Altoona Area school board demands salaries be listed on agenda

The Altoona Area school board investigation into whether Superintendent Dennis Murray raised at least six administrative salaries above levels approved by the school board could be finished by the end of the month, board members said this week.

But on Monday, a similar issue left board member Dick Lockard furious that district administration expected the board to vote on an employee’s change of status with the same lack of salary information that marked those currently being investigated.

“This is how we got into some of this mess,” said board member Elizabeth Chapman, supporting Lockard’s demand for the administration to include salary information on the agenda.

Lockard led a motion to table a status change for Haley Fleegle, who will move from acting elementary principal to official elementary principal in the summer.

Similar to the status change proposed for Fleegle, some administrative employees whose salaries are being investigated were approved for status changes with no salaries listed on public agendas or the phrase “As per Act 93 agreement,” referring to broad administrative staff contracts, in place of an individual salary amount, past board meeting agendas show.

Human Relations Director Margaret McMinn said Fleegle’s salary was not included on the agenda because there was no raise involved with her change of status and that any regular annual salary raise she could receive for next year would not be decided until a new administrative staff contract is approved by the board in July.

The current administrative staff contract agreements end June 30. New contracts begin July 1, said district spokeswoman Paula Foreman.

Lockard was adamant about getting a salary on the record prior to accepting the change for Fleegle.

“There has to be a salary attached so it is on public record,” he said.

Lockard, Chapman, Sharon Bream, Ron Johnston and President Ryan Beers voted to table Fleegle’s change of status until her current salary was retrieved.

Tim Lucas, Skip Dry and Maryann Joyce Bistline voted against the motion to table the vote.

Lucas said it was reasonable to include the current salary, but he said because there was no salary change from the time the employee was hired, it was a minor point.

Fleegle’s change of status was passed after McMinn stated for the public record that Fleegle’s salary for this current year ending June 30 is $71,628.