ou can decide for yourselves whether you think Mike Reik, superintendent at Platte County R-3, is over-compensated, fairly well compensated, under-compensated, or right on target.
My primary reaction is this: the information in the front page article further confirms a long-held belief that school salaries are heavy at the top (administrators) and not heavy enough in the classroom (teachers).
And that’s true not just at R-3 but across the field of public education.
A most interesting part of the article for me is the way Sharon Sherwood, school board president, is in denial about the 50 percent increase in Reik’s compensation since he started 11 years ago.
“That can’t be right. There must be a mistake. I can’t speak to the 50 percent increase because I disagree with that,” Sherwood told our reporter at various times in interviews for the article.
I don’t know her well but I get the impression Sherwood’s heart is in the right place. She seems nice and polite, gives off a grandmotherly vibe (I bet she bakes great sugar cookies) and seems to have good intentions, so I don’t want to throw too much shade here. But the facts are this: the salary and benefit numbers that show Reik’s total annual compensation has increased by more than 50 percent were provided by the school district itself.
So either: 1. The school board president doesn’t trust the numbers the school district’s central office provided to the newspaper; or 2. She was totally unaware the superintendent’s total compensation had climbed to those heights.
Which do you think?
I should be shocked by school board members’ apparent lack of awareness of the total value of the superintendent’s compensation but upon further review I would say that I’m not.
We found the same lack of awareness among Park Hill school board members in 2013 when we did a similar story on the total compensation for that school district’s former superintendent Dennis Fisher.
Sadly, sometimes elected officials are on cruise control and they don’t pay attention to as many important details as they should. When it comes to public dollars, details matter.
Hats off, by the way, to Reik and others in the Platte County R-3 central office for working with our reporter to acquire the total compensation numbers. They did work with the newspaper in a transparent fashion once we made it clear we wanted items beyond what is typically reported as “salary.”
Reik’s compensation package includes items listed in documents as health insurance, disability insurance, a $150,000 life insurance policy, mileage, retirement benefit, something called “administrative benefit,” vacation day pay out, annual leave day pay out, and more.
A man recently tried to rob the China Wok restaurant in Platte City. The suspect walked into the business and showed a knife. The restaurant owner pulled out a bigger knife. Suspect ran away. Proof that size does matter.
Not gonna lie, I’m pretty pumped that the final meeting of the sales tax advisory committee is later this week. They’re warning us this could be a longer meeting than normal. No big deal. Listen, I sat through a viewing of The Irishman, although it took me two nights. Anyway, if you don’t have a life feel free to bring some popcorn and meet me at the resource center Thursday night.
As we headed to press Tuesday morning, Chiefs fever was still wild and crazy in Platte County. Case in point, a line started forming outside Dick’s Sporting Goods at Zona Rosa Monday night for a Tuesday morning giveaway of around 225 wristbands that guaranteed you a spot to get an autograph of standout Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu on Tuesday night.
This is borderline nutty. The first person in line said he got there at 4:30 Monday afternoon. One guy reportedly went to the grocery store, bought a boatload of hot dogs and started grilling them in Dick’s parking lot for his fellow Chiefs fans as they waited through the cold.
I’m a big Chiefs fan myself but let’s do a sanity check. This time of year it gets cold outside, guys, especially overnight. And it’s just an autograph, guys. If Mathieu writes like most celebrities you won’t even be able to decipher the signature.
Oh, well. To each his own. You be you. We won’t judge. At The Landmark, we love all you crazies.
They say Kansas City has the biggest Dick’s.
I was referring to the sporting goods store. True story. Google it or something.
(You can find Ivan Foley not waiting in a line for autographs or not staying out overnight in the cold. Email firstname.lastname@example.org )