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Posted on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:05 a.m.

Ann Arbor Board of Education narrowly passes salary increases for top administrators

By Danielle Arndt

The Ann Arbor school board gave raises to two top administrators in a split vote early this morning, after removing the issue from the agenda and bringing it back up at the end of a marathon meeting.

The board voted 4-3 in favor of increasing the salaries of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Legal Services Dave Comsa and Deputy Superintendent of Operations Robert Allen to $140,000 each.

Both administrators have been with the district since about 2006.

For Comsa, whose previous salary was $124,542, the pay bump equates to a 12.4-percent pay raise. And for Allen, whose previous salary was $130,556, the raise is approximately 7.2 percent.

Comsa’s increase also comes with a title change and additional responsibilities.


Patricia Green

New Superintendent Patricia Green said she envisions AAPS being able to market Comsa’s services to other, smaller districts in the near future. She said there are movements afoot within Washtenaw Intermediate School District to use the same software for human resources as for finance.

“The value he offers to us and to a wider region is very significant,” Green said. “I see the potential for revenue enhancement through him and for producing income to bring back into the district.

“Smaller districts could use Mr. Comsa’s talents in the legal arena. I think he is an untapped resource.”

Green presented both men’s contract amendments to the board, proposing Comsa be reclassified as a “deputy” superintendent instead of an “assistant” superintendent.

He will join Allen and Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Alesia Flye as Green’s immediate cabinet.

The contracts of Flye and Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Dawn Linden also were brought before the board for ratification Wednesday night.

Both Flye and Linden were hired by Green during the summer. Green, who was hired in July, said initially she was told the contracts did not need to go before the board. However, upon further review of the board’s policies, Green found that’s actually contrary to the board’s expressed desires.

Green said this approval has not occurred in recent years for similar contracts. But in an effort to clean up past practices, she decided to bring the contracts to the board for ratification.

The contracts were approved 6-1, with Trustee Simone Lightfoot dissenting.

“I did not feel comfortable bringing back things from the past that were done, but this is my administration,” Green said. “It was done under my watch. So I felt it was my responsibility.”

Several of the board trustees said they respected Green for taking this action.

“I really want to thank you for increasing transparency on this and for recognizing this was something in variance with our policy,” said Trustee Andy Thomas. “I realize this is somewhat awkward to do at this point, but I think we have all learned something from this… so I thank you.”

With regard to Comsa and Allen’s salary increases, Green said her belief is that all of the deputy superintendents should be paid the same amount. The increases bring Comsa and Allen up to what Flye is making and to what is more comparable with other districts.

She cited Warren and Troy public schools among her examples.

“I would require more to work in those districts as well, but we are Ann Arbor,” said board Vice President Susan Baskett.

Baskett, Lightfoot and Thomas voted against the salary increases.


Susan Baskett

Baskett said the district has communicated to its community a need to sacrifice by privatizing, consolidating and slashing services to balance its budget. Baskett said she gives Flye kudos for the salary Flye negotiated for herself when she came in, but does not understand the rationale behind making all of the salaries equal.

“I am challenged on the subtext that this is ‘standard’ pay,” Lightfoot added. “Because these are clearly substandard times.”

Trustee Christine Stead said these two administrators, Allen and Comsa, have helped the district cut a total of $50 million from its budget during the past five years.

“I think that’s an important perspective to keep in mind. … We need good leaders to help us navigate through the times we are in,” Stead said, adding the Ann Arbor community is very diverse and has very high expectations, yet Comsa and Allen have been able to “negotiate contracts successfully on our behalf.”

At the beginning of Wednesday’s meeting, the board voted in favor of removing the amended contracts issue from the meeting’s action items. But at about 1:45 a.m. Thursday, before the board adjourned at about 2:20 a.m., President Deb Mexicotte moved to put the item back on the agenda for a vote.

Lightfoot, who made the original motion to table action, said she felt the topic warranted sufficient input from the community.

“While I do value input, I also believe I was elected to make judgments on contracts, budget cuts and the like,” Mexicotte said. “I feel pretty strongly … I am acting in the best interest of my community by honoring our superintendent’s recommendation tonight.”

