Menozzi's out, then in again

A tumultuous week of negotiations saw Craig Menozzi first withdraw as a candidate for superintendent of New Prague Area Schools and then reach an agreement with the district, all within a five-day span.

The school district announced Menozzi's withdrawal Wednesday, April 9. Board member Jerry Walerius told The Times that contract talks had broken down and the two sides could not come to a mutual agreement in terms of benefits. At issue was Menozzi's desire for post-retirement health care benefits similar to those he has with the Lakeville district where he is serving as principal at McGuire Junior High.

Board chair Bob Reed, who was out of town when the announcement was made, said Menozzi would be giving up a lot in his retirement package by leaving the Lakeville district, but the district could not afford to match the package. At the same time, he expressed hope that negotiations could be restarted.

On Monday board members Walerius and Dan Carlson, who were on the negotiations committee, announced the two sides had reached a tentative agreement over the weekend.

The board is expected to discuss details of the contract at its meeting Tuesday, April 15.

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