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Hearing set for Collins position

CHESAPEAKE — Retirement may be short-lived for Steve Dodgion. Recently, the Board of Education at the Collins Career Center decided to recommend offering Dodgion a new contract as superintendent — a contract that he would serve after he retires from the same job on July 31.

That means Dodgion would collect his retirement along with the salary from the new contract.

Now the board will have a public hearing, scheduled for Thursday, May 7, at 1 p.m. at the center before finalizing the re-hire.

“There has to be a public hearing so the public can come and give us their suggestions,” said Robert Pleasant, Collins board member.

The board advertised for the superintendent’s post in January with applications taken until Feb. 27. Interviews began after that.

“We interviewed three, including Steve,” Tom Curry, board president, said. “They were all good candidates. We decided to offer Steve a contract. Since he is retired and we rehire him back, the state requires (a hearing) … to give the public the chance to voice their concern.”

Dodgion, 60, started his career in education at the Rock Hill School District, then joined the staff at the Collins Center in the early 1990s. In 2000 he took over as superintendent.

“I guess it is the experience that Mr. Dodgion has,” Pleasant said. “We are getting to go hopefully into a building project. We thought it would be beneficial for all of the Collins Career Center.”

At the time a newspaper ad appeared, Dodgion explained his reasoning for re-applying for his old job.

“If I continue to work under my present contract, I can draw the same money in retirement,” Dodgion said. “If I continue to work, it is more or less working for nothing.”

The center is in the middle of a number of transitional projects, Dodgion said at that time, including a $20 million renovation and the transfer of the adult division to the authority of the Ohio Board of Regents from the Ohio Department of Education.

The board expects to offer Dodgion a three-year contract. However, the two sides continue to negotiate about the salary, both Pleasant and Curry said.

“The contract is dependent on coming in agreement on salary,” Curry said.