Lightfoot said she believes voting on the contracts Wednesday did a disservice to the board’s constituents and sets the district up poorly to go back to voters in the spring to ask for more tax money in the form of a technology bond, as is the district’s plan.

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Dr. I. Emsayin

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

The district recently hired "district department chairs (teachers already in the classroom)" who basically do the job that the assistant and deputy superintendents did in the past. Why are we paying superintendents more money to oversee the experts? How top heavy are similar sized districts?


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Because they are incompetent and cannot be fired because they would scream racism. Therefore, hiring consultants and teacher-dept. chairs to do their work for them is probably the most cost-effective thing to do. Very sad.

Jack Panitch

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

If the District were to lose either Mr. Comsa or Mr. Allen, it would have to find a replacement. Neither function could be done without for any period of time, i.e., both are mission critical. Moreover, replacement with an individual of sufficient skills and experience to do the job would likely cost far more than $140K, especially when you factor in the hours these two gentlemen work. My sense is that adequate replacements would command a salary closer to the Superintendent's own salary. Yes, the timing is bad. But sometimes in life we don't get to pick the timing. The real issue here is why Dr. Green needed to get Board approval for any of these decisions. The policy requiring it is a vestige of built in micromanagement Dr. Green should not have to operate under. To me, she's the real hero and villain in this story. When she learned about the policy, she did exactly the right thing and followed the letter of the law. And we can expect that behavior from her in the future. That's a good thing. But she must have known in doing it that she was proving a point and that people (trustees) would pay a price, politically speaking, if things did not go exactly right. Everyone involved in this should learn something from it and move on.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

I don't even know where to begin. I don't think anyone could have written a farce that is more over-the-top than the reality of pushing through raises at 2 AM in this political climate. Is this hubris . . . or unfathomable density? I think both. Anyway, here are a few thoughts: 1. All school board members who voted for this should resign in disgrace. Spare us your lame justifications. 2. All voters who didn't participate in previous school board elections should shut up. This is what you deserve. 3. Administrators who are offered these raises should reject them. It's the only honorable thing to do. 4. Parents and teachers really should occupy Balas. 5. Ms. Green should probably also resign now . . . before she joins the growing number of highly paid former Ann Arbor superintendents who have almost ruined this district and then eft town with their tails between their legs. Just saying.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

This is a betrayal to the community of students, teachers, staff and parents who have supported AAPS by their shared sacrifice. The teachers & staff have endured large classrooms, many split classroom, funding cuts for paper with a curriculum paper-driven, loss of full-time art/media/gym/custodians/tech support among other issues. This is a teachable moment for all who support students and education not a moment to rant about private vs public or the fantasy of education money going to union pacs (that money is from the employees). Support education not misguided 12 percent plus salary increases.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 11:14 a.m.

Somargie - There are active threads here right now on how evil the charter schools are and how different they are. That they hire "for profit" management companies. I fail to see the difference it this case from what the administration is doing at AAPS and what a for profit management company might do. I dislike (read my posts on the other threads) the idea of a for profit management company for a school. This is just as bad or worse.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

Seems like the student, teachers, staff, parents and the community got punked once again by the school board. First that insane salary increase for a new CEO Superintendent who won't even meet with parents with community issues (she rather send her staff) and now at the end of a meeting a 25k salary increase among all the scarifice they've asked from teachers, staff, parents and community. The community should not forget this when they come begging for a tech about shooting themselves in the foot. To the public school haters...this has nothing to do with private vs public school, or money going to union pac. Pac money comes from the employees and private school have administrators too. The State of Michigan with have too many school districts and ISD's and each one of them have administrators. Stop showing Tea Party made-up fantasy. This has everything to do with some members of the school board forgetting what's important in education amid financial hard times.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:11 a.m.

