Surrey school trustees claim $27,000 in expenses

District paid about $450 million total in employee salaries and expenses between June 2012 and June 2013.

Surrey Board of Education members (top row) Shawn Wilson

The seven members of Surrey’s Board of Education claimed just under $27,000 during the last school year, an increase of about $3,000 over the year prior.

The expense claim figures for the elected officials are included in the school district’s Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) for the year ended June 2013, released late last week.

Trustee Shawn Wilson, who also serves as board chairperson, topped the spending, submitting a tab of $6,193, up about $400 from the 2011-2012 year. Past-chair Trustee Laurae McNally had the second-highest bill at $5,838, down about $600 from last year.

Trustee Terry Allen’s expenses of $4,911 were nearly double those claimed last year, while Trustee Laurie Larsen – who is now board vice-chair – more than doubled her’s, jumping from $1,730 last year to about $3,800 this year. Trustee Charlene Dobie spent about $3,800 as well.

Trustee Reni Masi claimed $1,608, a decrease of $2,400 from the year prior, while Trustee Pam Glass, who doesn’t drive, submitted a bill of just $592.

Most of the expenses claimed are to cover out-of-town conferences and car expenses.

The claims are in addition to the board’s combined wages of $217,300. Trustees were receiving remuneration of $30,400 annually, but voted last June to decrease it to $30,200. The chair and vice-chair get an extra $3,000 and $1,500 per year, respectively.

The Surrey School District paid a total of approximately $448 million in employee salaries between June 2012 and June 2013, including wages of teachers, principals, support staff and senior management. A further $1.5 million in expenses was claimed by employees.

The SOFI lists the names of the 2,000-plus people who earn more than $75,000 per year, which totals about $186.6 million. The earnings of those who make less than $75,000 totals $261 million.

The SOFI report for this year and years prior can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/1bLkVsT

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