School Board makes the right decision

Published 12:27 pm Friday, October 7, 2011

It’s been said time and time again that preventive medicine is the best medicine.

If that is indeed the case, the Gates County Board of Education just took a large dose of what should prove to be extremely beneficial down the road as well as greatly improving their integrity within the local community.

At their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Oct. 3, the five members of that board agreed in unison to surrender their school-issued credit cards.

That decision comes in the wake of allegations made by now retired GCPS Superintendent Dr. Zenobia Smallwood. In her Sept. 12 farewell meeting with the board, Smallwood made reference to what she believed was misuse of a school-issued credit card by a school board member. She could not say if the credit card transaction was performed intentionally.

Dale Saunders confirmed that he was the board member Smallwood accused. However, he adamantly denied her allegation.

Whether or not Saunders or any other school board member was responsible for the credit card transaction that sparked this issue, the action taken Monday night was the correct move.

By simply turning in their school-issued credit cards to the GCPS finance officer, those board members did themselves a favor by removing even the slightest hint of potential financial abuse in the future.

The original intent of the school-issued credit cards was for board members to use as a means to pay for overnight lodging while attending mandated conferences/meetings. Now they can pay that bill from their own pocket and turn in the receipt for reimbursement, just like they do for travel and meals.

We commend the Gates County Board of Education for their quick action to clear-up this matter and get on with the business of helping to provide a quality education for our youth.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald