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ECISD board takes no action on supe contract amidst human resources review

The Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees took no action on extending its superintendent’s contract Tuesday night as the district continues to conduct an ongoing audit — the aim of which isn’t entirely clear.

Trustees evaluated Salinas and declined to vote him a raise or contract extension after two hours behind closed doors in executive session.

Salinas’ current contract runs through 2026.

Board President Carmen Gonzalez said though Salinas has operated under a four-year contract, trustees are aiming to give him a two-year contract, like the rest of the district’s employees.

“Last year, we gave him three or four years, or whatever, and we felt that we needed to go back to what we do for the other staff, which is a two-year contract,” she said. “And as far as the salary is concerned, he already has a good salary.”

The board named Salinas, a veteran district employee, superintendent in early 2021.

He couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday, though according to Gonzalez, Salinas and the board reached an understanding during the meeting.

“He agrees with it. And that’s the way it’s going to stay,” Gonzalez said. “It was all done in a positive way.”

The discussion comes a week after trustees held a special meeting to receive legal advice “regarding the review of human resources department practices.”

The district is currently conducting some kind of internal audit, though an ECISD spokesperson couldn’t provide any information on its scope and Salinas couldn’t be reached for comment about it.

Though trustees spent the majority of that meeting in executive session, they did appear to talk about at least some of the audit’s findings, based on a brief open session discussion.

Gonzalez said Wednesday that they largely discussed the district’s  policy.

“We were looking at the issue of the fact that we have some retiree hires, and that was an issue on [asking], ‘Do we need to have a different salary schedule for them?’ and these were just based on what we have, what we’re doing. Do we need to change?” she said. “Money is getting to be a problem with every district. We were, for our own sake, looking at what we’ve done and what we can continue to do.”

Trustee Xavier Salinas spoke up in favor of a variety of fiscal transparency and efficiency measures.

“[We need to] plan to make sure we’re paying our staff at the appropriate levels,” he said. “Those fund balance amounts are all over the place. We never got a true, true, true picture.”

In particular, he voiced concern over the release of some kind of flawed financial information.

“I know some of the information that went out was the wrong information,” he said. “That’s a concern to me, that our department’s not providing the correct information — which is a big concern — so I would like for the superintendent to look into those departments and say, ‘Hey, if you’re gonna send something out, make sure it’s right.’ Don’t be sending misinformation where people are thinking we’re overpaying everybody when we’re not.”

Superintendent Salinas said that whatever led to that issue has been addressed.

Ultimately, the board directed legal counsel to expand the scope of the review to address Trustee Salinas’ concerns.

“The only thing that I would kind of just inform the board on, is depending on the cost, we may have to bring it to the board for official board approval,” attorney Ben Castillo said.

Gonzalez said the audit is ongoing.

“That was a preview of some of the things that they’re going to be looking at,” she said. “But it’s not over yet.”

This probably isn’t ap style and i probably shouldnt do it

I’ll check on that and correct it. I’ve got the AP Bible on me. No worries.

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