The highest paid member of Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College last school year was honorary member Rob Walker according to public documents.
Walker, who it appears primarily made videos for ASCOCC’s Facebook page, made nearly $20,000 in student fees. He is the boyfriend of ASCOCC member Brenda Pierce.
Walker’s wages included four payments totaling $8,350 for outside contracted services from July 2009 to November 2009, and a salary totaling $11,007 from February 2010 to June 2010.
Walker’s salary as an honorary member exceeded the $9,500 salaries executive members Pierce and Terry Link, and the $8,962.50 salary of executive member Matt Coito.
ASCOCC is currently attempting to define its role in relation to the college. At issue, in part, is whether ASCOCC must follow college policies with regards to financial responsibility and fiscal oversight.
Members of ASCOCC declined comment and referred questions to their student fee-funded lawyer, Greg Lynch.
“I am choosing not to do an interview with you,” said Pierce to a Broadside reporter. “And no student government member will either.”
Lynch did not immediately return calls for comment.
Honorary members and outside services
Honorary members have no voting power on the student government. They often help out with events and typically get paid $10 per hour. Walker is the exception; he gets paid $15 per hour.
Walker, who was hired initially to create videos for student government, has created 16 videos that can be found on ASCOCC’s Facebook webpage.
“To my understanding, he was their videographer and would upload onto Facebook,” said Gordon Price, advisor to ASCOCC for the 2009-2010 school year.
The videos include two Thanksgiving food drive videos, two bowling night videos, and an ASCOCC Facebook video. The majority of these clips are under two minutes long.
Walker’s job was the same throughout the year but the way he was paid changed, said Price. He was paid as an outside contractor from July to November and he was paid as an honorary member from February to June of last school year.
Kevin Raichl, president of Visual Thinking Northwest, a local video production company, viewed Walker’s video promoting ASCOCC’s publication “The Voice.”
“If I assume you wanted me to estimate the cost of producing a promo similar to that one, I would say about $200,” he said.
Using Raichl’s estimate, Walker’s 16 videos would cost $3,200 to produce.
COCC, through student fees, allots money to ASCOCC—$278,536 in the 2009-2010 school year—and ASCOCC in turn funds programs and clubs, and puts on events throughout the year. With those fees they also pay their executive council, general council and honorary members.
The total payroll costs of ASCOCC for the last fiscal year—July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010—was $78,485.50, according to public documents. This is a $35,725.60 increase from the previous school year and about 50 percent more than the organization budgeted.
There are 43 individuals listed on ASCOCC’s payroll for the last fiscal year. Walker’s pay as an honorary member is 14 percent of the payroll.
This percentage does not reflect money Walker made as an outside contractor, which totaled $8,350.
ASCOCC’s legal questions
COCC’s student government has been trying to clarify their role at the college through legal negotiations between attorneys. ASCOCC hired Greg Lynch, a lawyer who typically charges $295 per hour, and India Simmons, a public relations consultant. Documents have been requested as to the amount paid to both Lynch and Simmons, but currently ASCOCC has no public documentation on the requests.
Legal negotiation topics include the student government’s autonomy, its relation to the college, whether it falls under college policy, and whether or not it can be dissolved, according to an ASCOCC memorandum.
Price encourages students to get involved if there are issues regarding the use of funds and potential fiscal wrongdoing.
“Students can stop it by saying, ‘I demand a change,’” said Price. “Students have always had that power.”
You may contact Eric Ercanbrack at email@example.com, Kirsteen Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Tobey Veenstra at email@example.com
- Walker has been paid $4,180 in salary so far this school year, since June 2010, according to ASCOCC’s payroll documents.
- Pierce’s salary for this period $9,500. Their combined salaries are $28,857 which is ten percent of the total revenue for the 2009/2010 year.Pierce is in her fourth year of serving as a member of ASCOCC.
- According to the ASCOCC constitution, students can serve on the student government while taking as little as one credit
- All council members and honorary members are eligible for a cell phone stipend. The current college policy on cell phone stipend is $60. Cell phone stipends appear in payroll according to Taran Underdal, ASCOCC advisor. Some members of ASCOCC’s payroll went from $750 to $810.