After significant debate and two separate executive sessions, the Hays USD 489 Board of Education approved personnel transactions that included the rehiring of former supervisor of grounds and maintenance Francis Hammerschmidt as a maintenance technician. He will serve under Rusty Lindsay, who was recently hired in the newly created position of director of buildings and grounds.
Superintendent Dean Katt said Hammershmidt’s former position was cut to improve efficiency and provide “a more supervisory role” to oversee grounds, personnel issues and work-order systems.
Katt said Lindsay recently interviewed Hammerschmidt about a filling a maintenance technician position, one of three custodial positions cut earlier in the year.
The combined total of both Lindsay’s and Hammershmidt’s positions adds up to $119,000, a matter that concerned board members Greg Schwartz, Lance Bickle and Josh Waddell.
After the second executive session requested by Lindsay, all board members came out of the session in agreement to support Katt’s recommendation to hire Hammerschmidt as a maintenance technician.
“I think we are making a grave mistake financially, PR-wise with what we are doing. I think the perception with teachers and other staff is not going to set well and that is where my concern and objection with this lies,” Schwartz said.
“However, I have been consistent and we have started by making changes in taking the board off of hiring committees and taking us off negotiation committees and doing things like that, to putting it in the hands of the superintendent,” Schwartz said. “(Katt) is doing as he should and we think he is and we should support his decision and though I am oppossed to the position, I am in support of superintendent and am going to give my vote for that reason alone.”
Board member Lance Bickle agreed.
“The pay-grade is not where I thought it should be but … if Dean feels this the direction we need to go and, budgetary-wise, we will be all right, then we will support that as well,” Bickle said.
A full list of approved personnel transactions can be found HERE.