By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS
At a public hearing Sept. 8, it was revealed the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman claimed over $68,074 in reimbursement expenses during a 10-month period.
The description of reimbursements includes meals, lodging, transportation, motor fuel, and other expenditures which can include registration fees, telephone/cell phone, internet service and fax machine among others not defined.
According to the description of reimbursements received by the superintendent and board members between Sept. 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, the top spenders are Dr. Carman who received $17,594.92 and SBCISD Board of Trustees President Michael Vargas, who received $12,346.04 in refunds.
The next two board members who spent the most are M. L. Garcia ($9,905.70) and Angel Mendez (9,171.03). They are followed by Victor Eloy Rosas ($6,427.35), Orlando Lopez, ($3,869.69), Janie Silva ($2,715), and Sonia Weaver ($2,395.91).
The list also includes two other individuals: Joe G. Gonzalez, who received $2,909.35, and Ana Cruz, who claimed $740.00 in reimbursements.
School District officials said all “reimbursement” expenses, regardless of the manner of payment, include direct pay, credit card, cash, and purchase orders that are to be reported.
Meals can include all meals consumed out of town and in-district meals at area restaurants. Outside of board meetings, the reimbursement excludes catered board meeting meals.
Transportation lists airfare and car rentals and can include fuel on rentals, taxis, mileage reimbursements, leased cars, parking, and tolls.
Lodging includes hotel charges and gasoline for motor fuel.
The release of the figures was during a public hearing where school officials discussed the district’s “superior achievement” rating on the state’s financial accountability system.
The News contacted SBCISD Public Relations Director Isabel Gonzalez on Wednesday via email to find out when the next report will be released and whether there are any expenditures by the superintendent and board members for the months of July and August.