Two School District 2 trustees have called for a special meeting Monday to vote on terminating Superintendent Keith Beeman's contract.
The district released an agenda Thursday afternoon announcing the special meeting to be held at 5 p.m. Monday, just before the regular board meeting set for 5:30.
On the agenda is this item: “Proposal of termination of Superintendent Beeman’s contract.”
Trustee Lindy Graves said he and trustee Travis Kemp called the special meeting. “We just thought that we would like to get the district moving forward,” he said.
Trustees had considered this week adding language to the regular meeting’s agenda to address Beeman’s contract. But board Chairwoman Barbara Bryan announced Wednesday that it wouldn’t happen. She wanted to wait before bringing the issue up because there is still time on Beeman’s current contract, she said.
Beeman’s contract expires June 30.
“My position is the same as yesterday,” she said Thursday. The board needs to take its time to decide a matter like this, she said. She disagreed with calling a special meeting.
“I don’t think it makes for good decision-making,” she said.
It was her Wednesday decision that spurred the action by Graves and Kemp.
“Let’s get this moving,” Graves said.
The whole contract issue came up last week when a special meeting was held to vote on a two-year extension for Beeman’s employment, which would have kept him in Billings through June 2014. Trustees voted 5-4 not to extend the contract.
Many in the district and some in the community saw that as a no-confidence vote in Beeman’s leadership.
In order to move forward, the district needs to move past Beeman, Graves said.
The purpose of Monday’s special meeting is to create a severance package for Beeman and set up a termination date “as of Oct. 14, 2011 or another date as agreed by the board of trustees,” according to the agenda.
Under Beeman’s current contract, the board “may, at its option and sole discretion, unilaterally terminate this contract.”
The district then would be required to pay “50 percent of the annual salary and 100 percent of the value of the remaining benefits he would have earned under this contract from the actual date of termination to the end of the term of the contract.”
Beeman currently earns $160,000 a year.
Traditionally, districts looking to hire new superintendents advertise the position around the first of the year, allowing for a spring hire.
Graves said that was a possibility for SD2. He also said the district now has qualified assistant superintendents on staff who could step into the role.
Graves and Kemp were able to call the special meeting for Monday under Montana law, which states in SD2’s board policy packet that “special meetings may be called by the chair or by any two trustees.”
After Bryan postponed the issue, Graves said he and Kemp decided it was time push it forward.
“This just makes it come up Monday,” he said.
Also on the agenda is an item calling to authorize board clerk Leo Hudetz to answer information requests made by trustees. Currently, those requests must go through Beeman.