Leader’s contract renewed

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By Don Pace

The Las Vegas City Schools board gave Superintendent Rick Romero a vote of confidence as his contract was rolled over for another year.

Outgoing President Patrick Romero was the lone dissenter, but said in his opening remarks, “I like you.” He said the reason for his no vote was that he didn’t like the idea of rollover contracts.

“I am the lone person voting against the extension,” Patrick Romero said. “I have told the superintendent time and again that I will continue to support him. I will do everything in my power to make sure that he’s successful. I’ve never believed in rollover contracts. You saw what happened at Highlands and has happened around the state where they have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer, and I believe we have that responsibility for those things and we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”

Board Vice President Ramon “Swoops” Montaño told the audience that while he voted against the hiring of Rick Romero, he changed his tune after the superintendent took the time to explain his positions on a number of issues.

“Do I agree with everything he (Romero) says? No, but for the first time in a long time, I’ve seen his convictions related to academics in the areas of math and science. He has given us presentations and has shown this board his leadership. The vision and goals he wants for this district have been impressive.

“He has had a tough year and it hasn’t been easy, but whether or not you’ve liked the way he’s handled some of the situations, or not, we need stability,” Montaño said.

Member Elaine Luna agreed with Montaño, praising Romero for the way he’s handled the seemingly weekly scandal of recent times. She likely was referring to last year’s attacks during a football camp as well as the more recent investigations of Robertson High School Principal Richard Lopez and Robertson teacher Jay Quintana.

“I would like to thank the superintendent for the courage he’s shown to do all that he has done for this district in the last months,” Luna said. “It has taken a tremendous amount of courage on his part. He is the one who is at the forefront of what we as a district are working on, and I believe he can move this district forward in so many ways. We look forward to that process and that change, and I support the work that he is doing as superintendent.”

After the meeting, Superintendent Romero said in an interview that the terms of the contract meant that the agreement extends the two-year contract he originally agreed to when hired.

“I’m grateful and the board has been very supportive, and even my board president (Patrick Romero) has been very supportive throughout the year and I think his position is fair and I don’t take his statements personally,” the superintendent said. “I’ve been supported by this board in its entirety, which has been one of the things that has provided a lot of stability, even with some of the differences as Ramon alluded to, the board has worked with the administration. The commitment from the board is also a commitment on my behalf to ensure that we continue to work for the faculty and staff and the programs we have put in place,” Romero said.

Romero’s pay will stay the same at $105,000 a year.