Fayette superintendent Russell Griggs reducing time in office 01.19.2011

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette Superintendent of Schools Russell Griggs is hoping to be a little less visible this year.

The retired school chief who works on a part-time basis intends to spend fewer hours in the office and accomplish more tasks via the telephone and e-mail.

Griggs said he intends to travel more and spend more time with his wife while increasing the use of remote communications for school business.

“With the looming doom from the state budget we need to look everywhere for reductions,” he said.

Griggs directed a lot of his time in the past year to the wind turbine project, but that commitment will shrink mostly to quarterly reports to the Department of Development that helped fund the project through a grant.

His new work schedule that he presented to the board of education Jan. 11 will save the district an additional $22,212 in salary and retirement costs.

A fact sheet that he gave to the board shows that the previous superintendent cost the district $120,000 annually. Griggs joined the district for the 2007-08 school year as a part-time superintendent .

In his first full year (2008-09), he reduced his hours and his pay dropped to $90,000, including benefits. The following year it fell to $64,000 and then $55,000.

For the 2011-12 year he proposes a salary and benefit package of only $33,000. The daily rate has remained constant at $335 while his hours spent on the job continue to fall.

His new schedule calls for his services to be provided over 120 days, although not always in the school office. He’s asking the board for a communications stipend of $125 a month.

Griggs will remain available to receive phone calls and he expects to end up donating time beyond the 120 days.

Griggs has warned the board in the past to consider its options in the future when he “fades away” completely because the district’s costs are likely to increase significantly at that time.

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