one word: Betrayal Betrayal of teachers, custodians, bus drivers and other employees who took pay cuts or held the line Betrayal of the tax payers who have voted for all but one millage increase Betrayal of the students who have to deal with fewer teachers Betrayal of the community who expect that the schools will be run for the benefit of the students. Some people argue that Charter Schools are for profit and should not be allowed - please tell me what is more "for profit" that this move to increase executive salaries while trying to cut 14 million dollars from the budget. It is not the amount, but rather the symbolism. Expect all contract negotiations to be rough and tough this spring, expect that the administration will recommend cutting more busing, and more teachers - while protecting the administration and their perks. At this point I wil vote NO on the technology millage, the enhancement millage and all other attempts to increase revenue for AAPS until the administration gets administration costs under control. To fix this I would recommend that Dr. Green give the district a check for $75,000 - the raise over Dr Roberts and some of the cost of her new hires. In my mind this proved their is no difference between for-profit charter management companies and AAPS's management. Betrayal - remember that word when the next millage comes up or the next school board election comes up. Time to stop the Mexicotte rubber stamp express. I am all for 2 resignations tomorrow - Deb Mexicotte and Dr. Green.


Sat, Dec 24, 2011 : 8:30 p.m.

Succinct, Don Bee. Mexicotte OUT OUT OUT, what a bully she appears when I watch the video of this BOE meeting!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

High drama. Would those contracts be contested by the school's lawyer if the board had not ratified it?And how much would that have cost. I think she ought to consider firing the lawyer and contracting that service out, it'd give her less grief.. The teachers still will have to give concessions, even with this faux pas, there's no way around it but through it. If you think you'd get this kind of transparency in a for profit you are sadly mistaken, there's not board for you to go after that you vote for, and there the teachers have almost no say in what happens to them there. Betrayal say you, betrayal to me will be if people use a $28000 mistake to make all the classes in the district even bigger than they are already are, because of their outrage over this, and hose the kids even more.

Kai Petainen

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:01 p.m.

#epic #fail


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

Terrible on so many levels... Ironic that attached to this page is an ad to support the Warm the Children Fund (which I do annually). If Cosma, Allen and Green had any consciences and truly want to serve to improve Ann Arbor, that money should go to WTC; then they can at least say that this action at least indirectly may have improved the education of many school children.

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

Why does it seem I only read about the "top" ppl getting increases & never the lower ppl that do the real work


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Let's all tell Deb Mexicotte that this was completely out of line: At the beginning of Wednesday's meeting, the board voted in favor of removing the amended contracts issue from the meeting's action items. But at about 1:45 a.m. Thursday, before the board adjourned at about 2:20 a.m., President Deb Mexicotte moved to put the item back on the agenda for a vote. My friend was there at 10 p.m. and was told a vote would not be taken that night, but rather in two weeks. . . so she left, and she called me to tell me not to come down. Email the Board of Education at See my blog at

C. Gibbs

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:14 p.m.

Like most of those who have commented, I am appalled by the board of education's lack of sensitivity and just plain common sense in giving pay raises to an already-overpaid administration while teachers, bus drivers, custodians, and other school personnel take the cuts and class sizes balloon. Congratulations to Baskett, Lightfoot and Thomas who voted against the salary increases; it's too bad your colleagues were willing to. I suggest all those who commented here send your thoughts on this matter directly to the AA board of education at the following address: Let the board members know now that future millages will be negatively affected by continuing to ignore the public they are supposed to represent.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

Starve the beast.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

There is a discipline gap alright. A FINANCIAL discipline gap!

Hot Sam

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

This must mean they surely won't be asking for any more money anytime soon...


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

Wonder why Ms. Green didn't ask for this before November?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:22 p.m.

Dear School Board: You were elected to make decisions representing the best interests of the community, not to rubber-stamp recommendation of the district administration. Remember, a board is there to balance the administration and make sure it is running the schools in a way that serves the community. These oversized pay packages for administrators...while support staff and teachers are enduring pay freezes or cuts...are creating terrible ill-will among the community and will erode the support needed to maintain a high-quality school district. This was a mistake (another one), and I believe that many of you have forgotten why you were elected. The voters should not forget this job performance at the next election.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:18 p.m.

Many of us are 'worth' more than we are paid-but we live in the real world and accept that raises are not realistic when there is NO MONEY! Will the Board end up having to hire a PR firm to fix this SNAFU they have created all by themselves?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

No kidding, I'm sure there is some type of "consultant" for this.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

It's disgusting and makes me feel sick.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

I am so disappointed in the board and these top administrators that continue to accept pay raises when teachers and students continue to feel the pain of cuts. The class sizes are huge for a district in a town that values education.

