Milstead Pay Raise/Contract Renewal May Be Void

A recent $10 thousand/year pay raise and four year contract extension for Lincoln Parish School Superintendent Mike Milstead may be null and void because the committee that recommended the action likely met in an illegal secret meeting.

At the 3/7/17 meeting of the board, a unanimous vote was made by the eleven members present to award the raise and extend the contract. However, the vote was upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee, chaired by Lynda Henderson (District 9). Other committee members are Curtis Dowling (District 3) and Danny Hancock (District 5).

As the action was recommended by a committee, there was no motion or second for the new contract.

If placed into effect, Milstead’s salary increases from $137 thousand/year to $147 thousand. Additionally, he receives, yearly, $7 thousand in medical benefits, $37.6 thousand in retirement contributions, and about $10 thousand in travel benefits.

The action has been questioned by some in the school system, as the district is facing an $8 million plus cut in Minimum Foundation Program funding from the state.

According to the approved minutes of the March meeting, the pay raise recommendation came from the committee.

President Joe Mitcham announced that Mike Milstead’s current term as Superintendent would expire on June 30, 2017. He turned the floor over to Lynda Henderson, Chairperson of the Executive Committee, whose committee consists of Danny Hancock and Curtis Dowling. On behalf of the Executive Committee, she said she would like to recommend that Superintendent Milstead’s contract be extended for an additional four (4) years and that his salary be increased by $10,000.00 effective July 1, 2017.

Joe Mitcham repeated the Executive Committee’s recommendation and added that all others terms and conditions of the original contract would remain the same. He asked for public comments or questions. After a few questions from the public and one comment by a board member, the Board unanimously voted by roll call to extend Superintendent Mike Milstead’s contract for an additional four (4) years, to increase his salary by $10,000.00, and for all of the other terms and conditions of the contract to remain the same.

See here the minutes.

We have reviewed our audio recording of the meeting (we record and archive ALL public meetings that we cover), and the minutes are an accurate reflection of the discussion that took place.

We requested a copy of the committee meeting minutes, agenda, and public notice a day after the March meeting.

See here our letter.

Two days later, Milstead replied in writing that there were no records, because there had been no meeting of the Executive Committee.

See here Milstead’s letter.

So the issue is can a committee that didn’t meet recommend an action be taken? And if the committee met secretly, are actions taken therein valid?

For that, we turn to Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law.

LA RS 42:24

Voidability – Any action taken in violation of this Chapter shall be voidable by a court of competent jurisdiction. A suit to void any action must be commenced within sixty days of the action.

LA RS 42:28

Civil Penalties – Any member of a public body who knowingly and wilfully participates in a meeting conducted in violation of this Chapter, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars per violation. The member shall be personally liable for the payment of such penalty. A suit to collect such penalty must be instituted within sixty days of the violation.

LA RS 42:14

Meetings of public bodies to be open to the public
A. Every meeting of any public body shall be open to the public unless closed pursuant to R.S. 42:16, 17, or 18.
B. Each public body shall be prohibited from utilizing any manner of proxy voting procedure, secret balloting, or any other means to circumvent the intent of this Chapter.
C. All votes made by members of a public body shall be viva voce and shall be recorded in the minutes, journal, or other official, written proceedings of the body, which shall be a public document.


17 Responses to “Milstead Pay Raise/Contract Renewal May Be Void”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Well, that’s one….or have there been others?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Are you kidding me?! This is BS! My wife is a teacher and she or any other teacher can’t say anything because he would fire their ass for disagreeing with him. I don’t work for him so I can! It is time for him and this school bd to Go! He is a narcissistic dictator and the bd sits back and allows him to do whatever the hell he wants to do! They moan and groan about being broke and five minutes later the bd gives him an apparently illegal pay raise all while threatening teachers with pay cuts and layoffs if they don’t vote for the tax renewal. That 10,000 bucks would have been better spent in classrooms on the students. He gets a damn raise……what do the teachers get? He “rewards” them with two days of inservices added on to their school year after they have worked their asses off all year long! They are tired, they are mad, and their morale is in the tank! Teachers hate Milstead! LP public schools can not stand another 4 yrs of Milstead’s shit!! hell if anyone gets a raise, give it to the people that does all the work! I can promise you that if my wife loses her job if this tax fails then I will hold the school board personally responsible and will do everything I can to see that they are all defeated in the next election! they already have lost the votes of many school teachers. Congrats Mike Milstead! You have single handedly destroyed the Lincoln parish school system by seeing to it that the tax renewal will not pass!

