A spoken agreement has been reached on a contract to hire Dr. Frank Roberson as Richmond County's next school superintendent, school board President Marion Barnes said after a millage hearing Thursday.
"We're happy to have that in place," he said moments after the school board gave final approval to roll back its portion of the county millage by 0.232 mills.
The rollback to a total of 19.11 mills will save the owner of a $100,000 home an average of $8.12 a year. It comes as the system realized $1 million in savings from conservation efforts, an improved tax base and other cost-saving measures.
The three-year contract with Roberson will be signed at the board's next meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Barnes said. Exact salary figures have yet to be finalized, but "it will be less (than what former Superintendent Dana Bedden was making)."
Barnes said a $15,000 bonus that Bedden was able to earn if he met certain goals will not be included in Roberson's contract. Barnes also said Roberson will be offered "a little less" than the base pay Bedden received, which was $185,000.
When Bedden was negotiating a new contract in Richmond County before accepting a superintendent's job in Irving, Texas, he had asked that the $15,000 incentive pay be included in his base pay, saying the performance pay option had created too much controversy.
Before leaving in June, Bedden also said he had asked for an additional $15,000, but only to be paid after all workers' furlough cuts were restored. Ultimately, an agreement on a contract with Bedden wasn't reached, and since then school board members have said that -- in a time of furloughs -- they didn't plan to offer a new superintendent more than what Bedden made.
Roberson, an Aiken County native who has a home in North Augusta and has said he will be moving to Richmond County, most recently has been the superintendent of Marlboro County School District in Bennettsville, S.C. He was making $135,000 there, "but I allowed $20,000 of it to be applied to operations given state shortfalls to save teaching positions," he wrote in his application with Richmond County.
Roberson served as interim superintendent for Edgefield County, S.C., in 2006-07. The school board there had named him acting superintendent in March 2007, but contract negotiations stalled and he applied for the then-open Aiken County school superintendent's position.
Roberson has said he told the Edgefield County board that he had applied for the Aiken job and asked for a contract that would have let him leave with 60 days' notice if he was offered it. He has said he and the board parted on good terms.
Roberson has said he would be available to start as superintendent in Richmond County as soon as Aug. 23.