UPDATE: Resident Speaks Out to Ankeny School Board; Outgoing Superintendent Wendt Not at Meeting
At least two school board members have told the media that Superintendent Matthew Wendt should give back his transition pay after he accepted a new job.
UPDATE: 5:15 p.m.
It was a packed house tonight at the Ankeny school board meeting, an audience including some Ankeny taxpayers hoping to learn more about the severance package paid to outgoing Superintendent Matthew Wendt.
The administrator was not at the meeting, but Ankeny Patch was later told Wendt is currently using some vacation time, which is why he was not at tonight's meeting.
Wendt resigned last week and received one year's pay in return, with Ankeny school board members saying they believed he did not have another position to go to. However, the next night he signed a contract with the Oswego, IL, school district for an annual salary of $50,000 more than the roughly $176,000 he earned a year in Ankeny.
At least two board members told the media over the weekend that given his new job, Wendt should return the severance money to Ankeny.
Longtime Ankeny resident Joe Morr spoke during the public comment portion of tonight's meeting. He said as long as the board approved the severance package and Wendt took the money honestly, he did not have a problem with what happened.
However, if it wasn't taken honestly, Morr said the board would hear from him "now and until hell freezes over."
He closed by asking board members to do something about the payout if they can.
"If he hoodwinked the board members and me ... if it wasn't taken by him honestly, I have a problem," Morr said. "Whether you voted for or against it, I could care less.
Our earlier story:
The Ankeny school board will meet for the first time tonight since the district superintendent submitted his resignation last Wednesday, took a $176,000 transition allowance and, one day later, accepted a new job with a school district in Illinois.
At least two Ankeny school board members have told local media outlets they believe departing Superintendent Matthew Wendt should give back the transition allowance.
On Friday last week, board member Dustin Graber told the Des Moines Register he believes Wendt should give back the money to the taxpayers of Ankeny because it could be used to pay the salaries of at least two teachers.
Board president George Tracy also went on the record with KCCI Channel 8 last week. Tracy told the television station he and the other board members were under the assumption Wendt did not have another job lined up when they offered him the transition allowance.
"At that time, we did not know he had another job or was even interviewing for another position. We would have made the stipulation that if he had another position, we would not have paid him the transition severance we paid him," Tracy told KCCI.