Bay County School Board Members voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon to take a 2% cut in their salaries. They all agreed to wait and see how serious of a hit the District ends up taking, and then consider further decreasing their salaries.
According to Bay District's Chief Financial Officer Jess Snyder the extra money will stay in the general fund. This change will take effect on July 1, with the new budget year.
"If we're going to ask our people to take a hit which we know is coming. We should be the ones who help be the example, show the example and us take a hit and from there we go to our people," said Donna Allen, Bay County School Board Member.
"I admire you for doing that because I know what Tallahassee has done, and they make a heck of a lot more money then you guys," said Bill Husfelt, Bay County School Superintendent.
"What we're doing our best to do is stop the bleeding here as much as possible so there should be no concern at this point. We're going to do everything we can to stay out of those classrooms and out of those teacher's pockets," said Ginger Littleton, Bay Co. School Board Member.
This is not the only hot topic that came up Wednesday. Several people spoke during the public hearing against the proposed cuts to middle school sports. Under the plan, wrestling, softball and boys and girls swimming and tennis will all be eliminated next school year to save money.
"I've never heard a child say 'I'm going to under perform so I can't play that particular sport because I'm not going to achieve the grades. Kids in sports stay engaged, they stay out of crime and they have better grade point averages," said Dr. Tim Moriarty, a Bay County resident in support of middle school athletics.
"If you take this sport away from me you are taking the opportunity not only from me but from any other first year wrestlers. Let us continue wrestling for our schools and developing school pride. Thank you for listening and go mustangs," said one Mowat Middle School wrestler.
Dr. Moriarty is going to head up a group to raise money in an effort to save middle school sports. They'll be working with the booster programs at all of the schools and plan to hold fundraisers. Dr. Moriarty can be reached at his office at (850) 872-0502.