Stephen Landes

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

The Michigan Legislature is passing bills removing caps for the number of charter schools and the number of virtual/web-based schools. If the school boards and administrations of public schools continue to waste taxpayer funds on bloated bureaucracies, high administrative salaries and unreasonable raises we can expect parents to look to other educational opportunities with lower overhead expenses and equal or better educational results. Pricing oneself out of the market is not unique to private business.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

I am so disheartened to hear about these pay raises. Talk about losing faith in the AAPS leadership! All we are hearing about is MILLIONS of dollars that needed to be CUT from our classrooms and yet there's room for these pay raises??? Even 1% is too much while we are asking those in the trenches to sacrifice "for the good of the kids" and for parents to cough up more tax/millage dollars...come on, AAPS, get real!!!


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:48 p.m.

This is utterly shameful!! Another example of Ann Arbor's skewed way of thinking.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

If she thinks this is so important, why doesn't this $25,000 come out of her own salary? She just wants to pay people more so that they like her better. If she had to pay for this increase out of pocket, it wouldn't have even been considered. Teachers lose their jobs to enable crap this this. It's actually quite tyrannical and corrupt. This woman shouldn't have her job, nor should the board members that voted for this.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:42 p.m.

The Board President -- Green is clearly out of touch. Too much top fat / administrators. Do they really even do a full day's work? They have zero respect for the citizens of Ann Arbor with the 2:00am re-adding of the raises. Pathetic. She needs to be held accountable. The kids are suffering. Clear them out. If the want to be a like a real private enterprise then cut the fat, and give them MORE work to do. It's a cash cow for them. They are NOT valuable. Where do I signup to recall/fire/remove/usurp these people?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

What can I do as a voter and living in downtown Ann Arbor to try and make sure all of these people are thrown out ? I want to send a message. Is there someone I can vote for ? I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. I don't get to stay as informed on local issues as I'd like to, but 12% and 14% raises for people who DONT EDUCATE KIDS ?? These are fat cat administrators who offer almost ZERO benefit to the schools (c'mon, we all know this is true). And make $130k/year ?? Are you kidding me ? Didn't we just need a millage because the schools were broke and going to have to lay off teachers. Think about how many FULL teacher's salaries just these raises would cover. This type of thing infuriates me. If there is anyone that has any idea for a regular tax payer to let these idiots know how we all feel please let me know. I'm going to memorize their faces and if I see them in public I will be giving them a piece of my mind.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : midnight

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Start with a letter...


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

Words cannot express how disgusted I am by this move of the Superintendent and majority of the school board. We need to cut dollars and you give raises to an already top heavy administration? Classes are overcrowded -33 plus in middle and highschool; custodians are almost eligiable for food stamps their pay was cut so much; teachers took a pay cut; lunch room staff was privatized, bussing was cut with the poorest kids walking the farthest, and you approve a double digit raise?? You should be ashamed of yourselves.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

Elections have consequences, except in Ann Arbor.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

The thing that strikes me is giving raises for someone who is 'underutilized' which says to me they do not have enough work to do. Also may be able to offer other districts their services. Why not wait then and see if that pie in the sky theory plays out before you give an underworked individual a new title and 10% increase.

Simon Green

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

Thank goodness. They can finally put away the &quot;Will administrate for food&quot; signs.

Andrew Smith

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

This is pathetic. Teachers have lived with salary cuts and reduced health insurance so that administrators could get a 12% raise?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:57 p.m.

Teacher have also received increases. Granted, not double-digit, but they are in no way hurting. They only recently have had to pay part of their benefits. They still receive salaries and benefits that greatly exceed the average Ann Arborite. The average salary for one Ann Arbor teacher exceeds the HOUSEHOLD income of the average Ann Arbor family. Don't waste your tears on the teachers.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

I've seen several times AAPS trot out &quot;we want to improve our customer service&quot;, etc.. I don't think they (except Ms. Lightfoot, I guess) understand that while they may not think the amount of money is that significant, perception is everything. With all the cuts at the beginning of the year, etc...they are really losing credibility with this action.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:30 a.m.

