With the approaching election just days away, it should be brought to the community’s attention how the current school board has allowed the current superintendent the ability to line his own pockets.

Superintendent Tim Collins has been praised for agreeing to a “pay freeze” in his current contract. Collins's pay should be straight forward; however, one can see upon reading his past contracts that there have been many opportunities for him to increase his pay making the “pay freeze” irrelevant. His base pay is currently $186,000 plus he receives $15,000 annually for longevity pay plus $5,000 performance pay for a total of $206,000.

On top of that, his contracts have called for payment of unused sick days up to 115 days. Collins’s 2015-2018 contract allowed him to begin being paid for those unused sick days at a rate of 40 days at a time instead of waiting until retirement. According to information from the District Office, between 2015-2018 he cashed in all 115 sick days for a total of $82,373 over that three-year period.

This means he has already been paid approximately half of his severance, years before he’s even retired! Was Collins’s early retirement part of his and the current school board’s agenda all along? This type of non-transparency to the public reflects poorly on those school board members who approved and signed off on these unprecedented additions to the superintendent’s contracts.

Our District 200 school board needs a new vision of what is “financially responsible and transparent.” Get to know the candidates before voting Nov. 5.

Jim Ryan

Hastings