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Lewes, Delaware
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February 21, 1997     Cape Gazette
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February 21, 1997
 

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16- CAPE GAZE'IWE, Friday, February 21- February 27, Administrative Continued from page 1 board failed to follow its past practice, which is inconsistent with board policy, of voting on administrators' contracts in De- cember. Millman also refused to confirm or deny that there is a dis- crepancy in Superintendent Suellen Skeen's contract expira- tion date. Skeen's contract dis- crepancy appears to stem from a conflict between her contract lan- guage and board meeting minutes. Board minutes reflect that in the years 1993, 1994 and 1995, one- year extensions were added to Skeen's original four-year con- tract, which went into effect in Ju- ly of 1993. With the one-year extensions, referred to as "relievers," Skeen's contract would expire in 2000. "It expires in the year 2001," said Skeen. "The board did add an ad- ditional year to my contract. That was one of the considerations for bringing me here." None of the December minutes pertaining to administrative contracts - for any of the three years - reflect that ad- ditional year nor mention she is on a five-year contract. Skeen said she would not re- lease her contracts for public pe- rusal until she had met with the district's attorney, scheduled Thursday evening, Feb. 20. She did, however, reveal that her cur- rent salary is $96,659. Millman would not provide information re- garding Skeen's contract language or why the board has not yet voted on the administrators' contract re- newals. "In order for comment on that, I will wait for direction from the board and the board's attor- ney," said Millman. Skeen said last week that the Edgehill Continued from page 12 foot facility. The new store and doctor's offices will be construct- ed behind the current building which will be razed to make way for a parking lot to serve the new pharmacy. Dyer said lanes will be added to the Beebe Medical Center Tunnell Cancer Center entrance off of Sa- vannah Road to improve traffic flow in that area while Edgehill Pharmacy President Blake Thompson noted that moving the building back from Savannah Rd. will improve traffic visibility in the area. Planning Commission member Jim Ippolito however expressed concern that the July 10, 1993 traffic study was no longer realis- tic given growth in Lewes. "And a study at that time of the year doesn't consider school traffic which can be significant," said Ip- polite. Dyer said a traffic study project- ing out to the year 2020 actually showed an improvement in traffic flow based on the project and en- trance improvements. "And that takes into consideration proposed expansion of the Lewes Convales- board held executive sessions on Jan. 20, Jan. 27, Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 and did not go into open ses- sion at any of those meetings. She said personnel was an agenda item at all four meetings. Millman said that it is possible the board may review administra- tive contracts at its Thursday, Feb. 27 meeting, and it may review board policy pertaining to what month administrative contracts should be annually reviewed. The state law requires boards to make the decisions six months prior to expiration. Millman said she believes board policy calls for the vote in August or September. "We're beyond the policy right now," she said, noting that the dis- trict is still within the confines of the law. Administrative contracts expire on June 30. According to Mill- man, the board's practice was to vote on them at the December meetings - about a year and a half prior to the contract expirations. "The half year made if fairly un- clear at times," said Millman, "be- cause it's at the half year instead of at the time the contract begins [July 1]." "What I have recommended is that they do them in June," said Skeen, who said she expects the policy issue to be on next week's agenda. Millman said she will ask for the board to review the policy not only to clear up the confusion of the half year, but because voting on administrative contracts at the December meeting presents other difficulties. "It was a difficult time of year for the board because it's a very busy time of year, and it was diffi- cult to do a good job reviewing." She cited such issues as the annual budget review and long range fa- I cent Center," said Dyer. Lewes resident Mike Tyler also expressed concern about extra traffic generated by the proposed facility. "I think we would be cre- ating a safety hazard considering the proximity of Lewes Middle School," said Tyler. 'Td recom- mend closing the entrance closest to the school which will serve the pharmacy. All of the traffic should go through the main inter- section between Beebe Medical Center and this proposed facility." Thompson said he felt it would be too much to ask to have the pharmacy customers drive all the way around the building to get back in front to the pharmacy. He also noted that there might be somewhat less traffic under the new plan since many of Edgnhill's customers are Beebe Medical Center employees. 'q'his building will be part of the Beebe campus and people will be able to walk easily from their building to ours. It will make less sense than it does now for them to get in their cars." Dyer noted that there will be traffic lights in the entraneeway between Beebe Medical and the new medical arts building which would be regulated with overhead stop lights to allow safe pedestrian traffic between the two buildings. 1997 cilities report, as well as student hearings that needed attention be- fore the holiday vacation. Past practice for voting on the contracts has been for the board to be presented with a list of names of those employees whose con- tracts are to be considered for rollovers. "With administrators, they're all considered at once," said Millman. She said the name of someone who would not be rec- ommended for rollover would not be on the list. Whether the board will also review changing its prac- tice to vote separately for each ad- ministrator is "a consideration," said Millman. Any policy changes will go before the public for at least two months before the board would vote on them and they could become effective. The district underwent major administrative changes on Jan. 31 when Director of Instruction Nan- cy Feichfl was placed on tempo- rary leave. At the same time, Karen Cannon, supervisor of per- sonnel and information services, also left the district to begin work- ing full time for the Caesar Rod- ney School District. Cannon had given her notice to the board in mid-January, but she had agreed to work part time for the district until her replacement was hired and feeling comfortable with the transition. Those shifts at the administra- tive offices spurred a cascade of administrative transfers: O.D. Basinski, principal of Rehoboth Elementary School, is now an act- ing director of instruction; Mary Walker was moved from assistant principal to acting principal at Re- hoboth Elementary School; and Wayne Steele, driver's education instructor who is a certified ad- ministrator, has assumed the assis- tant principal's position at Re- hoboth Elementary School. No one was moved to the posi- tion of acting supervisor of per- sonnel, but final interviews for the position are scheduled with the board on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Both Millman and Skeen re- fused to say whether the apparent discrepancy in Skeen's contract is in any way related to Feichtl's in- voluntary leave of absence. Nei- ther will they confirm that the board is expected to vote on ad- ministrative contracts at the Feb. 27 meeting. "Contracts will be in open session, whenever they're done," said Millman. UNIVERSITY BY THE LAND & SEA Free public lectures with University of Delaware faculty Friday, Feb. 21 00mericana 6rated.. Iehu 6am/00. Deaware with DR. ROBERT D. BETHKE Associate Professor of English In Lewes: In Seaford: 11 10 a.m. 2 p.m. D Virden Center Auditorium Hugh R. Sharp Campus Methodist Manor House EXPIRES MAR, 6th SPECI/kL OF THE MONTH MID-WINTER'S FIXER UPPER SPECIAL At Besche Furniture you'll find the furnishing Ideas you're looking for to "fix-up" your liv- tag, family or great rooms. Now through March 6th this once-a-year special spotlights the best known brand names (LA-Z-BOY, CKAFIMASTEK. England/ cosv0. For Free Southern Sussex Hospitality Besche Pmnlm Is conveniently located on RT. 9 between Geoetown and Lewes, west o[RT. 30. 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