You're right, Lightfoot was the only one to vote against approving the contracts. What is your take on &quot;Green said this approval has not occurred in recent years for similar contracts. But in an effort to clean up past practices, she decided to bring the contracts to the board for ratification.&quot;?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

Count in Baskett and Thomas as well--they also voted against this.

the artist

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

The students - 99%, the administration - 1% OCCUPY EDUCATION!


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

just like in the real world.cuts never end but there always seems to be money to increase the salary/benefits of the top dogs. AMAZING


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

I don't begrudge people their salaries, but this is obscene. How can the Board not be freezing the pay of all employees until the financial crisis is resolved? I will not vote for another millage until the AAPS house is put in order.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

After Green gets her money she will be gone back to PA in 4 years to retire on our dime. WHEN are we going to stop running all over the country to sign these carpetbaggers? No evidence that we are getting our monies worth!


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

What a bunch of malarky! There is currently a huge upheaval at Balas in regard to assistants and secretaries. Why? Because they're tired of doing the work of the administrators. So, what does the AAPS Board do? They let the assistants go and give the administrators a raise. And after 3 consecutive years of teachers taking pay cuts. That is the height of hypocrisy.

Susie Q

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

One comment caught my eye....the one that said most people would get a 3% raise or less......the large majority of public school employees in Ann Arbor have not had a raise in YEARS, pay significantly more for the health insurance (as much as 35% of the premiums) and also have &quot;additional responsibilities&quot; that Ms Green mentions in her defense of Dave Comsa's raise. Class sizes are very large and the state continues to add red tape and hoops to jump through for public education. I suspect these raises will negatively impact the tech bond passage and make the rest of the employees ask themselves why they need to give additional concessions to keep the AAPS afloat when those at the top are given hefty raises at a school board meeting that takes place in the middle of the night.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 10:59 p.m.

AMOC, I am a teacher in AAPS, and my salary is declining. There are no step raises past year 10, unless you get a more advanced degree. You should not print in a public forum what you do not know anything about.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

AMOC You are wrong! Most AAPS teachers have taken 5% pay cuts to their salary for each of the past 2 years.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

SusieQ - The teachers in AAPS have been getting their contractual step raises all along. Even when they've trumpeted the &quot;pay freeze&quot; they accepted, it was a freeze in the amount at each step, not a freeze of people on the &quot;pay steps&quot;. True, they have also had to pay some of the increases in health insurance premiums and retirement costs out of their pay, so they aren't getting anything like 7% or 12% raises. But they HAVE been getting more money each year or at most every other year as they get more education or seniority.

hut hut

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

The executive and administrator pay spiral is a scam. I have no problem paying people what they're worth. But not very many working people have the same opportunity to get double digit increases and raises every time they change jobs! It's a scam! Stay at a job for 5 years, leave for another and get a double digit increase and then a double digit raise from people who bought the line &quot;They need more so we can stay competitive&quot;. Then tell the folks who pay the bills &quot;I'm worth it and you need to pay me this money to stay competitive&quot;. Then move on to the next job. The next person to fill that position gets the same double digit increase that their predecessor did. Welcome to the merry go round.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

I attended some of last nights board meeting. Two contracts, Flye and Linden Had already been signed by Patricia Green without approval from the board. So those two were rubber stamped to make it look official even though it went against policy. I left the meeting after that because they had voted to push the vote on Compsa and Allen to the January meeting to allow an opportunity for further public comment. That didn't last long, there is no discussing anything with the board, they know everything, just ask them. To think that $30000 is such a small amount and that its more important to keep administrative salaries in line with their colleagues. When does it end, next year at contract time they will find somebody making $150000 and call it the new standard. Maybe they would like to ask the lady who's kids had to walk from maple road to slauson and pioneer or purchase a bus pass if she thinks $30000 is chump change. Or the gentlemen who questioned $750000 in medical insurance premiums for non qualified employees. I know of a possible recall petition, please sign me up.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

Yes there was a discussion. Basically the contracts had already been signed by superintendent Green, which is against school policy. But she was new and had so much to learn, that the board should overlook this and except the contracts. Personally I would void them until a new contract could be discussed and discipline the superintendent. Why is there no accountability for anything in the district.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:32 p.m.

