Letter: Deerfield should leave SAU 53

Saturday, December 09, 2017
Deerfield should leave SAU 53

The Deerfield school system is part of SAU 53. One common phrase that has come screaming through all the public discussions held in Pembroke regarding SAU 53 has been “complete lack of transparency on the part of the SAU” and “incompetence.” No doubt people in Deerfield are telling themselves that wouldn’t happen here. Would you be surprised to learn that it already has?

Did you know that SAU 53 is the only SAU in the state that has co-superintendents? There are larger geographical SAUs and SAUs with more students, so why does SAU 53 have co-superintendents? I’ve asked several people this very question, and no one seems to be able to answer it.

According to state records, co-superintendent Patty Sherman took home $123,224, minus benefits. David Ryan, the other co-superintendent, took home $115,000, minus benefits. Assisting the dynamic duo are the assistant superintendent at an annual salary, minus benefits, of $100,183 and a business administrator/manager with an annual salary of $97,090, minus benefits.

So it’s safe to say that including benefits, the cost for just four people could be well over a half-million dollars, not including the other support staff surrounding this swirling mass of administrative incompetence. As a member of SAU 53, Deerfield pays the second largest share of the SAU bill. For what? Lack of transparency? Incompetence?

It’s time for Deerfield to leave SAU 53 and find one with competence, less administrative overhead and where Deerfield is more of a financial equal.