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Sunshine Week: RSS travel mostly in-county locations, board meetings

Editor’s note: Sunshine Week is a celebration of access to public information and what it means for citizens and the community. This is the last in a series of stories examining access to local elected officials’ travel reports and how much they spend.

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education members requested $3,774.39 in reimbursement between 2014 and Feb. 15 of this year. The majority of reimbursements were for travel to and from board meetings and community visits, but there were a few unusual requests.

Dr. Richard Miller incurred $2,183.71 in reimbursements, including three flight changes between August 2014 and June 2015 which totaled $733. Miller said the flight change fees occurred when unscheduled board meetings were called while he was out of town. For part of that time, Miller was serving as chairman of the board. Another $741.44 was requested for travel within Rowan County — most of the line items reference board meetings, school visits and board work sessions. Miller also attended two North Carolina School Boards Association meetings in Raleigh, and requested reimbursement for approximately $300 per meeting.

Chuck Hughes requested reimbursement for $717.25, including an $187.20 request for attending a Purpose Built Community seminar between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, 2014, and a $144.18 reimbursement for a seminar in Pinehurst, also on Sept. 29, 2014.

Jean Kennedy, Josh Wagner, Travis Allen, Susan Cox and Dean Hunter all submitted single reimbursement requests. Wagner requested $146.16 between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 for the Purpose Built Community seminar. Allen and Hunter requested $194.60 and $159.04 for a school board conference attended in Raleigh on Dec. 10, 2015. Kennedy requested $59.81 for a board meeting attended in Hickory in June 2014. Cox’s single reimbursement request was for a school visit in Washington, D.C., between Jan. 11-15 2015. Records received state Cox visited three elementary schools and a central office in the area, and requested $231.20 in reimbursement.

Kay Wright Norman requested $82.60 for travel around Rowan County between July and December 2014.

According to the board’s travel policy, board members also receive a monthly stipend of $350, and the board chair receives $450. Board members are reimbursed for in-county travel according to the state mileage rate. Out-of county expenses can be reimbursed with the state mileage rate and full reimbursement for expenses incurred while officially representing the system.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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