Was there any discussion about Flye and Linden's contracts amongst the board at the meeting? Thank you for taking the time to attend :)


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

I am not real happy about these raises. As tight as funds are, my 2% looked good last year and I am thankful to get it, but 12% is just wrong.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

The we have to pay more than most if we want the best mantra is getting OLD! What have we seen from anyone in associated with the schools that would lead us to believe we are getting ANYTHING close to the best? A superintendent who has had two things to say since July and the 2nd word we hear from her is lets give these two 12 and 7 percent raises! We were sold a bill of goods when we got her! You can put lipstick......

Joy Bash

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

So the custodian's in the district took an 8%+.46 cent cut in pay. then the new superintendent gets a raise over the old one. Brings in two new people and they already get a raise. I'm pretty sure that we will be asked for more cuts in the contract when it comes up in June. If the little guy in an organization has to take cuts it should start at the top. Not in Ann Arbor.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:48 p.m.

Joy: Thanks for the info on the janitors. That is alarming and disgusting. I think Ann should write a completely separate article on Janitor/Teacher pay cuts vs. Administrator pay raises. I want to badly to confront these idiots in person. hut hut: This has EVERYTHING to do with Ann Arbor. You don't justify bad behavior with more bad behavior. It's like if your kid says, &quot;Yeah, but Johnny is allowed to&quot; I don't care what some random school district in New York pays their public school administrators. It doesn't affect me. If they want to pay too much, go for it because it's THEM that are having to pay more taxes. Once these idiots start making stupid decisions in Ann Arbor it becomes OUR problem. Worse part about this is in a year Ann Arbor will be laying off teachers and asking for more money and the majority of the liberals in town will just say, &quot;well it's for the kids, lets give them the money&quot;. We need to keep the public informed of this ridiculousness!

hut hut

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

It's not just Ann Arbor. It's everywhere. These execs came from somewhere that did the same thing. It has nothing to do with Ann Arbor so stop with the slams.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Where is the &quot;Occupy&quot; crowd?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

Talking to the UM Regents, apparently.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

huthut: Are you a public school administrator ? Would you mind sharing the background on your opinion why you think these raises are a good idea ? It's really hard for me to understand.

hut hut

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:32 p.m.

Where are you? On the sidelines?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

I am truly puzzled by Mexicotte attitude on several matters I have observed since she has been President of the board. When it comes to having a pluse on the values of the community she is completely &quot;toned deaf.&quot; Normally, I don't agree with Trustee Lightfoot but she is correct on this particular matter. Baskett, hang around until the next election and you will become Board President.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Sue Baskett votes reactively also so not so sure about that.

wolfman jack

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Competent executives do not work for $80,000. While it is a populist sentiment to decry paying the organizational leadership, it is a mistake to believe that the skills needed are available for less than executive rates. Be glad that competent people are willing work for a public institution. I'd advise them to leave immediately. The private sector offers much more monetary reward for the same level of risk and responsibility. However, many administrators will tell you - just like teachers - that it isn't about &quot;the job&quot; but &quot;the mission.&quot; You still need to pay them. Guy goes to the heart doctor. Doctor says &quot;I need to replace that valve.&quot; Guy says, &quot;Doc - you cost so much. What are my options ?&quot; Doc says , &quot; There's me ...and there's the butcher. He charges $1.98 a pound. Your choice.&quot; You don't want the $1.98/lb guy - who does cut a great steak - fixing your heart. Those are two different skill sets. You don't want cut-rate staff managing education and its related facilities.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:38 p.m.

Your analogy is flawed. A doctor is the person doing skilled work on your body where life and death is a consequence of incompetence. An administrator for ann arbor public schools, in my opinion, will have zero impact, no incentive to not be lazy and if they completely screw up, it really doesn't have any impact on the kids. At least you could agree that if a doctor makes a mistake vs. a paper pusher the results will have completely different magnitudes. Having a perfect surgeon is worth the money. I know plenty teachers that make $30k/year and seeing these fatcats making FOUR TIMES as much money makes them all sick.

