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Ripon board not sure abort ASB credit card

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POSTED September 12, 2013 1:07 a.m.

Ripon High administrators say that online purchases could be made so much easier with a major credit card.

District officials appear to believe otherwise.

At Monday’s school board meeting, elected leaders held off on request by the RHS Associated Student Body to obtain a credit card specifically to facilitate online purchases.

“As much as I support the high school, I think, when it comes to the audit, our chief business officer (Clarisse Luis) might be at an inconvenience. I’d be careful first before applying (for the credit card),” said RUSD interim Superintendent Bill Draa.

Trustee Kit Oase agreed, saying, “I think it would be best if we speak with the auditors and see if they have any experiences in this matter.”

The item was tabled for the October meeting.

RHS Principal Lance Morrow noted that online purchases are often cumbersome at best.

“In many instances time is of the essence,” he said. “We have lost out on items or have paid a higher price because of the time our current procedure takes.”

Plans call for the ASB credit card, if approved, would be kept in the ASB bookkeeper’s office and used only for online purchases.

Morrow explained the current process. “When a group or organization on campus needs to make an online process and purchase orders are not accepted, we follow the current protocol to request funds and cut a check that has to be mailed out for the purchase,” he said.

There’s also a timeliness factor. Morrow pointed out that many vendors do not accept purchase orders, and such purchases could only be made with a credit card.

As an example, he used Amazon.com, where a number on the count of any item is often posted.

“We’ve lost out by not being able to make the purchase (due to the current procedure),” he said, adding that the same item, when made available again, is often priced higher.

With a card, Morrow said he and the ASB bookkeeper would be required to approve any purchases.

Thus far, Luis mentioned that only two credit cards, both from the Bank of Stockton, are kept in a safe in the district office. Only she and Kathy Coleman, director of curriculum and categorical programs, are the authorized users.

In addition, Luis talked to some of the other school districts on the matter. “So far no one allows for their ASB to have a credit card,” she said.

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