RYE BROOK, N.Y. – William Stark will retire as superintendent of Blind Brook schools at the end of June and then resume the position three days later in a move that allows him to collect his pension.
New York State law allows employees to retire and collect their pension, and then resume working as long as they take at least one day off. Stark will collect a pension of approximately $200,000, which is 79 percent of his average salary over the last three years. He has been hired for a four-year term beginning July 3, with a salary of $258,734 for the first year.
Stark has served as superintendent since 2008. Board of Education President Glen Schuster said that in that time he has “exceeded expectations” on evaluations, and often taken a salary lower than that of area superintendents.
“In addition, the school district is saving close to $50,000 next year alone, mostly as a result of the district no longer having to pay into the New York state pension system for Stark. In the era of the 2 percent tax levy cap, and unfunded state mandates, the district is looking to save funds for directly serving our students,” Schuster said.
Schuster added that the move will allow the district to retain a technology educator who would have been laid off. “Blind Brook residents pay simply Stark’s salary, as the State of New York pays his pension, from monies that have been collected for 40-plus years.”
Board of Education member Jeffrey Diamond took issue with the move when the board voted on it last week.
“This resolution is designed to take advantage of a loophole in New York State law. Our superintendent is not retiring,” he said. “What we’re doing here is we’re shifting the cost of a six-digit pension off onto the taxpayers of New York State.”