hut hut

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

Your allegory is simplistic and silly. I know a few doctors and even they don't get double digit increases and raises just for changing jobs. IT's not about what they're paid, it's about the scam of ever increasing double digit wages added to the double digit pay increases. that they receive for just changing jobs! And the self serving &quot;You need to pay us more to stay competitive&quot;. Pat Greene has only been on the job since July!

hut hut

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

I'm not arguing against paying people what they're worth, but this merry go round for executives must stop! It's not what they're paid, its the game that they play to make it appear that they're worth it. Public Private, there is no difference at this level. These folks move from administrative job to administrative job every 5-10 years . Each job has better pay, usually double digit increases, better perks and benefits from the previous one. Move from job to job all while getting huge pay increases. Then move on and make way for the next overpaid administrator. This kind of thinking must stop! We're all getting taken for a ride. The increases come whether they're better educated, or more qualified than the person they're replacing. It seems the only reason that their pay increases is because THEY tell us that we need to pay THEM more to stay competitive. The point is that the continuing upwards spiral of double digit raises added to the double digit increases that come with each new position that these people move up to every five years is unsustainable and immoral. This is little more than the Reagan era mantra that public institutions must operate like a business . This is exactly what private businesses do, pay people at the top ever higher wages and cut jobs and wages at the bottom to pay for them.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3 p.m.

You may have a point, but you can say the same for the teachers. First of all, these are the people who actually do the work of the schools, not the pencil pushers. So your idea of quality based on price applies to desk jockeys but not to the folks on the line? How totally 1% of you. If these people want to push on because they only get a 3% or less raise, wish them well and wave bye-bye. This sound so much like cronyism to me. You also have the slick Board approach on many controversial actions: wait till late at night when the locals have gone back to their huts, then pull out the motion and pass it and go home smiling. I think that, in these times, the idea of having all assistants at the same pay grade would be better put into effect by dropping the highest one to the level of the others. It's called shared sacrifice. Just ask the governor.

average joe

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

I find it interesting that this was brought back on the agenda at such a late hour. How many members of the community were still in attendance when this was voted on?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

Governor Snyder: Ann Arbor School District can give out raises while you continue to cut their budget. Please cut more!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

So you don't think the school board should use salaries to attract top people, aka, running it &quot;like a business&quot;?

Stephen Landes

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

Who, in these times, is getting 7 to 12 percent raises? This is ridiculous. Seems like the Occupy Ann Arbor folks are protesting the wrong folks if they oppose greed and corruption.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

Still....a potato is a potato.

hut hut

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

These folks are small potatoes, literally, compared to the Robber Barons, Hedge Fund Managers, Bankers and ultra rich CEO's. Yet, it seems like they're striving to become like the 1%.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

&quot;more comparable with other districts&quot; Don't tell me -- Boulder.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

Normally I don't agree with Ms. Lightfoot on certain things but she is spot on here. Good luck trying to propose the next millage/technology bond.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

A 12.5 percent pay increase? For what, &quot;future revenue from marketing to outside schools&quot;? Lol, this is a school district not a consulting firm. Great expectations my rear

hut hut

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

In this day and age who gets double digit raises except administrators and those at the top? Especially when they make upwards of six figures? This is just another example of those at the top continuing the private business inspired mantra that institutions must be operated like a business... Which means that the folks at the top make more while those at the bottom make less. It works for private business, it should work like that for public business! You know that we have to pay these Top Managers more and more to get the best. Who tells us that? The people at the top, dummy!


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

12.4 and 7.2 percent increases when most people will get 3.0 or less? That is a bit much. Regarding the sharing of resources with other school districts, I have been advocating this for the past year as funding has been cut. Is someone just now thinking that this might be a good deal? Day late and a dollar short. Get ahead of the power curve folks, not behind it.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 4:39 p.m.

Actually, I think most district employees will either be getting a negative raise or 0%... I haven't heard of anyone getting a 3% raise.

Silly Sally

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

Greene just hired these people, a several weeks ago, they gladly accepted, and now she feels she needs to give them a 7% to 12% pay increase? &quot; However, upon further review of the board's policies, Green found that's actually contrary to the board's expressed desires.&quot; A wiser person would read up on the policy FIRST. She did not, and is free with our hard earned money for her cronies.

Silly Sally

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

Oops, I was mistaken. But Still, a 12% pay increase when a district is considering layoffs and inflation is low. Who will lose their job to pay for this?

