School board to vote on Hinojosa contract extension
by Lindsay Field
February 27, 2013 01:22 AM | 4029 views | 12 12 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Michael Hinojosa (MDJStaff/Laura Moon)
Dr. Michael Hinojosa (MDJStaff/Laura Moon)
slideshow
Not only will the Cobb School Board consider extending the superintendent’s contract Thursday night, but it will also decide whether to move forward with nearly $8.5 million in contracts.

Cobb Superintendent Michael Hinojosa’s contract with the Cobb County School District expires June 30.

It was approved by the previous board June 5, 2011, and included a base pay of $237,000, though with retirement benefits and moving, car and cell phone allowances, his compensation totals more than $277,000 per year.

The first day of his current, two-year contract was July 1, 2011.

Board Chair Randy Scamihorn, who represents northwest Cobb, said Monday the board will look at extending Hinojosa’s contract, not renewing it. He did not say how long the extension would be.

Board members who were available for comment Tuesday declined to say how they would vote Thursday night. But they did give some feedback on how they thought Hinojosa is doing so far in his job.

Scamihorn said he’s satisfied with the superintendent’s performance, but he and Brad Wheeler, the vice chair, have only served on the board since early January.

“He seems to be doing a good job,” Wheeler said. “I don’t have any conflicts with him, or know if I ever will.”

David Morgan, who represents southwest Cobb, said he, too, feels working with Hinojosa has been good.

Northeast Cobb’s David Banks said his only hesitation with the superintendent is what he called his “lack of activism.”

“I question who’s really running the show,” he said. “I do meet with him regularly to talk about the issues, so there’s some real animosity, but I have an agenda, and it’s not necessarily what his is sometimes.

“A lot of times he does agree with me, but I can talk and he has to put it into action.”

In looking at Thursday’s decision, Banks said he will ask himself two questions before voting.

“Are we better off today from a school system standpoint than we were when he first came on a year and a half ago?” Banks asked. “Also, are we progressing or declining in our academic efforts?”

Board members must vote on the contract in public, but Georgia law allows them to discuss the contract in closed session because it is a personnel matter.

Contracts up for approval

The board will consider approving $8.5 million in contracts for school renovations, services for occupational therapy and at-risk middle and high school students, security, cars and a district-wide grading program.

Eight of the 10 contracts will be funded by SPLOST III, totaling just over $6.3 million.

Three of the SPLOST III projects are over budget by nearly $1.4 million, and one is under budget by $107,335, or about 18 percent.

The overages will be drawn from the SPLOST contingency fund, which sits at a little over $4 million.

The three over-budget projects are renovation contracts at Argyle, Baker and Harmony Leland elementary schools.

The under-budget project is at Nicholson Elementary School in Marietta.

The district staff is recommending the board approve:

* Argyle: a $734,000 contract with Diversified Construction of Georgia in Decatur to pave sidewalks, enclose walkways, replace appliances and install walkway canopies.

The project is 96 percent, or $359,720, over budget.

* Baker: a $3.04 million contract with Merit Construction Company of Atlanta to install marker boards, bathroom upgrades, blinds, HVAC and an emergency generator.

The project is 41 percent, or $883,506, over budget.

* Harmony Leland: a $443,800 contract with Classic Plains Construction in Marietta to pave parking, clock system, stage curtains, lighting and a retention pond.

The project is 44 percent, or $137,278, over budget.

* Nicholson: a $504,965 contract with Bon Building Services in Conyers to install flooring, library shelving, a kitchen HVAC system, emergency generator and lighting.

Others include:

* A $200,331 contract with Wade Ford Inc. in Smyrna to purchase nine 2013 Ford Escapes.

* A $900,000 contract extension with Kratos Defense and Security Solutions of San Diego, Calif., to install security measures at schools, including a buzz-in system and badge access devices.

* A $514,000 contract with Edupoint Educational Systems LLC of Pacifica Irvine, Calif., to provide training and buy the licensing software for a grading program for the entire district.

* A contract, value to be determined, with NetPlanner Systems of Norcross and Graybar Electric of Marietta to install fiber cable at Cobb Schools.

