School board members signed off last week on the employment contract for Murrieta's new superintendent of public schools.
Pat Kelley is employed as the head of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District under a nearly four-year contract effective through June 30, 2016.
Kelley's annual salary is $185,000, the same paid to former Superintendent Stan Scheer, with the same reduction in pay of 7.5 percent to $171,125, according to district spokesperson Karen Parris.
Kelley's contract was effective Oct. 1; the pay cut is in line with those taken by management district-wide through June 30, 2013, Parris told Patch.
He is subject to annual performance reviews and physical examinations.
Board members unanimously approved Kelley's contract at an Oct. 11 meeting, during which he was praised for his insistence the contract represented a considerable savings for the district.
The district will realize a $55,032 one-time savings with Kelley's contract, according to Parris, and an ongoing annual savings of $14,928.
The annual savings comes from Kelley taking a $10,000 tax-sheltered annuity instead of $20,000, a $250,000 life insurance policy instead of $500,000 and the standard health and welfare benefits package versus the enhanced package.
The district will also save the $1,000 annual stipend Scheer received for his doctorate degree.
"On top of those savings, the deputy superintendent position is not filled," Parris said.
One-time savings include a $10,000 relocation fee that would have been necessary if the district recruited someone from out of the area; and $30,372 in vacation pay Kelley voluntarily gave up rather than having the district buy-out the 50 days he had accumulated.
"If they had gone with an outside search for a superintendent the cost would have been considerably more," Parris said.
Kelley was appointed deputy superintendent in June, and superintendent Sept. 27 upon
Scheer signed a 21-month contract to lead the smaller Thompson School District in Loveland, Colo. He will earn $127,500 for the first nine months and $170,000 thereafter, according to a Loveland, Colo. newspaper, the Reporter-Herald.
Kelley has worked for the district for more than 22 years, serving as principal at Rail Ranch and Buchanan elementary schools. Prior to that, he served as coordinator of child welfare and attendance and assistant principal.
In July 2003, he was appointed director of human resources and in 2005 assistant superintendent of human resources.
As deputy superintendent, Kelley earned $152,831—$141,369 with the 7.5 percent reduction; he did not take a pay raise when promoted from assistant superintendent.
Kelley, married and the father of four, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of San Diego, a master's degree from Purdue University, a Tier 1 administrative credential from Azusa Pacific University and a Tier 2 administrative credential from the University of LaVerne.
Since taking over, Kelley has sought to meet and inform the community of impending budget cuts by holding public forums. The next forum is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the District Support Center, 41870 McAlby Court in Murrieta. Additional forums are from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.
Correction: This story was corrected at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 16. Patch reported there would be an annual savings of $55,032 from Kelley's contract, which was incorrect. The district's annual savings will be $14,928. Patch apologizes for the error.