Johnstown school district releases details on raises

JOHNSTOWN – One week after the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education approved raises totaling $13,600 for district administrators, the district has made details about the raises public.

The board voted 8-0 on Jan. 16 to change the district’s existing agreement with the Johnstown Administrators’ Association, which includes building principals.

The modification is dated Jan. 21 and signed by district officials and Johnstown High School Principal Michael Beatty, president of the Johnstown Administrators’ Association. It calls for $1,700 raises for eight administrators, effective July 1.

The change to the administrators’ 2011-15 agreement is a “one-time salary correction,” according to the agreement.

The current annual salaries of the administrators will be increased as follows: Beatty, from $96,700 to $98,400; Michael Satterlee, principal of Knox Junior High School, from $82,000 to $83,700; James Robare, district athletic director, from $80,000 to $81,700; Scott Ziomek, principal of Warren Street Elementary School, from $80,000 to $81,700; Jeffrey Vivenzio, principal of Pleasant Avenue Elementary School, $80,000 to $81,700; Ramona Luettger, director of special education, pupil services and special programs, from $80,000 to $81,700; Abbey North, principal of Glebe Street Elementary School; and Scott Hale, JHS assistant principal, from $70,000 to $71,700.

After the board’s Jan. 16 approval of the change, the board declined to provide the media and public details. At that time, board President Paul VanDenburgh said information would be made public in the coming week. He said the raises were a “token of our appreciation” from the district to the administrators.

VanDenburgh also said he hadn’t signed the modification yet and the association hadn’t agreed to the modification yet.

A day after the school board’s action, Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, said the Johnstown school district should have released the information immediately.

On Thursday, the district made public the details about the agreement modification.

In addition, the district issued a news release stating its position on the delay in making the information public.

The release indicated the Board of Education “recognizes that a tremendous amount of change has altered the job duties of education administrators since the current contract was originally adopted.”

“Additionally, the [district] has undertaken several initiatives that have significantly increased working hours,” the release said. “The proposed increases take these and other important factors into account.”

District Superintendent Robert DeLilli stated in the release: “Though Mr. Freeman is entitled to his opinion, he did not contact me or the board president for any details regarding the negotiation process. Disclosure of terms prior to formal vote by both sides could potentially obstruct the process and even create a (Public Employee Relation Board) violation. Once the terms are approved by both the district and the union, the agreement will be made a public document.”

The release further states the board “has been and continues to be fully committed to maintaining transparency and openness with all district stakeholders and performing its duties in compliance with all freedom of information and open meetings laws.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at