District treasurer is grossly overcompensated

For 25 years, Scott Gainer has been treasurer of the CH-UH City School District. Since 2000, he has successfully championed six [operating] levies, for a total of more than $40 million, plus the $135-million school facilities bond. Mr. Gainer, who doesn't live in Cleveland Heights or University Heights, has himself greatly benefited from our high taxes. In addition, Mr. Gainer has never submitted a balanced five-year forecast, even though the CH-UH schools receive $22,700 per student in funding (57% higher than the state average).

Below is a summary of his contract and compensation. He clearly has a vested interest in the passing of Issue 69. 

  • His current contract expires on July 31, 2022, but Gainer and the district can mutually agree to terminate or amend it sooner.
  • Ironically, the contract states that the school board “desires to have a written Employment Contract in order to enhance fiscal responsibility and continuity with the schools.”
  • His base salary, when the employment agreement started in Fiscal Year 2017 was $164,401. His FY 2020 salary is $172,757.
  • Gainer’s contract requires that he receive a base salary adjustment every year no less (could be more) than the general percentage increase given to administrators in the district’s Educational Administrative and Professional Staff Council (EAPSC).
  • Gainer gets all the fringe benefits provided to administrators in the EAPSC, including health-care coverage, but:
    • Gainer’s premium is $125 per month ($1,500 per year) for family coverage, or $46 per month ($550 per year) for single coverage.
    • Gainer also receives all other benefits extended to administrators, such as severance pay, longevity, early retirement incentives, etc.
  • Taxpayers pay both the 10% employee and the 10% employer portion of Gainer’s contribution to the School Employees Retirement System (SERS).
  • Taxpayers pay Gainer’s Medicare taxes.
  • Gainer is paid a car allowance of $500 per month.
  • Taxpayers annually contribute 15% of Mr. Gainer’s base salary to his 403(b) plan account. A 403(b) plan, aka a tax-sheltered annuity plan, is a retirement plan for certain employees of public schools. School districts may, but are not required to, contribute to the 403(b) plan for employees.       
  • Gainer gets 32 vacation days per year. He can carry over up to 10 vacation days. If he has more than 10 days left at the end of a contract year, he receives a payment for those days [(base salary/210) x number of vacation days]
  • Gainer is required to have an annual physical for which taxpayers cover the cost.

Again, Gainer has never been able to submit a balanced five-year forecast. Why does the school board continue to grossly over-compensate this poor performance?

Maureen Lynn

Maureen ‘Mo’ Lynn is the treasurer of TigerNation4LowerTaxes and is self-employed with her consulting business. She and her family moved to Cleveland Heights in 2011.

Read More on Opinion
Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 3:10 PM, 10.23.2020