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B-BP Interim School Chief Will Also Consult For Three Village Schools

Throughout July and August Neil Lederer will split his workdays between the two districts

The newly-hired interim Bayport-Blue Point school superintendent will also be serving as a consultant for the Three Village School District during July and August, Patch has learned.

Neil Lederer, who served as the fulltime interim school chief in Three Village for the past two years at an annual salary of $200,000 with no health benefits, will start his work for both districts as of July 1, splitting his workweek between the two districts.

Bayport-Blue Point will be paying Lederer $1,025 per day while Three Village will pay him $800 per day. He will be paid only for the days he works in each district and his workdays will not overlap, said Lederer and officials with both school districts.

Lederer recently signed a one-year contract with Bayport-Blue Point, with a guarantee of four months of employment. According to Syntax Communications, which serves as the public relations firm for both school districts, he also has an as-needed consulting deal with Three Village for July and August.

“There will be no conflict,” Lederer told Patch. “People will jump right away to the double-dipping thing. Both jobs are on a per diem basis. Obviously if I was in a [fulltime salary] contract it would be different."

He continued, "The Bayport board knows that I have a commitment to Three Village. I will not be in Three Village as much as what had been agreed to [initially when the agreement was approved by the Three Village Board a few months ago]. There will never be a day when I will be working in both districts. Bayport is OK with that. I shared that early on."

However, Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education President Jim March told Patch he was not aware of the specific agreement with Three Village. He said the Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education negotiated its rate with Lederer based on current rates paid to interim school chiefs on Long Island.

“We presented a number [regarding rate negotiations], he countered and we came to the rate. It was clear he would not work for $800 a day,” said March, alluding to the Three Village rate Lederer will be receiving this summer.

“I don’t know what the Three Village rate involves, maybe a shorter workday or because it’s a transition role,” March said, adding that initial plans call for Lederer to work two days a week in Bayport-Blue Point during July, then fulltime starting in August.

“We know he has other obligations and worked it out that he would be in a minimum number of days during July,” March said.

The Bayport-Blue Point BOE president said Lederer will work all four days a week at B-BP in August when the district has shorter workweeks.

Lederer told Three Village Patch he expects to work three days in B-BP and two in Three Village in July.

However, in an e-mail to Patch, Syntax provided another workweek scenario for Lederer.

“The Three Village Board has asked Mr. Lederer to make himself available, if necessary, to provide assistance to the new superintendent in that district on the days he will not be in Bayport-Blue Point. He would only be functioning as a consultant to the district; he would not longer have any formal title or role. He currently has no scheduled days of work for Three Village. It will only be if they have a specific need,” Syntax stated in the e-mail.

In regard to Bayport-Blue Point, Syntax said Lederer will be working Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the month of July.

“This allows him to assist the Three Village transition, if asked, on Thursdays and Fridays during this month,” states the email, which also notes that in August Lederer plans to work the full four-day summer workweek in B-BP and possibly assist Three Village on Fridays.

Lederer told Patch that he took on the Bayport-Blue Point interim job for several reasons.

"The desire to still stay active as I don’t do idleness well. Bayport-Blue Point has a tremendous reputation. I know the superintendent there does an outstanding job. It’s for a relatively short piece of time. I’ll be active in their search for a new superintendent. It’s an attractive district that I was interested in,” he said.

Lederer’s is for one year, with a guarantee of four months of employment, which would be through October 30.

Lederer gets 10 paid sick days as part of the agreement, said March, but no more than five can be taken in the first six months of work.

March said he has a meeting set with Lederer and outgoing B-BP school chief Anthony Annunziato Monday to map out specific workdays and duties.

“We’re going to sit down and talk about duties and create a game plan on when he needs to be here and attendance at various events and meetings during the summer,” said March.

March said Lederer is scheduled to be at B-BP two full days in the next two weeks, at no pay, to help Annunziato as he transitions out of his seven-year role before as of August 1.

