Resigning RSU 13 superintendent to receive pay through 2014

By Kim Lincoln | Jan 06, 2014
Photo by: Kim Lincoln RSU 13 Superintendent Lew Collins will be paid through the end of 2014.

Rockland — Regional School Unit 13 Superintendent Lew Collins, who announced his resignation Dec. 31, will be paid through December 2014.

In an agreement with the district, Collins, who will serve his last day Saturday, Feb. 15, will receive pay and health benefits through Dec. 31, he said by phone Jan. 6. He is paid $108,000 per year. It is estimated he will be paid about $95,000, plus benefits.

A copy of the severance package agreement will be made public after Thursday, Jan. 9, he said.

He announced his resignation last month citing a lack of full support from the board for his decision.

Both teachers and administrators have sent letters of concern to the board since the start of the school year regarding Collins' leadership. Collins has continuously stated he is only performing the duties asked of him by the board.

Business manager Scott Vaitones was placed on paid administrative leave on Nov. 14. Vaitones has said he informed the board about $500,000 the superintendent had authorized for special education positions in the district that had not been planned for in the original school budget. Collins served as special education director until this summer when a replacement was hired.

Helen Slocomb, who works in the business office as an accounts payable specialist has been tapped to fill the job on an interim basis.

Board chairman Esther "Tess" Kilgour said Jan. 2 she has spoken with officials Maine School Management Association regarding an interim superintendent.

A spending freeze has been in place in the district since mid-October for any non-mandated purchases, which includes expenses related to conferences, courses not mandated by an agreement and any other discretionary spending that can be reasonably controlled, Collins previously said.

Collins said Jan. 6, the spending freeze was only in place for items the administration team agreed to and they had "met their targeted goal" in those areas.

Courier Publications Copy Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at

Comments (15)
Posted by: Bill Packard | Jan 07, 2014 20:30

The question that keeps coming back to me is why do we put things like this in contracts to begin with?

Posted by: Naomi Cohen | Jan 07, 2014 18:06

Unethical, why does even local government care more about those who have than those who do not.  Why pay someone when they have resigned? And why pay more than 99% of Mainers earn in a year?  This is a sad shaneful reflection on our local govenment.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 07, 2014 13:23

yet he is leaving the district with a very large deficit.  dont pay the man.  start with that cut right now.  he sure didnt do alot for rsu 13


Posted by: Cynthia Wallace | Jan 07, 2014 12:25

How sad!!!   He screws up and gets financially rewarded. Hmmm that has been going on in this country since the 2008 debacle and once again the public pays the bill for it!! Ruin the country's economy... get a bonus and severance package it all sounds so familiar!

Posted by: ken sylvester | Jan 07, 2014 11:39

I suggest that at the Jan. 9 board meeting, the board vote to not accept the resignation, set a date for elections to fill any vacancies on the board, then all members of the board resign on the spot.

Posted by: Judy Olson | Jan 07, 2014 11:28

Concerning John Snow's comment that we will hear Mr. Collins has an attorney that will threaten to sue on behalf of his client, the Bangor Daily News article by Steve Betts states that there are attorneys involved on behalf of Collins & on behalf of the Distrtict.  Evidently Mr. Collins did not feel secure enough in his pursuit of terminating his employment along with his desire to collect a paycheck and health insurance until Dec. 2014 for NOT working. Collins and his attorney are sucking all of us taxpayers dry.  Additionally, if the Board is guilty of wrongdoing, the taxpayers deserve to be inormed of such since we are paying for their mistakes.  Transparency.  Accountability.

Posted by: John Snow | Jan 07, 2014 06:57

If we hear anything, Mr McKusic, it will probably be  that Mr Collins had legal representation looming, with the implied threat of a lawsuit concerning the 'hostile work environment' created by the Board that 'sullied' Mr Collins reputation and negatively impacted his future employment opportunities.  RSU 13 would have to pay legal counsel to defend itself, and could easily eat up $100,000.  JMHO

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jan 07, 2014 05:09

Until I hear more will choose to give the school board the benefit of the doubt. 

Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Jan 06, 2014 22:08

Collins is laughing all the way to the bank.  How sad that taxpayer money is being used to pay this man.  Again the tax payers are being screwed by RSU-13.

Posted by: Tena Wallace | Jan 06, 2014 20:51

No wonder RSU i13 s front page news they have got to be the leading School district for number of employees not working but getting paid while charging the taxpayers for it.  Hello, anyone else question why we have such a deficit?? Dah!

How can you resign from a position and still get paid for the remaining 10 months plus get your benefits, how is that even legal when it is taxpayer money?!?!

Posted by: Lorrie Callaway | Jan 06, 2014 20:02

Just one more embarrassment for RSU 13 and the board..... How many more people can we pay for NOT working?? And I thought Mr. Collins hadsaid repeatedly the children were his greatest concern. Seriously????

Posted by: Judy Olson | Jan 06, 2014 19:38

Since this Superintendent "resigned" his position last month, effective Dec. 31st., citing "lack of full support from the Board", then it would appear Mr. Collins has broken, his Contract with the District.  Since he has failed to perform in accordance with the Contract he signed with the District, Mr. Collins OWES THE DISTRICT for a  year's salary (plus any bennies) due to his non-performance and failure to fulfill his contractual obligations as agreed upon when he signed the Contract.   The Board should not have the authority to make agreements outside of the contractual agreement this Superintendent made at the inception of his position.  There has to be more to this story that the public is not being told which indicates the Board is not being honest and has a hidden agenda for paying a Superintendent for a year after he has vacated his position, has failed to perform, and resigned his position with disregard to the Contract.  This Board needs to be investigated for spending taxpayers' funds in this manner.  Accountability???


Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Jan 06, 2014 17:50

So now we get to pay for Collins, because he can't handle things, and his successor. Small wonder why confidence is being lost in the school board

Posted by: Buddy Carleton | Jan 06, 2014 17:21


The word "rogue" comes to mind regarding this particular superintendent.  He is clearly self-serving without considering the best interests of ALL students in the district into account.

I can't help but wonder about his sense of "good judgement" when I look back at the snow days we've observed so far this school year...  calling off school when there is no snow... keeping kids in school when there is a blizzard... calling school off an hour early without justification, which absolutely wreaks havoc for parents district wide.

In a true storm emergency, parents understand that they must make arrangements for their children.  When school is disrupted by poor judgement, this can place the parents in a precarious position with their employers.

Not supported by the Board?   Hmmmm...  I wonder why?

Pam Leach, Rockland

Posted by: Jim Gamage | Jan 06, 2014 16:56


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