Meier, Salisbury remain on jobs

May 10, 2018

Cox claims pensions not a board matter

By John Raffel

MARION — A recent attempt by some members of the Marion Board of Education to have the superintendent and the Central office secretary resign was voted down.

Board president Monica Cox said the vote at the special board meeting in late April to have superintendent Mort Meier and Central office secretary Diana Salisbury resign failed by a 5-2 vote.

The Marion School Board was unexpectedly cancled this week due to there not being enough members able to attend for a quorum.

The Marion School Board was unexpectedly cancled this week due to there not being enough members able to attend for a quorum.

The discussion at the board meeting focused on reports the Office of Retirement Services was requesting Meier and Salisbury to pay back more than $145,000 in pension money. TV 9&10 had reported the ORS was maintaining Meier and Salisbury were collecting a salary while also getting their pension.

Meier has called the allegations “baseless.”

A statement that Meier issued to the Marion Press two weeks ago on behalf of himself and Salisbury, said the following:
“This is a dispute between the ORS and us and does not involve school district money.  The allegations are baseless and we are confident that the ORS will ultimately determine that we are compliant with the statute and entitled to our full pensions.”

On Wednesday of this week, Meier told the Marion Press there were “no updates” at this time on the matter. An area newspaper reported Salisbury had her pension appeal denied and Meier’s was still pending.
Cox said on Wednesday she was unaware of any denial made on the appeals.

“It’s between them and the ORS,” Cox said. “It’s really not a board matter.”

The matter was expected to come up at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled board meeting. But the meeting was canceled with no makeup date yet announced. Cox said there was not enough for a quorum. She said various board members face heavy schedules this time of year with school-related and family-related events and other matters.

Cox previously had said the board was waiting to hear from its attorney Robert Huber, of Lansing. He was at the special meeting and Cox indicated, based on dicussions with Huber, the ORS conflict “was not a board matter.

“It’s between the individual employees and ORS,” Cox said.

Cox said the vote to ask Meier to resign was voted down 5-2. It was voted down 4-2 on Salisbury with Courtney Wilson obstaining. The two board members who voted for both motions were Alicia Michell and Linda Raymond.

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