Hermansen submits expense report, board motion moot
August 15, 2014
Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Holly Hermansen submitted her most recent monthly expense report during a meeting with the County Board of Education Wednesday, after recent concerns over her not presenting the expenses surfaced from specific board trustees and county residents.
"It just had seemed there were a lot of questions about it, and it had been a concern for the last few meetings," Hermansen said. "As I've said numerous times during the last several months, I have not been opposed to providing my expense reports, but as you saw today, the board really doesn't appear that interested in reviewing them monthly."
During a July 9 board meeting, trustee Jack Meeks presented a motion to the board requesting Hermansen provide a monthly written report that detailed all meetings she attends, including places, dates, names, times and topics of discussion. The motion was voted down on a 3-2 vote.
Board members Marianne Slade-Troutman and Meeks voted for the motion, while trustees Bob Altieri, Tracy Lapierre and board president Trevor Michael voted against it. Meeks, Slade-Troutman and certain members of the audience raised concerns about Hermansen's expense reports, urging that she be required to present them to the board every month.
After hearing those concerns, Altieri said he would readdress the issue.
At Wednesday's board meeting, Altieri, who was previously against requiring Hermansen to present her expenses, made a motion for her to present those expenses to the board on a monthly basis. Altieri's motion, though, was made moot and not eligible to be voted on.
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"I was hoping to make it happen, but obviously, as you know, I didn't get a second," Altieri said Wednesday. "I was surprised at that. But I think Holly will probably just do it anyway, there's no reason not to, it's been way overplayed."
From at least June 2012 through December 2013, the board previously agreed to do an extensive monthly review of Hermansen's expense reports. But after more than a year of not finding any budget discrepancies, the board decided not to review the expenses every month.
Slade-Troutman has previously pushed for Hermansen to continue to provide those monthly expense reports, but did not vote for Altieri's motion Wednesday.
"I didn't think it should have even been on the agenda," Slade-Troutman said. "It's a law that we have to obey, and to be voting on whether a law should be obeyed or not, it just doesn't make any sense."
Meeks agreed with Slade-Troutman, saying "The expense motion apparently is moot because a motion asking somebody to obey the law is specious. So nobody wanted to touch it because you can't talk about obeying the law when there's no penalty involved for breaking the law."
While Hermansen says she has no problem with providing her monthly expense reports to the board, she is not sure she will continue to do so.
"I don't want to go against what the board wants because at their request, I stopped providing it," Hermansen said. "At their request, I did provide it previously, and so now I'm not quite sure. But I'd like to see what the board would like to see, and I'm happy to give them whatever they need to look at."
To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4236.
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