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The Collier County School Board voted 3-2 on Tuesday to extend Superintendent Kamela Patton’s contract by one year to 2021.
Ericka Donalds and kelly Lichter voted against the extension, while Stephanie Lucarelli, Erick Carter and Roy Terry voted in favor of the item.
“There’s no urgency to do it, so why do it?” Lichter said, noting Patton has three years left on her current contract. “I just can’t support this.”
Donalds said she didn’t think the board had all the information needed to make an informed decision about the extension.
Because the current contract was drafted in 2011 and the superintendent is entitled to a 2 percent annual salary increase as well as various benefits, Donalds said the board should ensure they have a clear understanding of Patton’s compensation before voting on the extension.
Donalds suggested the board hire its own attorney as the district’s attorney can’t represent both the superintendent and the board.
“It would be prudent for us to do our due diligence and evaluate the package as a whole,” Donalds said.
Carter and Lucarelli expressed concern that if the board didn’t renew the contract, Patton might start looking elsewhere.
“I know there are other school districts in the state of Florida who would jump at the chance to steal Dr. Patton,” Lucarelli said. “Since Dr. Patton has been here, Collier County schools have improved tremendously.”