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New London, state to share cost of first 5 months of Rivera's salary

New London — When Manuel J. Rivera begins his tenure as superintendent of schools Monday, he will be working on a short-term contract and will be paid by both the city and the state.

For his first five months in New London, Rivera will be paid a pro-rated amount of the $250,000 annual salary he earned in Norwalk, though the state will pay 24 percent of the bill, Rivera said Thursday.

New London will pay Rivera a pro-rated amount of the $190,000 annual salary New London has set for its superintendent - roughly $79,166. The state, Rivera said, will pay him a "supplement" of roughly $25,000 to make up the difference between the salaries in the two cities.

"I don't know how the state is going to work it, but there is going to be a supplement the state is going to add so I finish out this year at the current salary I was earning in Norwalk," Rivera said.

In total, Rivera is expected to earn $104,167 between Feb. 1 and June 30.

Rivera's second contract - worth $190,000 per year for three years - will take effect July 1, he said. Under state law, a superintendent may not be signed to a contract longer than three years.

The Day was not able to independently verify the terms of Rivera's contract because the school district, which has been closed since Monday afternoon due to snow, said it could not provide a copy of the contract, which is a public document.

Rivera said he would not be able to send a copy of the contract to The Day because he was busy moving his belongings from Norwalk to New London. State-appointed Special Master Steven J. Adamowski said he did not have a copy of the contract available Thursday.

The Board of Education approved the contracts for Rivera with the same unanimous vote its members cast on Nov. 20 to appoint him, Adamowski said.

"That motion was worded in a way that it not only appointed him but approved his contract," Adamowski said. "The board received good advice from legal counsel on this. Everything was done properly."

The motion the board approved Nov. 20 appointed Rivera as superintendent "pending the successful resolution of contract terms" and also included the stipulation that "the board chairperson approves the employment contracts on behalf of the board."

It is common for boards of education to vote once to appoint a new superintendent and take a second vote at a later date to approve the superintendent's contract. When the New London board was set to hire Terrence P. Carter as its superintendent last summer, the board voted June 12 to appoint him and had scheduled a vote July 21 to ratify his contract.

Board of Education President Margaret Mary Curtin did not respond Thursday to requests for comment from The Day, and Vice President Rob Funk said he did not have a copy of Rivera's contracts. On Wednesday, Curtin confirmed that she has already signed Rivera's contracts. Adamowski said both Curtin and Funk recommended that the board approve Rivera's contract.

When Rivera takes the reins Monday, it will be both the first time in six months that the district has had a permanent leader and something of a homecoming for the city native.

"I hope to have the opportunity to use every minute and hour and day to get up to speed on a number of initiatives that have been underway," Rivera said Thursday. "This first week is going to be one of getting up to speed, learning more about what the immediate issues are, what upcoming matters that have to be addressed and, to the extent I can, I want to visit schools. I want to fit in as much as I can in the first week."

Rivera will leave his job as superintendent in Norwalk at the end of the day Friday. Because he will not have the benefit of an orientation period, Rivera said he expects to be busy educating himself on the myriad issues facing the New London district.

"There are many good things going on in the New London school system and it is important that I have a clear understanding about those things and that we work to build on New London's successful work," he said. "I am certain there is a tremendous amount of planning and work that has to go into the transformation of New London into a complete magnet district. I think I have a good sense of what that work is going to entail, and it's something I'm anxious to get started on."

Twitter: @ColinAYoung

Manuel J. Rivera Contract (Feb 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015) (PDF)

Manuel J. Rivera Contract (July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2018) (PDF)


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