Fox C-6 Watchdogs: What About Those Bill Payments and Credit Card Payments?

Fox C-6 Watchdogs: What About Those Bill Payments and Credit Card Payments?



What About Those Bill Payments and Credit Card Payments?

The April 2014 Fox C-6 School Board meeting will have marked 2 months since I asked the Fox C-6 School Board the following two questions:

How can the school board approve Bill Payments when there are no payment descriptions documenting what each payment is for?

How can the school board approve paying the credit card bills when they aren’t provided the credit card statements to document what was purchased with the credit cards?

It's been nearly two months and these questions still haven't been answered by our school board or the school district despite several emails informing the board and Superintendent Critchlow that they still haven't answered the questions. Superintendent Critchlow stated at the November 5, 2013 school board workshop that every person who has asked questions during Public Comments has gotten answers to their questions. Obviously her statement wasn't true.

I continue to document all of the times that Superintendent Critchlow makes statements that aren't true so the public understands what they have been overpaying her for during her tenure as superintendent.

Will the school board ever answer the questions regarding Bill Payments and Credit Card Payments? 

How are they doing their job as a school board and providing oversight of our taxpayer dollars if they have no idea what the checks that they are approving are paying for if there aren't any descriptions on the Bill Payments?

How does the school board know what the more than $2.1 Million Dollars in credit card payments have paid for if they aren't provided credit card statements in their board packets each month?

Please call, email or ask your school board members some of these questions during Public Comments at a school board meeting and let me know if you get an answer. It appears that they can't or won't answer these questions which means that the school board isn't following the Code of Ethics that they swore to uphold.

Latest Emails Regarding Questions to the Board and Credit Card Statements

Below is the email I sent in response to the school district's Tuesday April 8, 2014 email. The district's Tuesday April 8 email included an attachment that informed me that the school district would need to charge me between $160 - $170 for copies of the credit card statements for the current school year. It would take 5 1/2 hours to search for and redact credit card statements and another 1/2 hour to copy the documents. It would cost $16.00 for the 160 copies the actual copies.

My email below refers to the Missouri Attorney General's website which states that a government body can waive the fees if the documents are not for personal or commercial interest. Since the credit card statements are public record and should be included in the board of education materials packet each month for our school board members to review, these documents should be made available to the public as well.

I emailed the board and superintendent my request for the documents and asked that they waive ALL fees for the credit card statements in the public's interest per the Missouri Attorney General's website. I received a response to my my email on Friday April 11 which included a copy of the 2013-2014 Fox C-6 Administrator Salaries and the 2014-2015 Fox C-6 Administrator Salaries as attachments. However, there was no response or reference to my request for the credit card statements and the waiving of the $160-$170 fee they wished to charge to obtain the credit card statements.

From: Rich Simpson
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 7:42 AM
To: Davis, Debby - CO Secretary
Cc: Hermann, Cheryl - Director; Cheryl Hermann; Critchlow, Dr. Dianne; Dan Kroupa; Smith, Dan - Board Vice President; David Palmer; Laughlin, John; Linda Nash; Steve Holloway
Subject: RE: Questions for the Fox C-6 School Board and Missouri Sunshine Law Documents Request

Thank you for your reply.

No one on the school board has addressed my questions that I presented at the February 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting and that I included in my March 28 and April 4, 2014 emails regarding Bill Payments and credit card payments. When will these questions be answered by our school board?
The administrator salary schedule that I requested is the one that was included in the board packets in the past. It lists all of the administrator's names and positions along with their salaries for each of the upcoming school years. I have attached a copy of the report from the 2013 school board packets as an example. However, the Administrator Salary report that I attached from the 2013 board packet did not list the salary amounts. The report only had the letter “X” where the salary amounts were to be listed. Please provide the Administrator Salary Report in PDF format similar to the one attached for the 2013-2016 school years with salary amounts included. Also, please include Superintendent Critchlow’s 2014-2015 salary amount as well.

Regarding my question on “chain of command”, I have read the board policies on Public Complaints. My questions to the school board regarding Bill Payments are not complaints. They are simply questions for the board asking them how they can approve bill payments without being provided descriptions for the bill payments or the credit card statements for them to review each month. Nowhere in our board policies does it state that I cannot ask our school board questions at a school board meeting during Public Comments without first contacting district administrators or personnel for board actions.

As our elected school board members, Fox's Code of Ethics states that "As a member of the school Board, I shall:" accept and follow each of the items listed in the Code of Ethics; following our district’s Code of Ethics is not optional.

My request for the credit card statements for this school year was for the public interest and not a request for personal or commercial interest. Therefore, I am requesting that ALL fees for locating and copying the credit card statements for the 2013-2014 school year be waived as documented on the Missouri Attorney General's website so the credit card statements can be provided to the Fox C-6 community so they can review and understand where their tax dollars are being spent.

http://ago.mo.gov/sunshinelaw/requestform.htm  

Thank you,

Rich Simpson

From: Davis, Debby - CO Secretary
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2014 11:40 AM
To: Rich Simpson
Cc: Hermann, Cheryl - Director; Cheryl Hermann; Critchlow, Dr. Dianne; Dan Kroupa; Smith, Dan - Board Vice President; David Palmer; Davis, Debby - CO Secretary; Laughlin, John; Linda Nash ; Steve Holloway
Subject: RE: Questions for the Fox C-6 School Board and Missouri Sunshine Law Documents Request

Mr. Simpson,

Attached is a letter in regard to your Mo Sunshine Law request and the items that you requested that the District does have in a pdf format.  The letter will explain the procedure to follow in receiving the remaining documents you requested.

Thank you,

Debby A. Davis 
Administrative Asst. to the Supt/BOE

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