Ambridge School Directors voted 6-2 to create a new administrative position in the district.
The central office position of Director of District Operations will oversee the finance and business office, cafeteria, buildings and grounds, transportation, athletics and technology.
Board members Mary Jo Kehoe and Kelly Smith voted against the position. Terry Mylan was absent.
“I think this is bad timing,” Smith said, adding that she understands why the majority of the board wants the position. With teachers' negotiations and other ongoing matters, she said it would be better suited for a later date.
Kim Freeman of Economy pointed out to the board that the district currently has an interim superintendent, a superintendent on leave, and a vacant assistant superintendent position. She questioned the need to add yet another administrator role.
“That sounds like a lot of money we’re paying out and there’s no dollar figure associated with that,” Freeman said. “As a taxpayer, I think I have a right to say, that concerns me.”
Board member James Sas said the district is precluded from hiring a permanent superintendent and assistant superintendent in the current environment.
Meanwhile, he said educational performance and test scores are suffering. He said the director of district operations role will allow staff whose focus should be education, to work on improving student achievement, rather than handling pay roll, ordering supplies, and other tasks.
In other business, the board:
Approved the retirement of John Gulish from his position as a junior high school teacher, effective June 6, the last day of the 2015-16 school year.