Morse Code – It’s A Double Dip In Oyster River

by Steve MacDonald

James Morse - Bnagor Daily News Seth Koenig Photo credit“Sometimes, life throws you some curves.”  That was the response “retiring” Portland Maine School District Superintendent Dr. James Morse gave to the press and the public after announcing that he had taken a job as the Superintendent of the Oyster River Cooperative district in New Hampshire.

“Sometimes, life throws you some curves.”

But we can read the stitches.  One of those stitches indicates that Mr. Morse was one of 15 applicants for the job.  (Applicant: A person who applies, as for a job.) So how much of a curve ball is it when you announce you are “retiring” (after 32 years in the public education industrial complex), and then get a job for which you applied?

The search at Oyster River began back in October with a scheduled announcement of the job opening  set for November 1st of 2011.  (October…the same month Dr. Morse announced his retirement in June 2012.  (His new post-retirement job starts July 1st 2012 by the way– that’s what I call a short, retirement.)

The selection of Morse appears in Foster’s Daily Democrat on February 14th,2012.  His notification to the Portland Press and School district appears in the Portland Press Herald on February 24th.  The comments after the latter are not glowing.  Mr. Morse is accused of cronyism and the need or use of expensive ‘consultant’ in his wake.  The glowing press coverage of his ‘accomplishments’ is also questioned.   That’s not unusual, but I bring it up because the double-dipping Dr. Morse is ‘retiring’ to a full time job where there have been accusations of inappropriate non-public meetings related to the search for the superintendent job he is filling.

Former School Board member David Taylor had run into resistance to his 91-A Right to Know requests to uncover details and even filed an injunction to re-set the superintendent search.  The district claimed innocence.  I think we can guess the outcome.  Oyster River has a new Superintendent, whose contract is dated March 19th, 2012.  ($145,500.00 per year to start plus benefits. Looks like Dr. Morse hit that “curve ball” out of the park.)

Image Credit: Seth Koenig /Bangor Daily News

 

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