Andrew Thomas

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

Just as a note of clarification, the increases were NOT for the two people hired a few weeks ago. Both Mr. Allen and Mr. Compsa have been with the District for several years.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

It never ceases to amaze what a tin ear the AAPS has. How 'bout another milage increase request now? You can schedule THAT for 2 a.m. as well -

Morris Thorpe

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

I think it's time to call out the &quot;we want good people, so we have to pay them&quot; whitewash. It's a one-size fits all excuse used by failing businesses. You mean to tell me that, without a raise, these administrators would leave the district? For 10K more? If true, then please go. We don't need people like that. If not, then realize you are well compensated by a district that is reeling and get to work.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

We have a lot of good people working in AAPS who definitely are not getting any increase at all -- these raises are a kick in the face to those folks.

Silly Sally

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

Wow, I couldn't agree more with your second paragraph. Better said than mine!

Morris Thorpe

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

Hey, a White Shadow compadre! We are now internet friends. Um, it's unfortunate that these kind of votes are taking place in the wee hours.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

completely agree with your post. (and I loved the White Shadow, think my other comment about it once got deleted as off topic).


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

Ms. Lightfoot needs to make sure she is not overly critical of the new superintendent. There is something to be said about everyone being on equal footing, and it wasn't a large amount total, $28,00 overall for all salary adjustments, and especially if Ms. Lightfoot is not interested in a going with the lowest bidder for other contracts for &quot;other&quot; reasons than just price. When money is spent, it's about the value of the cost.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

After all , the board has now approved the pay raises, even if Dr. Green made a mistake, which she did, the board didn't undo it, and they could have..


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

Dr. Green is going to make some mistakes, but setting her up to look worse in this than what the problem really is, when she's brand new to AAPS, is not helpful


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

Ms. Lightfoot was the only voice of reason with the issue last night, it was actually Patricia Green that got a little snippy. Asking for clarification or additional time for public comment is not being critical.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 1:34 p.m.

So what school programs will we cut to fund the extra $25K being paid out plus labor burden (lets say another $5000)? That money could be used to fund something related to education. We gave our new superintendent a significant raise over our departing super and now this. This is unsustainable. And if we need more concessions from the unionized teachers how can you ask for that while increasing the administration's salaries? How about tying Compsa's increase to actual &quot;revenue&quot; that he brings into the district, maybe as a percentage of that revenue, instead of selling it as a possible &quot;revenue enhancement&quot;? How many superintendents and other administrators (principals, asst principals) do we need? This is why the private school model works well: no top heavy administration, teachers are accountable and expected to teach, the students get more money for education instead of money going to union PAC's. What a crazy mess................


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

Not that I think this was a great idea, and was very insensitive to the upcoming millage votes and contract negotiations with the teachers, but Sue Baskett has asked lots of questions about the HVAC bid, and pointed out there's merit in supporting people that are part of the community, to the tune of a potential savings of $65000, which is a part of a teachers' salary or an TA and half, so that's like a lot of savings, so her vote on this is not that consistent, because decisions need to be value driven. Maybe it's worth it to spend the extra $65000 for local labor, or maybe it isn't and doesn't Flint need the income in it's residents? You can't argue things both ways. Either everyone starts cutting costs or when the decisions are made to spend the money we examine the value of that costs, before and after services rendered, and we deal with with that evaluation.

Skyline booster

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

Mike- I am sorry for your misconception but I must reply and correct you. Union PAC money is only given by union members. This money is separate from union dues and is completely voluntary for the individual member. I am not sure how you think education money is being given to union PACs. The only way they are connected is through paying employees a salary and the employee giving some of their earned money to their union PAC. As far as this article is concerned, I agree with Silly Sally. 12.4% &amp; 7% raises? I don't know anyone in the private or public sector that has gotten any raise lately let alone that large of an amount. Shame on the AA BOE for tabling this discussion and then bringing it back up in the middle of the night knowing no one would be there to comment. Oh wait, I forgot, public comments are only allowed at the beginning of each session. I would expect a large number of people looking to comment at your next session. I hope you are prepared to defend your actions in these very trying economic times.