Cobb school board to reward staff for snowstorm efforts
by Hannah Morgan
February 27, 2014 04:00 AM | 4358 views | 9 9 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dallas school superintendent Michael Hinojosa. (Jim Mahoney/The Dallas Morning News)
Dallas school superintendent Michael Hinojosa. (Jim Mahoney/The Dallas Morning News)
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MARIETTA — Cobb Superintendent Michael Hinojosa is expected to announce tonight a plan to compensate the hundreds of district staff who worked through the night during the Jan. 28 snowstorm.

The board of education will consider Hinojosa’s idea to pay the dozens of employees who went “above and beyond” during the snowstorm, using money from the general fund during a meeting tonight.

In a resolution, Hinojosa said he wanted to reward the “noble and unselfish” contributions made by staff, many of whom spent the night on buses or in schools with students during the storm.

Hinojosa has proposed paying each hourly employee, including bus drivers and maintenance staff, $25 for every hour worked after 3 p.m. Jan. 28 and into the next day.

He has also requested the board to approve allowing all the teachers and administrators not paid on an hourly scale, who worked after 3 p.m. Jan. 28 to be allocated one paid personal day by the end of the school year.

It is difficult estimating a cost of the bonus because a list of the eligible staff has yet to be put together, said Brad Johnson, chief financial officer for the district.

Johnson said he expects to bring an estimate of how much Hinojosa’s endeavor will cost to the meeting tonight. He said he needed time to work with the human resources department to get an idea of how many staff members would be rewarded.

Those eligible should be paid out by the end of the school year, Johnson predicted.

Marietta City Schools voted earlier this month to award $50 and $100 Visa gift cards to district staff who worked extra hours taking care of students trapped at schools overnight during the January storm.

The board is expected to discuss the proposal in open session tonight.

The board is also expected to continue discussions as to how it will fill the soon-to-be vacant superintendent’s seat, but these talks are likely to take place in a closed-door session, said Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci.

At a work session last week, the board accepted Hinojosa’s sudden resignation, and board members are deep in discussions about who will fill the superintendent’s post when he leaves May 31.

A number of construction projects at Cobb schools are awaiting board approval before moving forward. The board is expected to hire a number of local contractors to make adjustments to district schools with funds from SPLOST III, a five-year, 1-cent sales tax approved by voters in September 2008, which raised nearly $7.98 million, according to the district’s website.

Changes coming to the district, leaders, renovations

The board is expected to hire Atlantic South Construction of Marietta to renovate the district’s Adult Education Center and Oakwood Facility. Atlantic South has asked for $770,000 to update the Marietta school with a new fire alarm and sprinkler system with funds from SPLOST III, according to the agenda.

Reliant Construction Inc. of Alpharetta is expected to be chosen by the board to renovate Argyle Elementary School in Smyrna with SPLOST III funds. Hinojosa has recommended the district pay Reliant $461,000 to install a new sprinkler system and white boards in classrooms, according to the agenda. The project is expected to be completed by mid-July.

Murdock Elementary School in northeast Cobb is expected to receive roughly $243,000 of construction this year, if the board approves paying Kennesaw-based Ward General Contractors Inc. to remove the asbestos in the outside paneling of the school by July 25.

Rocky Mount Elementary School in Marietta is expected to get a new sprinkler system and fire alarm system this summer, if the board approves paying $1.6 million of SPLOST III funds to Lithonia- based C.P. Richards Construction Co.

Tonight’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and at the central office, 514 Glover St., Marietta.

Comments
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Not too hard
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February 27, 2014
to figure out how to handle this...if they were on the job, and it was because the management screwed up and didn't send them home early enough, simply pay them their hourly wage for the time they worked. its not too hard to determine the hourly wage, especially since it is on the scale sheets anyway - LIFE IS ALWAYS EASIER WHEN YOU JUST DO THE RIGHT THING!!!!
Over It
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February 27, 2014
He needs to pay these people since he was one of the "chickens" who got himself home safe and sound by 3:30 p.m. Shame on you...And why wouldn't the board approval your resignation 6-0??? You didn't do anything while you were here.....happy trails...

Ben Twomey
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February 27, 2014
Sionce Hinojosa cut and ran for home at the first snowflake, and he makes an obscene amount of money for providing inept leadership, the money to pay these people should come out of his pay.
Just Wait
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February 27, 2014
No. These employees were just doing their jobs. Are the police officers and firefighters getting "rewards" for all they did during the storms? What about the hospital workers? How about a big "thank you" and leave it at that!
melanieb.
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February 27, 2014
It does sound like they have $$ and I am glad they are paying all the staff that stayed with the kids. Just makes you wonder if they have this kind of $$ sitting then why the furlough days and 1/2 days? Why cut the days from 18 plus down to 170 plus?
Not so broke
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February 27, 2014
It sounds to me like the board is not as broke as it has made out to be. While I agree that those staff members went over and beyond, and we can not thank them enough, if you have that much money to compensate hundreds of employees, we should not be having all these cuts in pay. I think someone is hiding the bank account! Of course, maybe we should take the pay out of someone's check who was at home all warm and cozy!
Pffftttt
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February 27, 2014
100 employees x 7 extra hours x $25/hour = $17,500. Chump change when it comes to maintaining a positive climate and retaining quality personnel in an organization of this size. Our company is 1/3 the size of CCSD and we spend that amount on our staff hospitality services (coffee, juice, donuts, etc.) in an 8 week period!
whysoserious
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February 27, 2014
It must suck to be so grumpy and cynical. Good grief, it's not like it's millions of dollars. It's a nice gesture and the employees will certainly appreciate it. Why did you have to paint it in such a negative light?
Money is there
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February 27, 2014
They hide and save the bank account for the staff who work on Glover Street!! They think they are above all of us....
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