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School board OKs Landon raise to state-topping $293K

Updated 6:59 am, Tuesday, June 18, 2013
  • Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon after the Board of Education voted to extend his contract and give him a raise. Photo: Cameron Martin / Westport News

    Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon after the Board of Education voted to extend his contract and give him a raise.

    Photo: Cameron Martin

 

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Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon was given a two-year contract extension and a 1.75 percent pay raise by the Board of Education Monday night, boosting his salary -- the highest for a public school superintendent in the state -- to $292,937.

The contract extension was approved unanimously and keeps Landon, 73, under contract as the top administrator for Westport schools until June 30, 2016.

Board member Mark Mathias was the lone dissenter in not endorsing a raise for Landon. "I think there's overall support for the superintendent and re-doing his contract signifies that," Mathias said. "I think in terms of the discussions that we had in review, I think he's well compensated at his current salary level so I will not be voting for a salary increase in his compensation."

Landon's contract was due to expire on June 30, 2014.

"The overall perspective of the Board of Education is that Dr. Landon has consistently demonstrated exceptional educational leadership for this district," Board of Education Chairwoman Elaine Whitney said in backing the contract extension and raise. "Our students and our schools continue to operate at a very high level and our district is a major source of attraction for those considering a move to Westport. We appreciate Dr. Landon's passion and dedication to the students."

Landon, who has been Westport's superintendent since 1999, was not given a raise by the board last year. However, he remained the highest-paid public employee in Westport by a wide margin.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Nancy Harris, who is retiring from Westport public schools, was the second-highest-paid employee last year, with compensation of approximately $205,000, followed by Lisabeth Comm, the school district's director of secondary education, who was paid about $182,000.

"I would like to thank the board for the vote of confidence," Landon said. "I look forward to serving you well and this community well as an advocate for your children. I hope to do that in a way that has full community support and I hope to work actively to assure that that occurs."