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Bayport-Blue Point school contracts online

Bayport-Blue Point High School is one of five

Bayport-Blue Point High School is one of five schools in the district. (Oct. 18, 2011) Credit: Erin Geismar

The Bayport-Blue Point board of education has posted teacher and administrator contracts on its website, a move residents herald as a step toward transparency.

The board announced last week that it would immediately post the contracts. President James March said posting them made sense, since the documents are public -- but usually require a freedom of information request to be viewed -- and since many people want to see the details.

"We felt that, technically, they're all available through [the] state and other sites, so we just figured we might as well make it convenient for anyone who's interested," March said, "I think we've virtually posted every employee contract."

Included is the contract for new superintendent Vincent Butera, who is due to start Dec. 1 and be paid $218,000 annually for the first three years. His contract provides for fewer perks than his predecessor's, March said.

"He's the first [superintendent] from Bayport-Blue Point to pay 25 percent into health care premiums -- the previous amount was 20 percent," March said. "I guess it's somewhat more simplistic -- and by that I mean you'll see no car allowance."

March said Butera will have a travel allowance -- trips must be approved by the board -- but there are no excessive annuities in the contract. Butera will have 25 vacation days and will be issued a cellphone and laptop for district use.

Marcia Meirowitz, president of the Bayport-Blue Point Teachers Association, could not be reached to comment.

Parent and resident Rita Palma, who has criticized the board for its spending, credited its newly elected members for the move toward transparency. "What it represents is open government," Palma said. "This to me is a sign that they're listening."

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