OXFORD — Assistant Superintendent Rick Colpitts said Wednesday that contract negotiations between himself and the Oxford Hills School District Board of Directors should get under way shortly.
Colpitts, 50, of Peru, was unanimously appointed superintendent Monday to succeed Mark Eastman, who is retiring June 30 after 15 years in the job.
“I’ve been named but we haven’t negotiated a contract. … We’ll be working on that over the next few weeks,” Colpitts said.
Colpitts, the former superintendent of SAD 39 in Buckfield, has worked part-time and full-time as the Oxford Hills School District assistant superintendent for the past two years. Last year he was appointed full-time assistant superintendent with a salary of about $82,000 after SAD 39 merged with SADs 43 in Rumford and 21 in Dixfield to form the Western Foothills School District Unit 10. Colpitts, who lives in Peru, did not apply to be superintendent in that new district.
Last year, the Board of Directors approved a plan developed by Eastman to restructure the central office to save $35,000. The plan included putting Colpitts on full time as assistant superintendent when SAD 39 consolidated. Part of the plan, Eastman said then, was to have an experienced person in the central office when he retired whether or not Colpitts chose to apply for the superintendent’s post or was hired in the end.
While it is not known how long a contract the board will negotiate with Colpitts or what the salary and benefits will be, the Board of Directors has approved a new fiscal year budget of $34 million that includes $103,000 for the superintendent’s salary and another $22,628 for benefits, according to Business Manager Cathy Fanjoy.
Eastman, who will retire on June 30, is paid $103,000.
If negotiations are successful, Colpitts will officially assume his new duties July 1.