LITTLE EGG HARBOR – The Pinelands Regional School District is delving deeper into shared service agreements, now sharing a Business Administrator with the Little Egg Harbor School District.
At the December meeting, this was one of three shared service agreements approved for the district. Other approved shared services include bookkeeper services and a night custodial maintenance supervisor.
The position of business administrator for Pinelands Regional School District was formerly held by Stephen Brennan for more than 10 years. Brennan has since become the business administrator for Barnegat Township School District. While Brennan served in this position, it was not shared with Little Egg Harbor.
Taking his spot is Nicholas K. Brown, who is already the business administrator for the Little Egg Harbor School District. The agreement allows for Brown to be business administrator for both districts. Brown will also serve as the board secretary for both districts on the Board of Education.
Brown’s contract states that he will be paid $162,000 salary from Little Egg Harbor and Pinelands will pay a $32,220 portion of this salary. According to Melissa McCooley, who is the superintendent of both districts, “it is the way the contract had to be written,” and costs are split equally between the two districts.
Brown will remain on the Little Egg Harbor’s payroll and health benefits, confirmed McCooley.
According to McCooley, shared service agreements like this one boast various benefits including “cost savings [for the taxpayer too], continuity in programs and purchasing, [and] the prospect of sharing more services through the business offices.”
Despite these advantages, McCooley joked that a downside of shared services is that “we never sleep.”
McCooley is confident that one person will be capable of managing the duties of business administrator for both districts. Pinelands and Little Egg Harbor both have a staff of about 300, she explained, while Pinelands has 1,570 students and Little Egg Harbor, 1,650 students.
McCooley’s position as superintendent is another shared service between the districts. Some other shared services include: business office, technology, professional development, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and English as a second language staff, according to McCooley.