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What it costs to communicate

As the Oak Harbor School District searches for a communications director, Superintendent Rick Schulte was on hand at the Monday evening school board meeting to present revised numbers on what the communications department will cost.

Officials estimate that it will cost approximately $150,000 for the communications program. That figure included the director’s salary, benefits, wages for a secretary, and expenses for related aspects to the position including printing for newsletters, Web site upgrades, and supplies and materials.

Schulte said he presented the detailed information to answer a perception that the budget estimate accounted for the communication director’s salary alone.

The school district is currently advertising a salary of $50,000 to $55,000 for a communications director. The position should be filled sometime in June.

“We’re looking at someone who’s aggressive and assertive at getting information out,” Schulte said.

The school district already has money budgeted in its strategic plan to pay the director’s salary.

He added that many of the remaining items in the communications budget are transferred from other departments.

Those items include the community newsletter and the “No Child Left Behind” school report cards. A currently vacant secretary position will be hired to support the communications director.

The school board decided to hire a communications director earlier in the year, following a recommendation made by a consultant who conducted a communications audit for the Oak Harbor School District.

The director is a way to help ensure a consistent message gets out to the community, according to the audit report.

Budget breakdown

Here’s the communications budget for the Oak Harbor School District. The director position is new, but some other sums represent items moved from other parts of the budget.

Communications director: Salary, $50,000; benefits $16,500.

Secretary: Wages, $27,040; benefits, $10,816.

Other costs: Printing community newsletter, $20,000; brochures for Navy families, Chamber and Realtors, $10,000; community survey, $10,000; travel, $2,000; supplies and materials, $2,000; training $2,000.

Total: $156,356.

Community Events, April 2014

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