Northeastern votes to give tax collectors a raise

Alyssa Pressler
  • The school board heard an update on the technology management company, which will expand programs.
  • The board also approved an increase in compensation for tax collectors.
  • A board member responded to criticism that was heard at December's board meeting.

The Northeastern school board voted Monday night to give district tax collectors a raise.

According to the board agenda, the increase will begin in January 2018. The move is a result of a discussion posed by board member Mike Redding at the December meeting.

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Previously, district tax collectors were paid $1 per bill issued and $1 per payment received. The board agreed that if a compensation increase were to go anywhere, it should be on the collection side, so tax collectors earn more for every payment they receive, not for every bill they send out.

The board voted unanimously Monday to increase the compensation to $1.30 per bill issued and $1.30 per payment received. The amount per payment received will increase by 10 cents each year following. So, tax collectors will earn $1.40 for every payment collected in 2019, $1.50 for every payment collected in 2020, and so on through 2021.

The district also heard an update on the educational technology management system, which had goals of expanding the district's one-to-one program to the sixth grade. The program gives each student a Chromebook laptop for educational purposes.

The company that manages the district's technology, Questec, talked of goals accomplished in 2016, including implementing the one-to-one program at the high school level and updating the computer labs. For 2017, the company will work to expand the one-to-one program in the intermediate schools to include sixth grade, according to the presentation.

According to the district website, the one-to-one program, officially known as the Anywhere Anytime Learning program, began as a pilot in 2015 with the seventh- and eighth-graders.

In old business, board member Robert Tabachini responded to comments made by community member Christopher Leh at the December board meeting. At that meeting, Leh, the man whom former Superintendent Shawn Minnich allegedly assaulted in December 2015, addressed the board.

Leh accused the board of acting shamefully by remaining silent regarding Minnich's charges, which include aggravated assault, burglary, making terroristic threats, simple assault, criminal trespass, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and harassment. Leh announced he would be running for a board position this election season — specifically, for Tabachini's position.

At Monday night's meeting, Tabachini said he was compelled as an individual board member to respond to Leh's comments.

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"This school board prides itself in following the letter of the law," he said. "The bottom line is that this school board has done its job, is doing its job and will continue doing its job with the goal of ensuring the success of all its students at its schools."

Leh, who was present at the board meeting, did not respond to Tabachini's comments during the public comment section. He did make a statement following the meeting, saying the board member is continuing to defend someone accused of a felony.

"Mr. Tabachini and Ms. Walker (the school board president) have unfortunately now set a precedent to protect a friend instead of the children and employees of the district," Leh said, referring to Minnich's estranged wife, Kathy Minnich, who works in the district, and their children, who attend district schools.

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"It's more important to Tabachini to attack a citizen than to acknowledge the horrendously poor decisions over the past year and learn from mistakes," Leh continued.

The next regular meeting of the school board will occur at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20. All board meetings take place in the administration building at 41 Harding St., Manchester.