The non-SPLOST funded projects are:

* A $2.8 million contract extension with Ombudsman Education Services Ltd. Of Libertyville, Ill., to offer alternative educational services to at-risk middle and high school students.

* A $220,000 contract with seven separate vendors for occupational therapy services to students. The program will be funded by Medicaid.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. with public comments in the Cobb Schools’ board room, 514 Glover Street in Marietta.

For a more detailed copy of the agenda, visit the district online at cobbk12.org.
Comments
(12)
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BackToTexas
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February 28, 2013
Hinojosa has been awful for the school system. Morale is awful and student scores are stagnant. He will do the same as he did in Dallas - scorch the teachers and staff to meet the budget ends, then walk away with a fat wallet. He has zero connection or responsibility to Cobb County, so he shows little concern for the long term viability of our schools. Don't extend his contract - send him back west.
irked
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February 27, 2013
Occupational therapy services for students? What in the world is that?
SUPER2
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February 27, 2013
David Banks said his only hesitation with the superintendent is what he called his “lack of activism. I question who’s really running the show,” he said. “I do meet with him regularly to talk about the issues, so there’s some real animosity, but I have an agenda, and it’s not necessarily what his is sometimes."

Isn't it ironic that because the Super does not agree with Banks,he deems the disagreement as animosity. He also inquires as to who really is running the show. If Banks does not know the answer, he should resign. The SUPER answers to the Board so many times the Super's hands are tied. Give Banks a Job Description!!!

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - School board to vote on Hinojosa contract extension
post5watcher
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February 27, 2013
Mr. Banks comments in the MDJ continue to make NO SENSE. I am amazed that the MDJ gives him sooo much lip service. His comment that he is not sure who is really running the show is ironic at best since we know his puppeteer is John Crooks. HAHAHA I predict the extension is just a way to keep Hinojosa in there until they pass SPLOST... don't want anything to derail that now do they? Same reason they didn't follow through and censure Mr. Banks for his ongoing ethics violations. Sure wish people would wake up and see what is going on. Have to say I am impressed with Randy Scamihorn!!!
Need????
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February 27, 2013
Why does the district need 9 ew ford Escapes? 200,000 could pay for more teachers.
Parent in Cobb
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February 27, 2013
Why does the district need 9 brand new Ford Escapes?

There are less expensive new vehicles out there--and plenty of "preowned" Ford Escapes available. What a waste of money!

Most projects are seriously over budget and there are still projects being done or being planned that are NOT needed. Simpson did not ask for and does not need any of the projects in the E-SPLOST 4 other than the intercom system. Those fancy new science labs (when in middle school would anyone ever need a quarter of the equipment) are still either unused or underused while children are sitting in severely overcrowded classrooms!

Stop building and buying and hire more teachers!
anonymous
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February 27, 2013
They are going to vote to renew without a report of the survey response? It only came out a couple days ago, do they expect everyone to drop what they are doing and answer immediately? And is it true that his wife still does not live here and he still has Texas plates? If that is the case, he obviously is just using this place as a retirement booster
anonymous
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February 27, 2013
I am the Walrus, Goo goo ga joob.
need to know
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February 27, 2013
What we all need to know is this : is the school system in better shape than it was when Mr. Hinajosa took the job? Have SAT scores improved? In other words, just exactly what is going on? And the public does deserve to know.
anonymous
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February 27, 2013
Banks admits "he has an agenda," and that by his personal action he's singularly telling the superintendent what to do and suggests the superintendent is doing it.

GA Code specifically states that "It shall not be the role of the local board of education or individual members of such board to micromanage the superintendent in executing his or her duties."

Also, the Board's Code of Ethics is clear:

"Recognize that the authority of the board rests only with the board as a whole and not with individual board members and act accordingly."
IceDogg
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February 27, 2013
Banks has already proven beyond any reasonable doubt that he is a grandstanding buffoon with his own agenda, but as long as the voters in his district remain as clueless as they are, he will continue to get re-elected.
ECP
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February 27, 2013
IceDogg, have you ever looked at who David Banks's constituents are? You don't get into the financial positions they are in by being clueless. I'm sorry that you may be unable to make your own decisions, but David Banks stands up for his constituents. Can you say that about your person on the Board?
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