G. Lane June 15, 2012 at 02:16 AM
So Mr. March did not know we would be sharing HIS new superintendent with another district. We are paying him more than Three Village and we are a smaller district. Sounds like our BOE president rushed into this and didn't do his homework. This reminds me of playgrounds that he thought the state would reinburse us for, a new gym that we can't play regulation basketball in and an $800,000. hot dog stand. Our president does a very good job of foolishly spending our money. Time for a new BOE president!
Vito June 15, 2012 at 02:51 AM
To those who accused me of "board bashing" last time I voiced an opinion on this matter, am I supposed to say "good job" to the board on this move as well?
JM3157 June 15, 2012 at 03:33 AM
I don't think it's just the President's fault, I think that the whole BOE missed the boat on this one....My main question to the BOE and the public is "Why do we need to hire so many consultants for so many positions and at such high rates (This is not the first time BOE of BBP hired a consultant, at a very high rate, to help with some reorganization of a department that probably could have been handled internally). Shouldn't there be a Chain of Command? I would think that if something happened to a Superintendent, the Assistant superintendent(s) should be more then qualified and capable to step in to perform the Superintendent's duties while the district looks for a new one and not have to pay more than $1,000 a day for a consultant who will need to "Split" his time? Am I off in thinking this way? And if this isn't the case, maybe the BOE should take a closer look, review and change some of the qualifications of the leaders they will be hiring.
G. Lane June 15, 2012 at 11:03 AM
JM3157, our assistant superintendent is leaving too so the district couldn't move him up! I fault our president because he is the one who runs our BOE. No one on this board challenges our president. The one time a trustee spoke up and started to ask questions, the other board members and the superintendent jumped all over him and made him a target. No other board member came to his defense. I sure hope that when the three new board members take office on July 3 that we see some changes. Maybe that is why there was such a rush to hire this guy!
Rita Palma June 15, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Triple dipping, anyone?
Vito June 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I wonder why the district was in such a rush to hire an interim superintendent. More than likely this person, however skilled and qualified they may be, won't want to make any major decisions as they are just a temp. There was no one within our system capable of just steering the ship in a straight line until a new captain came on board? Is there some legal requirement that the position always be filled?
JM3157 June 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM
G.Lane...I was aware the Asst. Superintendent was also leaving... but there are 2 Asst. Sup. and although their duties relate to different areas, given the opportunity to run our school district they may be able to step in during the hiring process of a new Sup. so the district doesn't have to spend over $1K a day for a consultant....And besides they knew the Sup. was leaving a while ago, I'm surprised it took this long to get the letters out to the public about what their hiring plan was...
noelfeustel June 15, 2012 at 01:05 PM
G. Lane- You are right on target, this is more Machiavellian maneuvering by Mr. March. He knew this hire needed to be quickly approved by the lame duck membership session because it would not pass the sniff test with the victorious slate of three that get sworn in on July 3rd. Their first motion should be to fire the new hire. Motion two should be nominating an alternative BOE President to fill the shoes of the current inhabitant. Reading this article is deeply disturbing. It highlights financial malfeasance and rushed, sloppy attention to work scope detail on the part of the BBP BOE. The quotation of Mr. Lederer where he states, "The desire to still stay active in that I don't do idleness well" certainly caught my cynical attention. The fellow is 67 years old, has been in the educational trenches as a teacher, principal, Lindenhurst superintendent, plus $200,000 per annum interim superintendent for the past two years at the Three Village district . He has a $204,000 a year pension, and is qualified for Social Security plus Medicare. This fellow should embrace idleness, vacation packages to Greece are cheap this summer, head to Corfu and relax. Teach for America also loves mentors. The rest of us in BBP who can't afford a rich vacation should put our attention to demanding that a new superintendent be someone not in the current closed cartel, but a waiver approved nominee who will take the district in a creative direction, coupled with lower salary demands.
Steven Feldini June 15, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Lederer , Annunziato and most anybody that they are considering for the position are hired guns. They are in it for the money plain and simple. I am sickened how out of whack the pay scale has become in education. These two gentleman are rich! You should not become rich teaching our children it should be a calling a desire to make a difference. Not a fat paycheck.
Lisa Gatti June 15, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Interesting comments. Please check out Best4ny to find ways to advocate for change on the State level, i.e. repeal of the Triborough Ammendment.
Yvonne Kleine June 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Mr. March flunks math once again. Summer school, anyone?
