As the Santa Monica-Malibu school district’s chief financial officer, Jan Maez manages millions of dollars in government funds, tax revenues, voter-backed bonds.
And she gets paid pretty well to do it.
The local Board of Education last month approved a raise for Maez, who serves as the district’s associate superintendent of business and fiscal services.
Maez will earn $196,907 for the 2016-17 school year, according to a contract addendum reviewed by the Daily Press. That’s a 7.7-percent increase on the $182,810 she made this past school year.
The increase is calculated on her base salary and a pre-set longevity schedule, according to SMMUSD spokeswoman Gail Pinsker. The spike is in line with other district raises for the upcoming school year.
Maez, who joined the district more than eight years ago, will make a base salary of $184,168 with an incremental longevity bonus of $6,138. Her compensation package also includes $400 per month for transportation and an additional $150 per month for phone service.
When Maez joined the district in 2007, she signed a two-year agreement with a base annual salary of $145,000. The late Dianne Talarico was the superintendent at the time.
Maez then inked contract extensions in 2008 and 2010 before entering a new three-year employment agreement with the district in 2013. In that contract, the district agreed to give Maez annual increases of $5,000 on her 2013-14 base salary of $154,352 in addition to any other raises. Now, three years later, her base salary is 19-percent higher.
Among other responsibilities, Maez is tasked with developing the annual SMMUSD budget and weighing the financial implications of long- and short-term projects in the district. She said in March that the district’s financial forecast was looking good but that an economic downturn could alter projections.
“We need to start preparing for a slowdown,” she said at the time, alluding to indications she had received from state officials. “They’re not at all in a crisis mode. They’re not panicking. But they want us all to be aware that that’s a potential.”
One obstacle to the wide variety of ongoing facility upgrades across SMMUSD is a roughly $30-million shortfall in funds linked to Measure BB, a $268-million bond that voters passed in 2006. That figure included deficits tied to projects at Santa Monica and Olympic high schools, John Adams Middle School and Edison Language Academy.
Maez last year played a role in negotiations with the operator of the DoubleTree hotel, meeting with representatives of the district’s collective bargaining units in the days leading up to the school board’s September vote to extend the lease.
Maez is listed as a defendant in Malibu activists’ lawsuit over the district’s handling of chemical testing and cleanup. The district has spent millions of dollars on consultants and legal fees since the discovery of polychlorinated biphenyls in school caulking more than two years ago.
Maez, who attended the University of Washington and California Lutheran University, previously worked in the fiscal department at the Ventura Unified School District. She then worked for 17 years in the Pleasant Valley School District in Camarillo before landing in the local district, where she replaced Winston Braham.