WESTFIELD - Two Westfield residents are questioning the amount of money spent by the school district on two interim principals as well as its superintendent.
According to a letter to the community and the OBSERVER by Robert Neratko and Barry Underwood, interim principals Lawrence Studd and John Hamels were not only paid for each day they worked, but they were also reimbursed for mileage they drove to the school.
"How do you budget $1,850 and spend four times that amount?" the letter says.
"It may help you to understand that Mr. John Hamels was hired as an interim principal at a rate of $400 per day. Mr. Lawrence Studd was hired as an interim principal at a rate of $300 per day.
"In addition to their daily paycheck, both Hamels and Studd were each paid mileage to travel from their home to WACS and back home. We ask you, does your employer pay you 58.5 cents per mile to travel from your house to work and then back home each day?"
Also in question is the mileage turned in by Superintendent Mark Sissel, who both residents say is not accurate.
"Of the 14 we reviewed, 11 had no entry date at the top," Neratko and Underwood wrote. "They were sloppy, very difficult to read and understand. Additionally they had no mileage documentation attached as verification. We wonder if this was done to confuse anyone who tried to review the vouchers?
"On the travel vouchers we could get information on, Sissel had listed 6,008 miles (this is only part of his claimed mileage). When we checked this travel mileage against the Internet Mapquest we found that the actual mileage Sissel traveled was 4,188 miles."
Neratko provided the OBSERVER with the documentation regarding these two issues.
In the meantime, district board member Tony Pisicoli did respond to the letter. He said some of the "points are simply not accurate or not being looked at in proper context." Pisicoli also said there are points in the letter "that need to be addressed."
"There is a push to make this district transparent," Pisicoli said, "things like this will help us get there."
Both letters appear on Page A8 of today's edition.