can afford to pay many more early retirement incentives if many more choose to take the offer.
Business Manager Craig Mobley, when calculating the costs of early retirement, based his figures on what it would cost if the 19 highest-paid employees in the district chose to retire. Retirement benefits are paid from the Management Fund, which is money that comes entirely from property tax. Retirees are given the option of either a three-year cash payment or additional time on the district's insurance. Most have chosen to take the cash, according to Superintendent Randy Flack.
Because of the concern regarding funds available for early retirement, the board may consider, at its next regular meeting, limiting the number of employees who can take advantage of the program. The board appeared to reach a consensus that it would not be right to deny any retirement applications received within the next two weeks, as no mention of a limit had taken place before Monday night.
Those who were accepted for early retirement last night include Becky McCleery, Marilyn Lange, Judy Kamp, Dawn Bremer, Rita Christy, Janet Malone, Jean Brandt, Kevin Crawford, Gary Bacus and Jeff Sinnard. The board previously approved early retirement for Donna Flack, Sherrl Wing, Jo Ann Lee, Andrea Rankin, Vicky Ethell and Randy Flack.
The process to find a new superintendent was discussed thoroughly prior to the regular board meeting. The job description was reviewed, though Randy Flack told the board there were many other things he does that were not on the description. Randy Flack also presented the board with names of four search firms/consultants who could assist in the search for a new superintendent.
The board is planning two special meetings, both will be open to the public, in which they will interview the firms to see which, if any, the district wants to work with in the search. Those were tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 14, at Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m.
Look for more on the school board in the Nov. 15 print edition.