LAND O'LAKES — Pasco School Board member Cathi Martin got a bill Tuesday to reimburse the school district for the Florida School Boards Association meeting she missed in Tampa over the weekend.
The district paid a $195 registration fee for Martin to attend. It paid the same fee for fellow board members Kathryn Starkey and Joanne Hurley.
Hurley and Starkey went to the conference. Martin missed the meeting, so superintendent Heather Fiorentino instructed her staff to get the money back from Martin.
The same thing happened back in December, with Martin reimbursing the district for an event she did not attend.
Martin said she had every intention of going to last weekend's conference.
"I was all packed and ready to go," she said.
Then she came down with bronchitis, she said. Her doctor prescribed an antibiotic, she said, but she was allergic and broke out in hives.
Her doctor then told her to remain at home.
Earlier this spring, Martin contemplated resigning from the board, citing chronic health problems as the reason for her absence from several meetings. She changed her mind in late April, and said her doctor had given her a clean bill of health and she would be fulfilling all her obligations.
Since then, Martin has attended all board meetings. But she missed a high school graduation in late May and the conference over the weekend, both because of illnesses.
Three Pasco Republican state lawmakers have called on Gov. Charlie Crist to remove Martin from office because of the missed meetings. He has not responded.
Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.