The Johnson City Board of Education on Tuesday voted to extend Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Bales’ contract by one year, increasing his car allowance by $6,000.
Board member Richard Manahan motioned to extend Bales’ contract for one year and increase his car allowance to $12,000.
“One of the reasons for making the recommendation is that we are in the top five school systems in the state of Tennessee. We have various school systems that we’ve looked at and so forth, and I think Dr. Bales is not paid adequately, and I also realize that I don’t think any of our teachers or principals or anybody is paid adequately, and I think it’s time that we make some kind of adjustment for him,” he said.
While she supported the extension of Bales’ contract, board member Lottie Ryans questioned the motion to increase Bales’ car allowance, saying she wanted to make sure the increase was being made in the appropriate area of his salary.
“I don’t disagree with any of the comments that have been made. I think everyone in this room knows that I’m an absolute fan of Dr. Bales, but I want to make sure that’s the right thing and the right amount in the right place, because if he deserves more than that adjustment, I want to make sure we are doing the right thing,” she said.
Manahan’s motion passed, with Ryans and board member Jenny Brock voting no.
Bales’ current salary is $147,472.
The school board also voiced its support of the Alumni Memorial Circle at Science Hill High School.
The project — which is spearheaded by Brock and Theresa Billings, both of whom are Science Hill graduates — will see the construction of a memorial honoring fallen Science Hill veterans.
The memorial will be located around the flagpole in the commons area between the school’s old office and auditorium.
Names of veterans will be etched in panels attached to brick walls that will surround the flagpole, which will feature an alumni flag that will fly under the American flag.
Science Hill’s JROTC will monitor the area.
Pavers and bricks for the project will be donated by General Shale, and the city of Johnson City has agreed to use its crews for excavation and installation of the memorial.
Additionally, Snyder Signs will provide the memorial’s signage, Tennessee Flag Company will donate the flags and negotiations are under way with Evergreen to provide new landscaping in the area surrounding the memorial.
“I think having a place designated for our alumni continues to help show today’s students about the heritage of the school, and so we’ll be asking different classes to come in and place benches and maybe memorials of their own,” Brock said.
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday at 9 a.m.
In other business, the board re-prioritized its project list, putting new furniture for the Indian Trail Intermediate School expansion at the top of the list.
The new list, totaling about $1.6 million in needs, is as follows:
n Furniture for the Indian Trail project.
n Replacing steps at Liberty Bell Middle School.
n Electrical needs.
n Wireless at Liberty Bell, Indian Trail, and Fairmont, Towne Acres and Lake Ridge elementaries.
n Canopy installation at Science Hill Vocational/Technical Center and the new front entrance of the high school campus.