    • Anonymous Says:

      Don’t give the school board to much credit, pretty sloppy way to run a public board. Claiming action at official meeting and according to Milstead no meeting held. ….?…. Integrity of members of executive committee, superintendent and other that had to be called out to require that govt be conducted legal and proper (lawful).

    • Anonymous Says:

      Milstead must have his bluff in on the school board just like the teachers.

    • Anonymous Says:

      And they do not feel like they are valued or appreciated!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Never read anything like this in the local daily. Silence is Golden, as in ADVERTISING $$$.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Bought and paid for. Figure $ in public journal cost, Achieve budget, etc. But keep in mind, newspaper people have to eat too.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Are you kidding, Milstead is worth $200k per year?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    You couldn’t fit his ego into the titanic! And apparently the school board has drank the koolaid! If I’m not mistaken didn’t they also get a raise this past year? Seems as though the Gestapo and Hitler think they are the reason most LP. Schools are A or B schools. The teachers are not given any credit or shown any appreciation by Central office. I think I remember reading that hitler also recently created a position for one of his former cronies in the central office. But teachers face a pay cut and job loss if tax fails. How does any of this make sense?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    So if tax fails does central office staff, school bd, and Milstead also have their pay cut? will there be layoffs there? Uhhhhhhhhh NOPE,! The cuts will come to those who can least afford it. Teachers and students! Hitler ain’t to smart.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    They can’t have School without teachers, So the only way to force change on this corrupt system, Is vote no on the taxes, Then vote out every current School Board member! Maybe then, They will get the message!

  8. The teacher Says:

    Once again, I understand everyone’s concern, but please understand if you vote “no” you will not be hurting the school board. You will only hurt the teachers, students, principals, and all other support staff.

  9. Jackson ll Says:

    Teacher would you be willing to give up your extra pay checks to help stabilize the coming financial problem@ LPSB if the tax is defeated?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    It’s not a matter of if we would be willing. They are taking it away and cutting regular salary for teachers if tax doesn’t pass. They have already told us…..Milstead and business manager themselves that if tax fails teachers will lose jobs and have salaries cut. Did you ask the same question of Milstead and the school bd? Are they going to be willing to give back their new raises if the tax fails? Teachers are already underpaid, over worked, and under appreciated. Central office staff have not been threatened with job loss and salary cuts! Milstead even added positions to central office after threatening teachers. Teacher turnover in LP is appalling! We can’t find teachers to fill teaching slots, and when we do they leave after 1-2 years because of all the crap from central office. Look at the personnel report every time the school bd meets….. see how many teachers are retiring or resigning and moving to other parishes. I can’t even believe you asked that question Jackson II! You must either work in central office or you are a relative of a school bd member.

  11. Jackson II Says:

    Not either one my dear. Whole education system stinks.
    LPSB is a rubber stamp for Milstead and crew. Central office should be reduced 40 percent and teachers extra pay checks discontinued.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Central office should be reduced over 50%! Do not build a new central office. It is a total waste of taxpayers money, And unneeded! Milstead and his minions should be drastically cut, Or replaced! A total change of personnel at the central office is the only thing that will change the system for the better, Then vote to replace EVERY School Board member! People just don’t understand the corruption that is the LPSB!

  12. Lanie Sand Says:

    I haven’t checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

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