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School chief bites bullet in new contract Ken-Ton superintendent agrees to givebacks, concessions to help district

Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro has agreed to a new five-year contract that includes givebacks and concessions expected to save the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District thousands of dollars.

The School Board unanimously approved the five-year pact with Mondanaro during a special meeting Tuesday morning. Retroactive to July 1, it will remain in effect until June 30, 2016.

Mondanaro, who was hired by Ken-Ton in 2007, will be paid $185,602 this year.

He had been scheduled to receive that amount last year, but he froze his salary and paid his own conference-related expenses. He returned a scheduled raise the previous year.

In a contract approved Tuesday, the superintendent agreed to:

* Forgo the district's annual contribution to his retirement plan.

* Eliminate 90 unused sick days for which he received credit when hired.

* Increase his contribution toward health insurance premiums to 20 percent from 10 percent, beginning the second year of the contract.

Following the board's vote Tuesday morning, Mondanaro thanked members for their continued support.

"It seems we have been dealing with the fiscal crisis ever since I've been here," he said. "Staff members have made sacrifices to keep our student programs mostly intact, and it is important that I continue to do the same as your superintendent as we work against what is no longer a changing economy, but a changed one."

Annual increases in the new contract are 1.5 percent next year, then 2.5 percent during each of the following two years. No increase is scheduled for the final year.

Mondanaro still can accumulate up to 200 days of unused sick leave, the value of which would be prorated and applied to medical and insurance premiums in retirement.

"Superintendent Mondanaro has met and exceeded the expectations of the Board of Education, and it will be in the best interests of the district to secure his continuing services on a long-term basis by the adoption of a new employment agreement," Bob Dana, board president, read from the resolution to accept the agreement.

"He has been very good in terms of being economically conscious and concerned about where the economy is and the community," Dana said afterward. "That's been at the top of his game all the way through."

"He's been doing a great job here," Dana said.

email: jhabuda@buffnews.com