The Marietta Board of Education approved the resignation of both its superintendent and board president Monday and are starting the search for replacements.
Superintendent Herb Young, who began as interim superintendent in August 2008 and started a new three-year contract a year later that would have ended in July 2012, is retiring effective June 30. He earned $99,963 in the position.
Young, 64, who has been a superintendent in five other districts, said when he took the job and moved to Marietta he planned to stay much longer, but a recent health scare changed his mind.
"I thought I had another five or seven years in me, but something happened to make me rethink my priorities," he said after Monday's meeting. "It's time to slow down a little bit and take the opportunity to be with my family and my grandchildren."
Young said the failure of the bond that would have funded new schools in the district had nothing to do with his decision not to stay on.
"I still believe these kids need new schools, but I'm a firm believer in the pester theory," he said. "I would have tried to get it put back on the ballot every time. If I was going to stay on working and being a superintendent, I would stay right here. I'm really indebted to the board for giving me this opportunity because I really like Marietta."
About Herb Young
Hometown: Martins Ferry.
Experience: Superintendent of Frontier Local, Fairborn City, Morgan Local, Black River Local and Ledgemont Local districts; principal and assistant principal at Warren High School; teacher and coach at Hamilton Local and Martins Ferry high schools.
Family: Wife, Gale; one son; two grandchildren.
About Jack Moberg
Occupation: Independent businessman.
Family: Wife, Barb; two adult children.
Years on the board: Five-and-a-half.
Young said he and his wife will move out of the area to be closer to their son and grandchildren, ages 10 and 12, who are near Cincinnati.
Before he leaves, Young hopes to have a good plan in place for spending district permanent improvement levy funds to make improvements to the schools, he said.
"I want to hit the safety issues hard," he said. "And we'll look at updating the HVAC systems, textbooks, buses, everything."
The board approved the hiring of Cleveland-based consulting firm Marsick & Associates to assist with a superintendent search. The service should cost about $6,000, said district Treasurer David Combs.
The board also accepted the resignation of its president, Jack Moberg, who did not attend the meeting. The resignation is effective Jan. 4, but that date was chosen in order to get a replacement in the seat during the appropriate, state-mandated time frame, Moberg said.
"The last meeting I attended was my last meeting even though I didn't know it at the time," he said. "I am going to miss it a lot. Overall it was a good experience and a good learning experience."
Moberg, who has been on the board for more than five years and had just been re-elected to another term in November, said personal and business demands were behind his decision.
"My personal life and business life were making demands of me and something had to go," he said.
The board will begin accepting letters of interest for the board seat today at the board office at 111 Academy Drive and will continue taking letters through Jan. 11.
They expect to select a candidate and have the new board member sworn in at the Jan. 25 meeting, said board member Greg Gault.
The term is for four years.
Also at Monday's meeting:
The board discussed the probability of having to make nearly $1 million in cuts in the coming months, due to a decrease in state funding and increases in expenses.
Nearly $820,000 in cuts would need to be made to balance the budget for next year, based on estimates for state aid.
"That would be a minimum," said Combs. "It may be higher."
The district had to cut into its carryover funds this year, spending at a deficit of $500,000.
"We can't continue to do that," Combs said. "Our revenues dropped, and even though our expenses didn't increase much, we're still running in deficit spending."
Any cuts that come will need to be made soon, said board member Allen Love.
"A lot of things we would have to do in the next three months," he said. "You can't make cuts once the school year starts and programs are going."
The board approved hiring Combs as the district's interim treasurer at a per diem rate, effective Thursday, as it continues searching for his replacement.
Combs was set to retire at the end of the year but has agreed to stay on until a new treasurer is found.
Board member Ryan Elliott marked his last meeting Monday, after losing his board seat in the November election.
"It's been a pleasure to serve for the last four years," he said. "I've learned a lot, and I look forward to continuing to be involved."