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Falls School Board reviews salary, job performance of superintendent

City School Board members reviewed details of Superintendent Cynthia Bianco's $157,945 salary for the coming school year during an executive session Tuesday evening.

Board President Carmelette Rotella said that board members were conducting a brief review of the superintendent's job evaluation and that no action would be taken until the board's regularly scheduled public meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The board voted last month to give Bianco a 1 percent retroactive pay raise for this past school year and a 1.9 percent raise for the coming year.

Based on her previous annual salary of $155,000, that makes her pay $156,550 for the last year and at least $157,945 for the coming year, depending on how the calculations are made.

Rotella read a statement at the time that said Bianco's "overall performance has exceeded expectations."

Bianco said, "The condition of the city school district is good and is improving." Her personal contract as superintendent will expire after the coming school year.

The percentage of her raises is identical with the percentage of raises approved for members of the labor unions that represent school employees.

With Nicholas Vilardo absent, the other board members voted 7-1 last month in favor of the raises.

Johnny G. Destino, a board member currently running for mayor, voted against the superintendent's raises, saying, "They were kind of sickening to me" in view of the school district's tight budget.

Destino did not attend Tuesday's executive session because he said the meeting notice was insufficient.

The notice, he said, failed to state the purpose of the meeting, as is required by the district's official policy.

Rotella said at the beginning of the meeting that it was called only to discuss the superintendent's job evaluation and her contract, and she asked members not to bring up any other issues for discussion.

Robert M. Restaino, another board member, also questioned whether the meeting notice was distributed within the time limit required by district policy. After a brief delay, the meeting was permitted to proceed when District Clerk Ruthel D. Dumas said the notices were sent out more than 24 hours before the meeting, as is required.

Board Attorney Angelo Massaro and Deputy Attorney James C. Roscetti are researching whether Destino properly can serve as a member of the School Board while he is running for mayor.

Roscetti said their report was not ready Tuesday and might not be ready in time for Thursday's regular board meeting.

Destino is the Republican candidate for mayor in the November election.

He also is the endorsed candidate of the Independence Party, but other candidates could attract write-in votes in that party's primary election next month.


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