To the editor:

Are there consequences for working without a license? I'm writing in response to the letter in the June 27 edition of the Hastings Star Gazette regarding Superintendent Tim Collins's license lapsing on two possible occasions. It appears Tim Collins was working as a superintendent on an expired license from July 1, 2008 until Nov. 14, 2008 while also breaking his contract with the school district. That means the school district did not have a licensed superintendent operating our district during this time as required by Minnesota state law.

Was he paid during this time? If so, taxpayer dollars were used to pay a superintendent who was working without the legally required Minnesota license. When Tim Collins first announced his intent to retire in May, he indicated it was financially the best option for himself while saving the district money. Was working without a valid license also financially best for him? It appears so. He was without a valid Minnesota license for 99 work days during 2008. Based on my calculations of his per diem base rate of $157,500 from July 1, 2008 until Nov. 14, 2008 our district paid approximately $68,000 for 99 days to a superintendent without a valid license.

For the 2003 renewal, if that is also considered a lapse in license, the period was 109 days with a lapsed license. This means our district paid approximately $66,000 for 109 days to a superintendent without an issued license. Looks like our district paid more for an unlicensed superintendent during the license lapse periods than some teachers make for an entire year.

Should Tim Collins be stepping down as superintendent of School District 200? A Facebook post this week led me to the news story of a Duluth superintendent who resigned after it was determined he was also working without a valid Minnesota license. The bottom line of both cases are these superintendents were working without valid Minnesota licenses. The Duluth case ended with their superintendent resigning. This should be the same fate for Collins.

I question Tim Collins' ability to effectively lead our district going forward. Announcing his intent to retire and then rescinding his intent after publicly speaking on the benefits along with the other recent events in the district has created a divided community. The best thing for our community would be to find a new leader to guide our schools and community.

Jim Ryan