AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It is something that sticks in the crawl of many in Augusta Commissioners: using a card to fill up for free. Now a commission committee has voted to do away with that gas card in favor of a hefty monthly pay raise.
Commissioners say they do more than just use their cars to come to the Municipal Building the job keeps them on the road a lot.
“It’s not a part time job, it’s an all time job, it’s an all day job, 24 hours,” says Commissioner Bobby Williams.
To do that job commissioners get 125 gallons a month in free gas, but acting on a proposal from Commissioner Ben Hasan, the Administrative Services Committee voted to end free gas, in favor of a $500 dollar a month car allowance.
“Do you have any problems with voting yourself this pay?”
“When you have to take into consideration the upkeep and maintenance, the insurance and everything, we don’t get that at all,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
“We get a very low stipend and you look at the maintenance on auto mobiles now a days…I do a lot of running in my vehicle, I have to buy tires quite often,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
“This commission needs to be compensated for what they do, I’m for paying people to do the job, expect you do the job as well,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
Last year the city spent about $10 thousand dollars on gas, that amount fluctuates every year.
But a five hundred dollar a month car allowance puts six thousand dollars a year in each commissioners pocket, and will cost tax payers $60 thousand dollars a year.
“You’re voting yourself a raise, would this be ethical?”
“I think it is ethical with what we are doing. This is more or less dealing with what we have to deal with everyday,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
If the full commission goes along next week, city leaders will not be cashing this car allowance any time soon. Under state law they’ll have to wait until January 2021