Marietta BOE corrects contract mistake

The Marietta City Schools Board of Education met briefly Friday afternoon at a special meeting in an effort to correct a legal shortcoming in its approval of the five-year contract for superintendent Will Hampton.

Because Hampton’s contract was approved in late May, it fell afoul of a section of the Ohio Revised Code that specifies districts must approve such contracts before March 1. The board passed a resolution dividing Hampton’s contract into two segments, one as a rollover contract effective this year and the other covering the following four years.

The specifications of the new contracts — including duties, responsibilities, salary and benefits — mirror the one ratified by the board in May.

John Lehman, a candidate for a board seat in Tuesday’s election, spoke at the meeting, saying the board by taking its intended action would compound its previous error and “complicate it with another that won’t be legal,” arguing that the code will not allow another contract to be ratified before January 2018.

Lehman concluded by asking the board to resign.

“I beg of you to resign your positions immediately to allow a new board to be appointed before any more damage is done,” he said.

Board chairman Bill Hutchinson thanked Lehman for his remarks, read out the resolution and called for a vote.

Board member Russ Garrison said immediately after the meeting that the board had acted as quickly as possible when it became aware of the problem. He had said Thursday that the board had drafted the resolution after seeking legal advice.

The resolution passed unanimously. Board member Roger Bartunek was traveling and unable to attend, but all other members were at the meeting.