March 7, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - A bill designed to limit the taxpayer cost of buyouts for public school superintendents and expose their terms to greater public view took a first step in the Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday in the wake of a couple of heavily criticized payouts. The bill, approved unanimously by the Education Committee, would require severance packages to be detailed in contracts that are public records. It also would impose caps on the value of buyouts negotiated later by school boards and superintendents who agree not to follow the contract.
February 24, 2012 |
BUDGET woes have spurred the Philadelphia Housing Authority into offering buyouts to all of its employees. PHA spokeswoman Nichole Tillman said yesterday that it's unclear how many people will apply for the buyout, which is on the table until the end of March. Employees will be offered a lump-sum payment based on the number of years they've worked for the agency. Tillman said that PHA opted to offer the buyouts because of federal funding cuts that left it with a $10.2 million shortfall in its fiscal-year 2013 budget.
December 7, 2011 |
THE DOCUMENT arrived at my doorstep over the weekend in a plain white envelope. This was going to be big. It was: Former school superintendent Arlene Ackerman's Christmas list. I knew it was going to be a good Xmas for former Queen Arlene. A very good one. First she engineered a $905,000 buyout from her job, which has to make one wonder why the Occupy Philadelphians, instead of camping out outside City Hall to party hearty, did not occupy her house. Then last week she applied to for unemployment benefits of $573 a week.
November 30, 2011 |
APPARENTLY THE $905,000 in public buyout money wasn't enough. Former Philly schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who was paid that queen's ransom to leave the city, applied for unemployment benefits this month. The school district - which agreed in her August separation agreement not to fight any unemployment claims filed by Ackerman - confirmed her application yesterday. Considering her nearly $350,000 salary in her tumultuous final year leading the district, Ackerman will likely be eligible for $573 a week, the highest weekly benefit provided by the state.
November 30, 2011
GIVEN the outrage that is sure to greet the news that ousted schools chief Arlene Ackerman has filed for unemployment, we're almost afraid to say this, but here it is: We can't help admiring her . . . just a little. The same way we admire the guy who kills his parents and then begs the court for leniency based on the fact that he's now an orphan. Since exiting her job in August, Ackerman has confounded her critics and enemies - first by negotiating a buyout worth nearly $1 million after just three years on the job, plus another $86,000 in unused vacation days.
November 10, 2011 |
OKLAHOMA PAID former basketball coach Jeff Capel $1.75 million in addition to his monthly salary after firing him following back-to-back losing seasons. According to documents released yesterday to the Associated Press in response to an open records request, Oklahoma continued to pay Capel his monthly salary through the end of June, under the terms of his contract. In addition to that, the documents show that Capel also received $500,000 extra at the end of May and a $1.25 million lump sum at the end of June.
October 31, 2011 |
THE YANKEES have made a contract offer to ace CC Sabathia, who has until today to decide whether to opt out of the 4 years and $92 million remaining on his current deal. The offer was made over the weekend, a source told the Associated Press yesterday. Sabathia agreed to a 7-year, $161 million, before the 2009 season and has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 ERA during the regular season for New York. If he opts out, the 31-year-old lefthander would become the top pitcher on the free-agent market.
October 14, 2011 |
TRENTON - Owners of more than 1,000 flood-prone homes could receive buyouts from New Jersey towns under a proposal that received unanimous support after its first legislative hearing Thursday. The legislation permits municipalities to establish so-called Blue Acres programs to complement the state's Green Acres program that enables towns to acquire land for parks or conservation, said Sen. Bob Gordon, a Democrat whose Bergen County district was hit hard by flooding from Hurricane Irene and other summer storms.
September 20, 2011 |
Signaling another major change in Philadelphia School District leadership even while it is about to search for a new superintendent, two members of the School Reform Commission resigned Monday, one of them its chairman. Both Chairman Robert L. Archie Jr. and Johnny Irizarry were appointees of Mayor Nutter, who is charged with replacing them. Their resignations are immediate and raise the question of whether the commission will even be able to meet Wednesday as scheduled.
September 19, 2011
TO PARAPHRASE myriad deejays, the hits just keep on coming. We're not talking about yet another playing of "Stairway to Heaven," or even "Seasons in the Sun," however annoying you might find that prospect. For people who work for newspapers, the last 15 years or so have been an unrelieved and seemingly unending chain of disasters. I just finished a column for a North Dakota paper about the sudden early retirement of the editor of the Bismarck Tribune, who cited unrelenting personal attacks from bloggers and Internet commenters as his reason.