Editorial: Contract Clarity

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In good-humored goodbye remarks that will surely be remembered for years to come, outgoing Sag Harbor School Board member Stephanie Bitis called teachers influential heroes and complimented the district’s senior administrators on thoughtful, impactful and kind-hearted leadership.

We have seen firsthand how teachers ignite imagination and spark meaningful classroom experiences. One can’t begin to put a price tag on morning program. And we have watched, for instance, as Pierson High School assistant principal Michael Guinan boosted significant growth of the International Baccalaureate program, and as Pierson Middle School assistant principal Brittany Carriero conducted detailed research on policies and programs that would benefit her students.

Ms. Bitis’s kind words come on the heels of brand-new contracts inked with both the Teachers Association of Sag Harbor and the Administrators Association of Sag Harbor. We are particularly intrigued by the tenet in both contracts tying pay raises to the state-mandated tax levy limitations each year. It seems like a reasonable thing to do.

While we don’t disagree that all parties involved deserve fairness, our curiosity remains piqued over the comments made by two school board members, Susan Lamontagne and Chris Tice, during the June 4 board meeting —worrisome words that alluded to possible misinformation and concerns raised over the TASH contract just before it was approved in a vote of five ayes, a “no”from Ms. Tice and an abstention by Ms. Lamontagne. The last two contracts, settled in 2010 and 2014, came by unanimous school board votes.

The most recent conversation begs a reminder to the Sag Harbor administration that transparency is a responsibility to the taxpayers of the district, especially when it comes to contracts that will influence the school budget each year.

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