Blue Point Family June 15, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Mr. March and other members of the current Board have often said that the most important function of a Board member is hiring a superior Superintendent. If that is true, then did not Mr. March fail to accomplish the single most important job he has as the Board President? Also, in the past when Mr. March attempted to justify Mr. Annunziatto's $300,000+ salary he would state that the job of Super was all consuming in time and personal energy therefore such a salary was only fair. But now the story changes; the job of Super can be done by a single person presiding over not only our district but also at the same time, a larger district (who incidentally is paying him over 20% less than us!). Last, did Mr. March consider where Mr. Lederer's loyalties will lay? If he comes across the resume of an amazing young teacher or has a lead on a certain state grant, will he push only for BBP or split his loyalties with Three Village, or worse? I think our kids at BBP deserve their own Super. The potential conflicts of interest inherent in this situation should have alone prevented this hire.
Sarah June 15, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Long Island school boards seem to think that in order to get quality administrators you have to offer these outrageously inflated salaries. WHY???? Why do we have to offer interim administrators well over $200,000 a year when they are already getting a pension with full benefits. (they tell us they are saving us money by not taking the health benefits) Yes,THEY have benefits, when some other full time school employees don't have ANY . (Aides & Assistants @BBP). It is time for the school boards to stand up and say enough is enough. If these inflated salaries are not offered, are these positions really going to go unfilled. HIGHLY UNLIKELY!!!! Dr. Annunziato has said that there are not enough people to fill these administrative positions and that if a cap is put on their salaries in NY that many will leave the state. This is why LI schools should consolidate now. If there are less positions available I'm sure people would be willing to work for less money with more competition in the field. School Boards need to wake up and set the tone for the new economic reality or Long Island is not going to survive!!
DS June 16, 2012 at 10:37 PM
This is definitely a challenging time for transition for BBP Schools, as well as it being during a significant period of change in our government, economy, and education. I think it makes sense to bring someone in who has experience, and can transition us from the Annunziato period to the next phase. I feel terrible that there is so much anger and don't completely understand what would be a better solution. Lederer will be fine in the interim, and will allow the search committee the time needed to screen and select the next candidates. There is nothing underhanded or mismanaged happening here folks, this is how it goes. Deep breath...these things take time.
Lee June 18, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Steve, Most teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, policemen, accountants, and so on, don't feel like their "jobs" are a "calling". A few in each field may feel that way, but actually most people make a "career choice", teachers included. Part of their decision may be based on "a desire to make a difference" but salary, benefits and vacation certainly figure into their decisions. Everyone would like a "fat paycheck" and it is somewhat relative how much money constitutes a "fat" one. The money this interim superintendent is making seems FAT to me!
confectioner June 18, 2012 at 11:28 PM
OMG, BBP has a PR firm-Syntax Communications. The students don't get to enjoy field trips but we pay the interim Super 1000+ a day and we have PR firms under contract, wonder how much that costs? "I refuse to work for $4000, a week"- can we put that on T-shirts?
Eliza Kay June 19, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Mr. Vito (?) I did not accuse you of board bashing. I simply suggested that we move away from the typical negative tone and welcome the new school leader(s) including the new board members. After reading this article, I understand the new interim sup will be spending 3 days in BBP per Diem and 2 (possibly) in Three Village as a consultant. I am having difficulty following the communications as laid out, possibly editor intent. But I see nothing wrong with a retiree returning to the workforce while collecting a pension. Plenty of retirees (with pensions/severances ) return....public and private; educators, accountants, nurses, lawyers, etc. When budgets get tight, we force retirement-ready folks out with sweet deals..…just to hire back their expertise on a project –by-project basis. Their price….public and/or private… is set by the market. So clearly, with the options laid before them, the BBP BOE made an informed decision. Again, Vito, JMO.
JM3157 June 19, 2012 at 02:27 AM
http://oldsite.alliancedefensefund.org/userdocs/AQComplaint.pdf... A Case brought against Neil Lederer... The outcome was in favor of the student....Also just heard, although it might be too late now....That collectively the staff and community of Lindenhurst where Neil Lederer retired from, yes he's suppossdely retired...did not like Lederer as they felt he was Arrogant and Egotistical.....but really, can you blame the guy....He's able to get $1K + a day, who wouldn't be arrogant and egotistical with that kind of pay?????
Lisa July 23, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I would think they would want an experienced super leading the school now as budgets are very tight...hopefully they can get someone with the same top expereince from another district who has been an actual superintendent for the full time job.
SoMo September 14, 2012 at 02:26 PM
My job would never allow me to work for someone else at the same time. Why do school districts get away with stuff that is banned in the real world?

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