Tensions rose over the summer in the Contra Costa County Community College District Governing Board when member Greg Enholm was questioned about use of funds by the board’s president. Board President Vicki Gordon and District Chancellor Fred Wood denied Enholm’s request for reimbursement in light of his use of the board’s budget.
Enholm had sought about $10,000 in reimbursements, which were questioned by Gordon and Wood. The trouble came from Enholm’s allegedly excessive use of the travel budget.
Gordon’s problem with Enholm’s use of the budget revolved around several smaller infractions such as transportation expenses and other similar issues.
“It is nickel and dime,” said Gordon, but she insisted that the budget use was “fishy.”
“It should have been done privately,” said Enholm about the budgetary concerns. “There was no need to make it public.”
Past chancellor Helen Benjamin had previously approved Enhom’s requests and the recent refusal struck him as a surprise.
“I didn’t see it coming,” said Enholm, “you can look on the agenda, nowhere does it mention me or my budget.” Enholm took exception to the s
urprising turn of events reaffirming his feeling that the matter should have been solved privately and not in a public meeting without his prior knowledge.
Enholm also contacted Gordon via email and admitted that the interactions were heated.
“It should have been private,” said Enholm, “she put the ball in my court and all I did was send it back.”
Gordon characterized the emails as “disrespectful” and heated.
“I do view email as personal communication,” said Enholm. “Much of what was said was personal.”
Enholm, who has past experience as a Wall Street analyst and is currently a graduate professor in economics, explained that he “doesn’t really have a side to the story.”
He insisted that the issue of the budgetary concerns was a small matter that was being overblown. Many council members would disagree however, Gordon and Wood being chief among them.
While, according to Enholm, many members were on board with approving his budget, Wood and Gordon took issue with, what they perceived, as a blasé disregard for public funds.