Sag Harbor Superintendent’s Contract Extended

Sag Harbor Superintendent Katy Graves on Tuesday gave an overview of the grass field proposal, which requires the community to vote "yes" or "no" before the district can proceed. Christine Sampson photo

The Sag Harbor School Board on Monday voted 4-3 to extend the contract of Superintendent Katy Graves by one more year, to June 2021.

Ahead of the vote, board member Chris Tice announced she would be voting “no” on the contract extension but said, “It is not a reflection of the superintendent.” Rather, she cautioned that lengthy contracts are a liability because they have led, in the past, to big cash payouts in Sag Harbor and neighboring districts.

“I just feel it’s reckless to be approving any superintendent’s contract longer than required,” Ms. Tice said. “It’s based on that and not on an individual.”

Board member Alex Kriegsman said he was “happy to support the extension” because the district has “difficulty in attracting and keeping good people” and he believed the extension would support that cause.

Ms. Graves was unanimously granted a 1.9-percent salary increase, up to $233,175, for the current school year, during the board’s October 1 meeting. There was also some discussion over whether she had complied with a provision in her contract requiring her to set her own goals for the district. At least one board member, Ms. Tice, said she felt “it was an obligation not met,” while board president January Kerr disagreed. The board did not further address the matter.

The board went into executive session Monday to discuss the contract. When it reconvened into public session, board members voted electronically, but members’ specific votes were not disclosed to the public at that time. District clerk Victoria Handy later said Ms. Tice was joined by Ms. Kerr and board member Susan Lamontagne in voting “no,” while everyone else voted “yes.”