Not to mention an equestrian center, “euphoria packages,” and a culinary studio.
It also hosted a planning retreat for the officers of the Gwinnett County Association of Educators, and that has some members expressing la colère to their state affiliate, the Georgia Association of Educators, about GCAE president Donna Aker.
Ron Tomblin, who served as co-president with Aker and is among those complaining of waste, said dues of $41 per month taken from teachers’ paychecks are being spent on excessive dinner meetings and items not always approved by the board. While Gwinnett County teachers faced furlough days, Tomblin said, Aker and newly elected officers traveled to Chateau Elan overnight, spending $1,500 on meeting and hotel rooms. He said the retreat was not board-approved.
“They take trips that are on the membership’s dime, and they like to eat at nice restaurants,” Tomblin said.
Aker said the overnight retreat in June was budgeted and cheaper than last year’s planning session held during a national convention in Tampa. Chateau Elan was chosen because other hotels were booked, she said. “We spent Friday night and all day Saturday planning for the upcoming year. We isolated ourselves so we could get something done.”
By contrast, Cobb County Association of Educators President Connie Jackson said its planning retreat and governing board meetings are held in office space the group leases. Members bring in potluck meals. General membership meetings, which offer cookies, are held at a community center the group rents for $100.