The Calhoun County Board of Education approved a new two-year contract for
Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Ron Blankenship, raising his salary to $81,000.
The Board voted unanimously for the pay increase, with some members stating the
salary was "in line with other counties" of equal size or student population.|
Board member Burl Simers told The Parkersburg News the raise and renewal of
Blankenship's contract was based on his knowledge and skill, as opposed to bringing
a new person on board. He cited his leadership in obtaining grant money for the
Loretta Holbert, a candidate for Board of Education, said "A board member told me it
was in line with other counties, the same as Wirt, and here we are among the poorest
counties." She said "That is apparently not true."
A survey of five of six counties surrounding Calhoun, showed the average salary was
$66,600, or $14,400 less than Blankenship's salary.
Surveying six neighboring counties, school administrators quickly responded to the
salary information request, except Ritchie County.
Ritchie County schools declined to provide an answer to the FOIA request regarding
the salary of Dr. Richard Butler, stating a written request must be filed. When advised
such information should be readily available to taxpayers, the board's financial officer
Clay County administrator Larry Gillespie was reluctant to give the information,
stating Superintendent Jerry Linkinoggor was at a two-day meeting.
Gillespie asked, "Who are you?" The Hur Herald declined as the FOIA does not
require identification for such information. Linkinoggor ordered an "investigation" of
a Freedom of Information reporter for the Associated Press. The AP reporter was
asking the same question a few weeks ago, with Linkinoggor declining to provide the
Yesterday, after some distress, Gillespie provided the salary information, stating
"Have a nice day."
The following is a list of current salaries of County School Superintendents adjoining
Braxton: Carolyn Long - $66,000
Ritchie: Dr. Richard Butler - Declined information
Roane: Stephen Goffreda - $68,000
Gilmer: Thomas Minney - $69,000 ($1,500 raise, each year for next three years)
Clay: Jerry Linkenoggor - $65,000
Wirt: Ed Toma - $65,000 (was $63,000)