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USD 489’s former grounds, maintenance supervisor rehired in different position

USD 489By KARI BLURTON
Hays Post

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.

Related story: Leiker is new school board president

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  • Reality

    I’m more than a little confused. He was terminated for substandard performance, but is being re-hired so he can qualify for retirement?

    • chopper

      i disagree. its not substandard performance. he’s a great tech and knows how to fix things. we need that. we can’t afford to bring in outside contractors everytime something needs fixed. its too costly. rusty is needed to run the department more efficiently and communicate better with dean and the board. i trust dean in the direction he wants to go with this. we’re heading in the right direction and the board needs to quit micro-managing his decisions. get over it greg. you hired dean. let him run the machine. lets move on.

      • taxpayer lady

        i agree. let’s move on. do some of you board members have a personal vendetta against this individual. sounds like it to me. you all hired dean to run our district. let him. i applaud the hiring of rusty and new IT director to name a few. in the long run they will streamline and make us more efficient. I did vote for the LOB but I’m not throwing a fit because it didn’t pass. That’s the way it goes sometimes. win some, lose some. obviously the voters want you–the board–to get your act together first. then maybe it’ll pass next time. let’s move forward. way to go dean. you’re doing a great job!!

      • Company Man

        I agree the super runs the district for the day to day operation, but why does the board vote on these? If as you say they should just vote what the super wants, why do we need a school board? What is it you see as their role? I know most administrators would rather not have to answer to anyone, but that is not our system. My job would be great if I could just go to work and make decisions every day and not have to answer to my annoying boss. Why does my boss always insist I keep my projects on budget? Why doesn’t my boss just take my word for it that everything will be alright? He hired me after all and I know what I am doing. I cannot believe the nerve of this company that actually expects me to answer to someone. I guess schools are different though. None of the rules in my life apply to those in the “education world”.

      • Reality

        A great tech he may be, but if you read comments from his (alleged) subordinate employees he was not being the manger he was being paid to be, so the board correctly terminated him. You don’t get terminated for being a great employee, even by this board.

        Which begs the question, why hire him back at all? That’s not a sound management practice, and it sends a very poor message to the other employees (and taxpayers). We now have 2 techs where we had 1, while the district is upside down to the tune of $600K. Dean hired a great new guy, and there are several existing techs still employed by the district that “know how to fix things.”

  • educator

    I am a teacher greg. i know this individual well and i’m glad we kept him on board. he can fix anything. i’m not upset about this. and rusty was a good choice also. greg– if you want dean’s job and want to micro manage everything then fire dean and take his spot. if not, then quit trying to do his job. get on the train greg and quit trying to slow it down. we’re going in the right direction.

    • Educated not Educator

      Didn’t the board attorney tell the board last night that they have to hire and fire employees educator? I watched the meeting, did you? If you didn’t watch the meeting you should before giving all of us your opinion. If you did watch it, I would guess that a “teacher” in USD 489 would also follow the advice of the board attorney.

      • chambers

        then what do we need a super for? that should be his job. its time to move forward educated. i have faith in our new super. doesn’t sound like you do.

  • guest

    So what are the salaries of Hammerschmidt and Lindsay individually that comprise the $119,000?