At a Tallmadge

Board of Education meeting Dec. 11, the Board discussed Tallmadge City Schools Treasurer Jeff Hostetler's proposal to retire and be rehired on a contractual basis.

Hostetler, who earns $95,352 annually, wants to retire Dec. 31, then be rehired at $85,000, collect his first pension, and then have the School Board start paying into a second brand new pension for him.

Mr. Hostetler does not live in Tallmadge nor does he pay Tallmadge property taxes.

I asked Board President Rick Kellar if the Board interviewed other candidates for this position. Mr. Kellar admitted they did not post the position nor did it seek out other candidates.

It's inconceivable to me there isn't one single Tallmadge resident /candidate with a bachelor's degree in accounting, with such expertise, in this entire region. Mr. Kellar stated the reasoning for Mr. Hostetler's compensation was his responsibility for a $22 million budget. Seriously? Gov. Kasich is paid $144,269 annually and the Ohio state treasurer $109,554 and is responsible for the entire state budget, a task much larger than our small school district. If the Board rehires Mr. Hostetler, his compensation (with his first pension and his new rehire salary) will be more than the state treasurer or possibly the governor!

With only 2,600 enrolled students, several residents also recommended the Board "share" a treasurer with another school district, cutting the budget for this position in half. Mr. Kellar said they didn't have time to review sharing this position due to Mr. Hostetler's imminent retirement at year's end. Mr. Hostetler will retire Dec. 31, but his contract doesn't expire until 2015 - which is ample time to analyze sharing such expenditures with another school district. It was my impression the Board had already made up its mind to rehire him and genuinely didn't care about residents' concerns over how our taxes are being spent.

Melanie Wasson, Tallmadge