, Gloucester, MA

February 22, 2013

Editorial: Aggie principal's deal slaps taxpayers

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — It’s understandable that Roger Bourgeois would jump to leave his post as principal at the regional Essex Agricultural and Technical High School for a new job in the Boston schools, even if he is just eight months into a new two-year contract.

With Essex Aggie on track to merge with North Shore Technical High in $130-million-plus regional mega-vo-tech facility in 2014, the two current regional technical districts would be folded into one — and thus only need one, not two, superintendents. And Bourgeois’ new post as an assistant superintendent for Boston’s technical/vocational school network clearly holds opportunities for a new challenge and potential for advancement.

What’s still not understandable is last year’s move by the Essex Aggie Board of Trustees that no doubt made it easier for him to bolt. That’s the obscene provision in his new contract that rolls his benefits package — compensation for life insurance, travel expenses and health care premiums, among others — into his base salary so it can be counted toward his retirement pension. And any additional costs accrued for that boost, of course, comes compliments of Essex Aggie district taxpayers, which includes taxpayers in Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester.

So much for taxpayer accountability.