HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville School Board has voted on the terms of Matt Akin's contract for a second time, extending a second offer.
Akin came back with a counter-offer to the board's first offer last week. The board, in a special session Tuesday, came up in salary and passed through some additional benefits.
The board will now be offering a 3-year contract to Akin including $195,000 a year base salary, a $900 car allowance per month, and they will offer him up to $10,000 in moving expenses with provided receipts.
In another 5-0 vote, the only one of the night, the board again decided not to pay all of Akin's insurance premium, stating that they don't do that for any other employee. Under this new contract, if approved, Akin would pay his employee portion as does every other Huntsville City Schools staff. The board also declined to provide Akin with the housing allowance he requested.
Akin has the choice to accept, reject, or counter this latest offer.
"I think he will [accept]," commented Ferrell. "I think it's a good compromise between what he wanted and what we are willing to do.
Ferrell's response to those who say $195,000 is a lot?
"It is, but we also have 24,000 students we want to have a world-class education here," she said, later commenting, "I think he's going to earn every penny."
During the meeting, Michelle Watkins cautioned board members about fiscal responsibility.
"We want to pass out $195,000 like it's water. We don't have money like that. We need to be conscious what we're giving to him, or what we're talking about spending. This is not a cash cow," she stated.
Last Thursday night, the school board voted on the terms of Akin's contract for the first time. The vote was three to two to offer Akin a base salary of $179,500 per year. That initial offer is less than what he will now be offered.
Board members have until March 15 to secure a person in the superintendent's position. That is 180 days past former Superintendent Casey Wardynski's resignation. If that doesn't happen, the board will have to request a waiver from the state or the state will put someone in the position.
Akin most recently served as the superintendent at Piedmont City Schools in Piedmont, Alabama. Huntsville City Schools board members say he turned in his resignation to Piedmont on February 10th.
Board President Elisa Ferrell tells us Akin makes a $154,000 base salary per year in Piedmont. He also has built-in 3% raises, a $9,000 car allowance per year, and the Piedmont City School system pays $5,652 a year for his insurance premiums.
The board is taking previous superintendent salaries into consideration when determining the next move for his contract in Huntsville. Board members say Casey Wardynski made $175,000 base salary when he left the system, and Ann Roy Moore's was for $197,000 when she departed. The board also considered inflation, and Akin's own explanation that he has 14 years of experience under his belt.
Click here for a list of superintendent salaries in other districts for FY17, provided by the Alabama State Department of Education.