Common Sense Slowly Creeping Into School Administrations

Author: Kari

Joseph Passiment, the Manalapan-Englishtown School Business Administrator set to retire with an exorbitant retirement package detailed here, injects signs of morality and common sense into the sordid world of school administrative officials in New Jersey.

Passiment has agreed to take only half of his $153,000 payout for unused sick and vacation days upon his retirement in August.

Thank you, Mr. Passiment. And thank you Carole Knopp Morris, Monmouth County Executive Superintendent, for making the request.

These people deserve kudos for taking action against spending Monmouth County taxpayers’ money in questionable ways. Mr. Passiment has every legal right to that money. The contracts he signed entitle him to it, and let’s be honest – who among us wouldn’t sign a contract that offers such lucrative benefits? Assuming all his unused days were legitimately unused, I would really be looking forward to enjoying those payouts as fruits of my labor if I were him.

Who we should be angry at is the system that enables these contracts to be made, and the patronage system that allows Mr. Passiment to move into another high-profile taxpayer-funded job while receiving an impressive annual pension of almost $80,000. We should be angry at the officials who planned to give him a salary increase in his last few weeks in office (no word on whether or not that will become reality) at the same time that the school district is so worried about next year’s budget deficit, they may have to fire teachers and restructure the district to make up for it.

The school district, thankfully, has begun putting caps on payments for unused days in some cases (hopefully in all), but because Mr. Passiment’s previous contracts did not include such caps, he was entitled to the exorbitant payout. Hopefully his action, showing common sense and a duty to the district he has worked for for over 30 years, will be an example to other government officials who will greedily lap up every cent they can get their hands on. You are civil servants, working for the people who pay your salary. Think about them every once in a while.

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