Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2014

In search of public answers in regards to public records

In reviewing documents obtained from the Cleveland County School system, we want to pass along a summary and some details of what we are finding. Many credit card transactions are questionable, as to how it relates to the department that purchased the items listed on the receipts. It has been hard for us to receive answers to some questions, because the superintendent, along with the school board has said that even though these documents are public records, the reasons for the purchases are not. They have made it, and continue to make it quite clear, that these reasons are of no business to the public. I take that as a bit of lacking accountability and being irresponsible leaders.

In my opinion, entities that use taxpayers’ funds to “do business”, then the people have a right to know if these leaders are spending wisely. It is also my opinion, as well as many other people, that a school system is a massive business, that needs sound and sensible leadership, and requires a healthy dose of public scrutiny.

Many of these documents show a regular pattern of spending that does not seem necessary. Some examples are:

Receipts from the Country Club, for meals, ranging from a couple of hundred dollars up to $3,228. The purchase of soft drinks, candy, crackers, and gum, often 10 days apart, or less, from a cost of $50 or less to over $600. We have found receipts for $42 up to $300 for jewelry. Some unexplained receipts from a specialty gift shop, receipts from Bath and Body Works, Incredible Edibles, a receipt from Hickory Farms for $601, and a receipt from M&M’s for 5lbs of M&M’s with a special printing of CCS on each piece of candy, for a total of $152.95. There are receipts that show the purchase of a hummingbird feeder, hummingbird food, water cans, flower bulbs, and various other goodies.

Even though these records are public, we are told the reason for the purchase of these things is none of our business. I would beg to differ but at a later date.

So, here are a few more records to explain what keeps turning up, over and over and over again. Lots of work to do yet, but we will keep at it.

A few records for you to check out:

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