To the editor:
Hastings Superintendent Tim Collins announced his retirement again this past Friday. It appears his new retirement date is Dec. 31, 2019. This is a positive move forward for District 200. We are in need of new leadership!
However, the School Board should not forget about the two lapses in his superintendent’s license. By not having a current license, he was in breach of his contract with District 200 and also broke state law not once but twice, in 2003 and again in 2008. Every day that Collins worked as a superintendent without a valid license, he put District 200 in a vulnerable position as we are required by law to employ a licensed superintendent.
The School Board said they would not take any further action to terminate Collins due to the amount of time that has elapsed since 2003. However, there are actions the Board should take immediately.
First, the School Board needs to write two letters of deficiency and both letters should be put in Collins’ personnel file; one for each time he worked with an expired license.
Second, the School Board needs to address the issue of Collins reimbursing the district for the salary he received when he was in breach of his contract in 2003 and 2008. To date, they have not made any reference as to how this will be handled.
My earlier letter estimated the number of days he was paid with a lapsed license totaled approximately 109 days in 2003 and 99 days in 2008. Using his contracted salaries for 2003 and 2008, I have calculated that he was paid approximately $66,000 in 2003 and $68,000 in 2008 for a grand total of $134,000. I can also assume that the district also contributed, on his behalf, to Collins’s TRA (Teacher’s Retirement Account) during the same time periods. Shouldn’t those funds also be reimbursed to the district? The School Board needs to determine how he will repay the money he owes the district. I am sure that in the near future the Board will be discussing with Collins his severance package. This is the right time to withhold the salary and any benefits he received during the 2003 and 2008 lapses from any severance package.
Collins misused taxpayer money when he accepted his salary and TRA contributions knowing his license had expired and he needs to do the right thing and reimburse the taxpayers of District 200.