Here’s an update on the board spending situation.
It was reported recently that I had “Xbox” and “Netflix” charges on my statement. Those credit-card charges are fraudulent, and we’ve disputed the charges. We just received word today that those charges will be reversed. However, the Denver Post did not feel it relevant to report this nuance to you.
Board president Mary Seawell sent a note to the Denver Post today, which I’ve included below:
From: Mary Seawell
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2012 3:25 PM
To: Hubbard, Curtis; Robles, Yesenia
Subject: Andrea Merida
Curtis and Yesenia,
I wanted to let you know the credit card company got back to us about the xbox and netflix charges which showed up on Andrea Merida’s credit card bill. She disputed the charges and the credit card company agreed they are not hers. It is crediting back the amount.
Andrea and all of the board members are following the new spending policy. I have seen no indication of any misuse, and I am glad the situation with Andrea has been resolved. Could you please make sure that any future stories on her are accurate regarding this new information? If you have any questions, please call me. Thank you.
I really appreciate Mary’s willingness to be decent and aboveboard. She is trying hard to heal the division on the board, and she had earned my respect and collaboration. I am stunned that my response, so far, has been printed in its entirety, and here it is:
The charges were disputed because they were fraudulent, as the district reported to the Post previously. Even though board policy does not require me to make any payments to the district, I am covering my own normally-allowed expenses and have brought spending down to zero. By the time my first term is over, the district will have saved at least $15,400. I do this because I respect the sacrifice the taxpayers of my district have made, though the record shows that past board members neither curbed their own spending nor improved the policy. This board did, unanimously. It is truly unfortunate that this situation has been spun for political gain, while our district buckles under the weight of risky investment schemes that drain millions in unbudgeted dollars from our classrooms.
And for your perusal, here’s some documentation:
- The old spending policy (note the printing date at the bottom of the page)
- The new spending policy (we all worked on it and voted for it unanimously)
- Information on past board member spending provided by the district
Let me know if you have comments or concerns, as always.