Gorman gets bonus, pay raise, extension

Superintendent Peter Gorman on Tuesday got an $18,200 bonus, a $7,150 raise, a one-year contract extension and authority to assign security staff to himself and his family.

The contract, which was approved in several split votes, brings Gorman's total compensation package to $320,350 – $267,150 in base pay, $35,000 a year in supplemental retirement and the $18,200 bonus. That tops the $312,790 package approved this month for Del Burns, who runs the larger Wake County Schools; Burns gets $273,000 in base pay but no performance bonus.

Gorman also asked the board to approve a new clause in his contract promising to provide “reasonable security measures” to Gorman and his family in case of “public controversy” or any other reason. Gorman has the discretion to decide when that security is needed.

During a break in the meeting, Gorman said he's not reacting to a threat and doesn't expect to have guards following him, his wife or his daughter, a CMS student.

“It's a precaution,” he said. “Everything's fine.”

Spokeswoman Nora Carr said Gorman got the idea from the contract offered to his former deputy, Maurice Green, when Green was recently hired as superintendent of Guilford County Schools. “I think in this day and age it's a wise precaution,” Carr said.

The contract votes came during an unusually acrimonious meeting, even for a board whose conflicts are local legend. Larry Gauvreau said Gorman is “not the right person to reform these schools” and called his colleagues “a bunch of suckers.”

After Gauvreau repeatedly interrupted other board members, Chairman Joe White scolded him: “If kids spoke out in class as much as you speak out without being recognized, you would want them excluded.”

White and Tom Tate said they wanted to give Gorman the full 10 percent bonus authorized in his contract, rather than the 7 percent he got.

“I think Dr. Gorman has taken the direction we set as a board … and is actually making it work,” Tate said.

Molly Griffin concurred: “You deserve this bonus and more as hazard duty for dealing with this board of education.”

Gorman's new contract extends through 2012.

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