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Selma BOE continues to negotiate contract with superintendent

The Selma City School Board voted Monday to approve an amended contract for superintendent finalist Avis Williams during a special called meeting.

Now, the board is waiting to see if Williams will accept the contract with the amendments.

“We’ve had a heathy debate, and we’ve reached some compromises, and we’re going to follow up with Dr. Williams and see if she accepts the compromises,” said Johnny Moss, school board president. “We feel we’ve reached a healthy medium.”

The board voted on Sept. 7 to hire Williams as the school system’s next superintendent and contract negotiations have been ongoing ever since.

When the contract Williams wanted the board to vote on was put up for vote, some members had issues with some of the terms.

Board member Tanya Miles pointed out several sections that she had issues with, and the board made amendments.

The first was a term that would allow Williams to be an adjunct teacher. After some discussion, the board agreed to leave that section alone. Another section Miles had an issue with was travel expenses. Williams contract requested a monthly $500 travel allowance.

“We offered $250. In my opinion, $250 is fair for the city of Selma,” Miles told the board.

Miles said she was concerned about the finances because of the size of the school system.

“We are a system of a small tax base. People are leaving Selma,” Miles said. “Our money comes from county taxes, city taxes, cigarettes and alcohol … and we have children sitting in classrooms without textbooks, so I have an issue.”

Miles also had an issue with a section covering retirement contributions.

“The board will pay the entire retirement contributions for the superintendent into the Alabama Teachers’ Retirement System,” Miles read from the contract. “We need to pay our portion, which is 12.24 percent.”

Board member Brenda Randolph-Obomanu said the $500 monthly travel expense, as well as the retirement contribution the contract was requesting would bring the salary amount up from $140,000 to $158,000.

After much debate, the board eventually agreed to $350 in travel expenses, paying the state required 12.24 percent retirement contribution and 15 vacation days.

“I’m good with it,” Miles said. “I just want to make sure we’re doing what’s best for our school district.”

Campbell attempted to reach Williams by phone Monday night during a recess from the meeting but was not successful. Williams must decide to accept the amended contract or decline it.

“I hope we can reach an agreement with her,” Moss said.

“She’s the candidate we voted for. There might be another process of negotiation, but I think we’re going to meet in a happy medium. I think we’ll get it done.”

Williams is currently the assistant superintendent for the Tuscaloosa City School System.