Action Monday night would have taken away extra benefits to two retiring staff members

The Taft Union High School Governing Board has called a special meeting for Wednesday morning to rescind a vote it took last night that could have cost retiring teacher Claude Bradford and retiring Principal Marilyn Brown the benefits offered to them by a “golden handshake” deal.

Brown and Bradford have both submitted the paperwork to retire at the end of the school year with the golden handshake bonuses – the choice of credit for two extra years of service or a $50,000 bonus.

However, that offer made by the district was contingent on eight people accepting the deal – and only Bradford and Brown accepted.

A split board voted 3-2 Monday night to pull the offer and give the employees the choice of retiring without the incentives they had been offered, or rescinding their retirements.
Board President Rick Twisselman and members George Harmer and Stan Barrett voted to remove the offer.

Tom White and Ken Anderson voted to keep the offer as is.
Brown got up and walked out of the board room after the vote.

Just over an hour after the open session ended, Twisselman contacted the Taft Midway Driller to say the district has called a special meeting to reconsider the action.

He plans to change his vote, he said.

“I got some information afterwards and I'm not happy with the way I voted on it so we are going to reconsider it,” Twisselman said.

The board majority voted to pull the offer even after Business Manager Chuck Hagstrom said the golden handshakes would save the district money.

The district is very close to hiring Brown's replacement, and is expecting word Tuesday on whether or not the candidate offered the job has accepted it.