SARTELL - The Sartell-St. Stephen school board came under fire on Monday night as they approved a new contract for the Superintendent.

The board voted 4-2 to extend Joe Hill's contract for three years, keeping his salary at just over $154,000 for each year.

Mary McCabe is one of the two that voted against the action.

Joe Hill, Photo by's Jim Maurice

McCabe also entered a motion to add an action item to the agenda.  That item was to not renew Hill's contract.  It failed 2-4.  The other board member to vote "no" was Lesa Kremer.

The meeting got off to a rocky start when the board voted on the same 4-2 vote to move Hill's contract from just a discussion item, to an action item, which was the biggest concern that both McCabe and Kremer had.

Board member Chris Gross was one of the four who voted in favor of the extension.

Prior to the regular board meeting, a community forum was held, where several people spoke-up about concerns with the board.  The main issues were: how the recent board vacancies were handled, the fact that the two newly appointed members in July were put in charge of Hill's contract extension, and a few concerns about the cancelled spring break.  Several people also referred to the board meeting last Friday, which they described as "dysfunctional".  They had asked the board to delay a decision on Hill's contract until after the election, when a new board is in place.  Eight people are running for three four-year terms.

However, not everyone who spoke at the open forum was unhappy with the school board, or Hill's performance.