Trustees with the Mountain View Whisman School District approved a new three-year contract for Superintendent Craig Goldman. The contract, which begins with a base pay of $216,216 for the 2013-14 school year, increases by about $4,400 each year.
The annual base-pay increase means Goldman will receive $220,540 for the 2014-15 school year and $224,951 for the 2015-16 school year. In addition to base pay, Goldman is entitled to various other perks, such as a life insurance policy and reimbursement for job-related expenses.
The trustees approved the new contract in a 4-0 vote. Trustee Phillip Palmer was absent.
Trustee Bill Lambert said he voted for the contract because "Craig does a good job managing the district. From the input I've gotten, he's well-liked by community members and the district staff."
A version of this story that ran on the Voice's website drew criticism of Goldman and the amount of money he is being paid. But Lambert pointed out that Goldman's salary is in "the middle of the pack" relative to other superintendents' salaries at comparable districts. "He's not making an outrageous amount."
Goldman has piloted the district through rough waters, Lambert said. "Financially, we've clearly gone through pretty tough financial times," he said, "and he's managed the district very conservatively, so that we're assured we're not going to get into financial trouble."
One way Goldman has done this, Lambert said, was through the "essential" role he played in negotiating a revenue-sharing deal with the city of Mountain View -- working to get the city to agree to share a significant portion of tax money generated by the Shoreline district.
He has also worked to bring new talent to the district, Lambert said, noting that he has heard from community members who are "very, very impressed" with some of the new principals.
Trustee Steven Nelson noted that he had considered voting against the contract's approval. However, he added, he would have cast the vote only to drive home the point that he and Goldman are in disagreement over certain policies. In the end, Nelson said, he decided to support the contract because, overall, he feels Goldman is a well-qualified and dedicated district leader.
"We will continue to butt heads," Nelson said. "But I think we have a good superintendent."