Augusta city leaders have been hitting the road, leaving taxpayers to pay the bills. Since April, city leaders have taken in part in three different conferences.
Two were state conventions in Savannah; one in April, and one in June. The third is a national conference of county officers taking place in this week in Fort Worth, Texas.
Eight Augusta Commissioners have attended at least two, and four have gone to all three. Including the costs for Mayor Deke Copenhaver and City Administrator Fred Russell, the total bill runs $39,521.72, or almost 40,000.
Grady Smith is the only Commissioner who has not attended a conference this year. He was scheduled to go in April, but had to cancel because of health issues. Smith says, going to all of these conferences can be a waste of money. "I'm upset about it, I'm tired of hearing the rhetoric about [it]. We need to be good stewards of the public's money and everything, and yet any little frill that comes along, you've got two or three of four that have to go," said Smith.
Attending that national conference in Texas are Commissioners Alvin Mason, Bill Lockett, Bill Fennoy, Marion Williams and Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Johnson.
According to the City Clerk's office, Johnson, Fennoy, Lockett, and Williams are the four Commissioners who attended all three conferences since April.
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