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NEWPORT BEACH/COSTA MESA : Board Extends Pact for Superintendent

November 01, 1994|HOLLY J. WAGNER

Newport-Mesa Unified School District Supt. Mac Bernd's contract was extended by one year Tuesday, until June 30, 1997, over the objections of two board members.

The dissenters in the 5-2 decision said the board should have waited until after the Nov. 8 election that will replace at least three of seven trustees.

Outgoing board member Sherry Loofbourrow said she could not vote in favor of the extension knowing that a month from now, the community's elected representatives would be different.

She also said the extension was premature. Previously, boards extended contracts seven to 14 months before the existing contracts expired, she said. Bernd's contract had another 20 months.

Board member Martha Fluor agreed and said the decision should be made at the annual re-evaluation of the superintendent, not at the midyear review.

Board President Edward H. Decker disagreed, noting he had voted on former superintendent John Nichol's contract renewal as a new trustee, and that he had felt ill-equipped to evaluate someone who had been with the district so much longer than he had.

"When I came onto the board, one of the first things that faced me was the evaluation of a longstanding superintendent," he said. "It is obviously the most important responsibility we have, and I do not shirk it."

Bernd's $104,000 salary plus benefits remain the same under the extension.

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