Hinsdale High School District 86 continues to look for ways to plug the holes in its administrative staff.
The School Board voted 4-3 Monday to hire an executive search firm to find a chief financial controller. The district will pay Robert Half, a staffing firm which specializes in accounting and finance professionals, $50,400.
Because the expense was not in this year’s budget, School Board member Kay Gallo voted against the contract.
“With the zero levy, I am looking at things differently,” Gallo said, referring to the board’s decision not to increase its tax levy for next year. Gallo voted against the flat levy in December.
Joining Gallo in opposing the hiring of the search firm were board members Michael Kuhn and Jennifer Planson.
“We don’t have the money,” Planson said. “It wasn’t a budgeted item.”
Superintendent Bruce Law said the money is available because the district is spending less due to the vacancies in its administrative staff.
Board members questioned why pay a retainer, instead of hiring a search firm on a contingency basis.
“There is just not the same level of commitment,” when a firm is working on a contingency, as opposed to on retainer, Law said.
On retainer, the firm knows it’s responsible for filling the position, he said.
Dominic Maniscalco, the district’s new director of human resources, agreed, saying he thought, on retainer, the firm would expedite finding the right person.
Meanwhile, the district also is searching for candidates to replace Hinsdale South Principal Brian Waterman, who is leaving at the end of the school year for another job. That search will be done without an executive recruiting firm, Law said.
“We are accepting applications,” Law said.
Members of the Hinsdale South community will have opportunities to meet the final candidates, as they did before Mark Kolkman was hired as the new principal of Hinsdale Central, Law said.
The district also is advertising for candidates to hire as director of financial controls and purchasing officer, two newly created positions in the business department, and as assistant superintendent for instruction.
At the Jan. 13 meeting, the School Board voted to extend the contract with the executive search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates Services, which has placed Mary Biniewicz in the job of assistant superintendent for instruction, and Gary Yeggy in the job of manager of the business department, on an interim basis. The district pays Hazard, Young, Attea, which then pays Biniewicz and Yeggy. The firm’s fee is $1,050 per day for each of them.
As of Nov. 30, the district had paid HVA $37,800 for Yeggy’s work, $15,225 for Biniewicz’s services, and $27,575 for a person to help with the district’s communications with the public and the media.