At its first meeting of 2015, the incoming members of the Lafayette Parish School Board will consider a pay boost and promotion for the school system’s facilities director who’s taken on the responsibilities of a fired supervisor for the past month.
Interim Superintendent Burnell LeJeune has asked the board to consider making the appointment of current facilities and planning director Kyle Bordelon as acting chief operations officer effective Dec. 1.
Bordelon has taken on additional duties since that date of supervising the maintenance and custodial departments following the termination of Thad Welch, who previously supervised those departments as special assistant to the superintendent, LeJeune said.
The request is an introduction item on what is a light agenda for the incoming board members, who will be sworn in during their first board meeting on Jan. 7. Two board members are returning for another term — Tehmi Chassion and Tommy Angelle both will start their second terms on the board.
During the meeting, the board also will vote on president and vice president to serve a one-year term. For the past year, Angelle served as the board’s vice president, and in recent years, board members typically elected the former vice president for the top leadership role.
LeJeune has proposed increasing Bordelon’s pay by $36 a day, or about $720 a month, according to the item on the board’s agenda. His current salary is about $81,000.
Bordelon’s salary is paid from the school system’s self-funded construction fund, not the general fund, based on a copy of the 2014-15 budget adopted by the outgoing board.
The position of chief operations officer was eliminated in 2012 when then-superintendent Pat Cooper reorganized the staff. The job had been vacant at the time and Cooper assigned some of those duties to the newly created position of special assistant to the superintendent that he hired Welch to fill.
Welch’s hiring became the catalyst for the outgoing board’s investigation of Cooper’s management decisions.
The board faulted Cooper for continuing to employ Welch, who lacked the high school education required for the job, even after it had rescinded its earlier decision to hire him and removed funding for the position from the budget.
Cooper was fired in early November based on his handling of the Welch situation and for other management decisions a majority on the board didn’t like. Welch was then fired effective Nov. 26 — prior to the school system’s Thanksgiving break. Welch since has filed a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination.
LeJeune said Bordelon has taken over Welch’s duties and has researched ways to more efficiently manage the other departments that now fall under his supervision.
“We’re going to try to reorganize,” LeJeune said. “He’s working on that already and he’s contacted other school districts to see how they manage those departments.”
LeJeune said other changes may be in store.
“In three months, we may totally reorganize maintenance, custodial and the facilities department,” LeJeune said. “This is an acting position until we can make that determination.”
Also at the Jan. 7 meeting, the board will consider approving an assistant sales tax director position.
The assistant sales tax director job is included in the 2014-15 budget that was adopted by the outgoing board. However, the job description for the position had not yet been created nor approved by the board. Based on the proposed job description and salary schedule, starting pay for the job is $54,948.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.