The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 13, 2007


Four contracts compared
a look at how the town compensates four key employees

Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle's new contract signed by the Carlisle School Committee on March 21 gives her increases in compensation, fringe benefits and paid time off. To understand her contract in the context of other top town employees, the Mosquito also examined the contracts of the following town/district employees: Concord-Carlisle Regional School Superintendent Brenda Finn, Chief of Police John Sullivan and Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie. All four positions are important to the town's well-being.

Carlisle School Superintendent

Superintendent Marie Doyle came to Carlisle School from the Bigelow Middle School in Newton, where she was a principal for nine years. Duties specified in her contract include being the "educational advisor" to the School Committee (to whom she reports), and performing the "overall supervision, direction, evaluation, control and utilization of all personnel and resources" for the Carlisle School. She is responsible for the 787 Carlisle students through grade 8.

Her first three-year contract period ends in June 2007. She recently signed a three-year contract for the period July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2010. Her starting salary is $130,636, with annual salary rates, unspecified, expected to be "adjusted to higher levels" during the three year term. In addition the Carlisle School Committee will identify four goals they expect her to meet each year, and upon completion of the goals she will receive $4,000. She will receive $2,500 for travel expenses per year. Doyle may take "time off during the day for personal reasons or emergencies" without affecting her pay.

Doyle's fringe benefits include $1,000 per year for disability/ life insurance. She has a three-tier structure for retirement funds: she is granted $5,000 for the first year, $7,500 the second year and $10,000 the third year. She receives six weeks of vacation and 20 sick or personal days per year.

Doyle must give at least five months notice before she wishes to terminate her employment at any time during the three-year contract. The School Committee may terminate the contract at any time for "good cause," or give 18 months notice without good cause. The contract automatically renews for one year if no action is taken six months before the end of her contract.

Concord-Carlisle High School Superintendent

Superintendent Brenda Finn joined the Concord-Carlisle Regional School district in July of 2003, after serving as the superintendent at Gill-Montague Regional School System in Turner Falls, Massachusetts. Duties include the "daily functioning of the schools," and to "serve as the [School] Committees' chief executive officer." She is responsible for about 3,100 students, including both the regional high school and Concord's grades K-8 .

Finn is in her second three-year cycle as superintendent, having signed a new contract on July 1, 2006, which ends June 30, 2009. Her salary for 2006 is $160,414, with adjustments to a higher level expected each year. Carlisle and Concord share the funding of this position. Finn may receive reimbursements of up to $2,500 annually for travel and attendance to meetings and conferences.

Finn must fund her own "basic" life insurance policy, but her fringe benefits include an allowance of $2,000 to purchase life insurance beyond the basic level. The contract specifies her retirement as the "maximum allowable per year by the IRS to an Annuity," starting with $20,000 in 2006. Finn receives 25 vacation days, exclusive of legal holidays. She has 20 days of leave from "school duties" for sickness, personal reasons and bereavement. Finn's contract notes her day is flexible, and she may take time off during the day without penalty.

Finn must give the district five months notice in the event she wishes to terminate employment. The Regional School Committee may terminate the contract at any time for good cause,or without cause with 18 months notice.

Chief of Police

Chief John Sullivan has been an employee of the Carlisle Police Department since 1985 and holds a master's degree in criminal justice. He was appointed Chief on January 25, 2006, by the Board of Selectmen.

Sullivan's three-year contract ends on January 25, 2009. His base salary is $78,000, with 3% raises his second and third year. He is also allowed pay increases available under the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts Police Career Incentive Pay" program (QUINN): he receives a 25% increase in his base salary, one-half of which is paid by Carlisle. (See Sullivan also receives longevity pay of $4,525 per year. His contract specifies that the town will provide a police vehicle and pay operating, maintenance and insurance expenses. The car may be used for work, for "professional growth and development," and personal uses, "since the Chief is on call in the event of an emergency," the contract explains.

Fringe benefits include professional liability insurance. If he is injured while on duty, he is entitled to benefits as outlined in State Law Chapter 41, section 111f, "he shall be granted leave without loss of pay for the period of such incapacity."

Sullivan receives five weeks of vacation. Sullivan is allowed 15 sick days, three bereavement days and five personal days per year. He has a uniform allowance of $2,000 for purchase and cleaning of uniforms.

Sullivan may be "discharged or disciplined only for just cause," such as criminal activity, after a hearing. He also can be suspended with or without pay "pending the final resolution of disciplinary action." The town will give Sullivan 90 days written notice if his contract will not be renewed. If the town does not take any action to renew or terminate, the contract automatically renews for one year. Sullivan must give three-months advance notice if he does not want to renew.

Town Administrator

Madonna McKenzie has been the Administrator of Carlisle since 2000. Previously she served as Westford's Interim Town Manager.

The Town Administrator's many duties include executing the policies of the Board of Selectmen; overseeing town insurance policies and claims, Town Hall maintenance and usage; handling paperwork for major town purchases; overseeing the maintenance and usage of the town's computer system and serving as the Personnel Administrator (see "Carlisle Town Administrator looks back," Mosquito, November 24, 2006.)

Her three-year contract was renewed on October 1, 2006, with a salary of $93,000. In October 2007 her salary will move to $99,000, and in October 2008 her salary will increase to $105,000. All salary increases are retroactive to October 1, 2006.

McKenzie can receive reimbursements for work-related travel while using her car. She has a professional membership allowance of up to $1,500 per year, an allowance of $1,500 for attendance at conferences and meetings and an educational allowance of $1,000. She is covered by a disability policy costing not more than $800. Each year she is allowed two personal days , three bereavement days, five weeks of earned vacation and 15 sick days.

At the end of the contract period, McKenzie or the town must give at least 30-days notice if the contract will not be renewed.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito