HAYWARD -- School trustees approved a new contract for district Superintendent Stanley Dobbs at a raucous meeting Wednesday night.
The 4-1 vote, with trustee Luis Reynoso voting no, came after more than 20 people spoke in favor of Dobbs.
The 3½-year contract gives Dobbs a base pay of $242,123 a year; it runs through June 2017.
Dobbs took over as interim superintendent in July and was made permanent in October. He served 18 months as Hayward assistant superintendent for business services in 2011 and 2012 before working a short time as chief financial officer for the San Diego school district.
Those wanting to speak had to wait more than two hours after the board moved the contract further back on the agenda. What had been a packed room dwindled as the meeting went on, but the dozens who remained stood up and cheered after trustees voted.
"Superintendent Dobbs has brought hope to Hayward. Hope is now within the reach of our students," Bishop Jerry Macklin said before the vote. Macklin is pastor of Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ.
Hayward schools have been plagued by low test scores and graduation rates for years. The district slightly increased its scores in 2013, moving out of last place for Alameda County schools.
"My son was getting F's, not going to school. Thanks to Mr. Dobbs, my son is getting A's, B's, C's," parent Nina Christian said.
Dobbs has formed partnerships with Cal State East Bay, Chabot College and private schools in his campaign to turn the city's image around to one known for education. He started a Made in Hayward marketing campaign in an effort to instill pride in students and show they can succeed.
Those sending letters supporting the superintendent included Congressman Eric Swalwell, Cal State East Bay President Leroy Morishita and county Supervisor Richard Valle. A representative for Assemblyman Bill Quirk also asked the board to approve the agreement.
The contract was on an earlier board meeting agenda, but some trustees balked, saying later they had not had a chance to weigh in on the agreement until Wednesday night. The board's tabling of the agreement at its May 7 meeting came after a host of people asked that the contract be ratified that night.
Dobbs' annual pay is higher than in the earlier contract, which had an annual salary of $229,500. However, the previous pact also included a $2,000 monthly allowance if the superintendent lived in the Hayward district and a $1,000 monthly vehicle stipend. Dobbs instead will receive an annual mileage stipend of $1,500, the same as other management employees.
Many in the audience at Wednesday's meeting held signs supporting the superintendent, and some took the board, especially Reynoso, to task.
"Those conversations behind the mic, those have to stop," said the Rev. Chuck Horner of Calvary Baptist Church. "When we elected you, we expected you to be respectful to each other and the audience. Please respect other speakers; don't try to yell over people. The reason the people are here late at night wasting their time is because they don't trust you."
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473. Follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.