Robert Holloway made a motion to limit the amount of travel expenses that can be claimed by board members.
“I have received numerous phone calls from my community,” Holloway said. “It is very important to them, and to me, to limit travel expenses during this time of financial responsibility.”
Holloway proposed that reimbursed travel be limited to inside the parish and for meetings of the Louisiana School Board Association (LSBA) that are held outside of the parish.
“We would be allowed to use up to $300 for the registration fee to go to the meetings,” Holloway said. “We could also claim the travel to and from the meeting site.”
However, hotel, dining and any entertainment expenses would be paid out of the board member’s personal funds.
Several board members shared their support of attending the meetings.
“I think for the board to be productive, we are going to have to pay money,” Malachi Ridgel said. “And that won’t come cheap.”
Linda Kinsey, Penny Long and Frankie Mitchell said that LSBA and other meetings have helped them in their capacities as board members.
“When I came to this board, not one single person gave me a (*)handbook to say this is what we do or don’t do,” Kinsey said. “There was not any orientation whatsoever. Most of the things that I have learned it was because I attended these meetings.”
“We have mandatory training that we have to do,” Long said. “We are required by state law to get the training.”
“If am not mistaken, all that can be accomplished (in alternative ways),” Jerry Lott said. Board members can earn their ethics training on line and can earn educational hours without leaving the parish, through meetings approved by the LSBA.
“I have learned so much by traveling,” Mitchell said. “I was made School Board Member of the Year, and I take that humbly. In everything I do, I want to do my best. I need all the training in the world to do the best that I can.”
Long said that she appreciates the information board members bring back with them from conventions and that it has helped her.
According to Lott, there have been no reports to the board from members who attend state meetings during his time on the board.
Holloway, Lott and Strong voted in favor of the motion.
Ridgel, Kennon, Long, Broughton, Mitchell, Kinsey and Garner were opposed.
Bruce Williams and Brandon Edens were not present at last night’s meeting.
As of April 8, the board members’ travel expenses and educational credits were as represented in the chart at right.
All other items were agreed to without opposition. Look for further information on the board’s actions in the Minden Press-Herald later this week.
* The Webster Parish School Board handbook is available online at www.websterpsb.org.