MOORE HAVEN -- A suggestion to hire a food service supervisor/trainer for the Glades County School District was met with resistance from School Board Member Gloria Reese Aug. 19 during the regular school board meeting.
Administrative Services Director Brian Greseth presented the board with a job description for the position -- which he says he has no expertise with. The addition of a food service supervisor would take the burden from his shoulders.
“The supervisor will keep everybody on the same page,” he said. “Now we have three different schools doing three different things. One person can bring all of them together to share recipes, share ideas so we can make all our cafeterias much stronger.”
Greseth’s proposed job description outlines the job would entail supervising, coordinating and directing the work responsibilities of the district’s food service personnel, the preparation and distribution of meals in the district, ensure compliance with local, state and federal agency requirements, and provide him with evaluative information.
He suggested using a one-year contract at least initially, to see how things go.
“You have three managers at each school and you’re going to hire another person to do this?” Reese said. “I can’t see why hire one person when you already got people doing that.”
The staff at each cafeteria is exemplary, she said, and cafeteria workers make little money at their jobs.
“I know, because I’ve been there,” she said, having worked in the school district’s cafeterias.
She said she was basically doing the job of the now-proposed supervisor position.
Greseth said there had been consideration about creating this position when the state informed him that the school district’s net cash reserves exceeded over three months of its expenditures – approximately $211,000.
“We had to come up with a plan how to take care of those expenditures,” he said.
He spent some of the money on cafeteria equipment – ovens, salad bars, tables for gas burners, etc. – and suggested using $70,000 to increase food service worker salaries to hopefully pay each employee at least $15 per hour, which will be the new minimum wage in Florida by 2026.
“This is a great opportunity for us to meet those requirements,” he said, adding that Glades School District is one of the few school districts without a food service director.
Reese said she isn’t, nor will she ever be convinced this is the best way to go.
“I still say that the ones you all got in place, I believe you can train them and give them more money, and we as a county would save money,” she said.
The motion to approve the job description passed 4-1, with Reese voting not in favor.