Some Denver school board members facing reelection pulled a fast one by pushing the vote to give Superintendent Alex Marrero a secretly negotiated hefty pay raise and bonus five months ahead of schedule.
The vote was held in May without any public notice, instead of October when voters would be filling out their ballots and deciding whether to reelect Scott Baldermann and Charmaine Lindsay, who just happened to support the raise when it passed on a 4-3 vote.
It was the second raise this year given to Marrero whose contract isn’t even up for another two years, bringing his total salary to $305,000, plus a possible bonus of up to 12.5 percent if he meets certain school board goals.
That’s a grand total of an additional $83,125 — a lot more than the average salary of Denver school teachers.
What did Marrero accomplish that was so deserving of two raises plus a huge bonus?
Was it when he proposed closing 10 schools? Plummeting enrollment numbers? School violence, including a student shooting two educators then committing suicide? Conducting school safety conversations in secret for hours in violation of state law?
We don’t know because the vote came five months before Marrero’s performance evaluation in October.
Michelle Quattlebaum told Denverite the superintendent’s contract was moved forward because four unnamed board members wanted it to.
“I find it difficult to vote on something I was not authentically or transparently involved in,” she said. “I cannot agree with the process that was used. I fail to see how this process was transparent.”
Presumably it was the same four board members who voted for the raise and bonus: Baldermann, Lindsay, Xóchitl Gaytán, and Carrie Olson.
Two of which just happened to be up for reelection in November.