AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta provides credit cards for some elected officials as they make purchases, but is there enough oversite on those cards?
“Absolutely not, unfortunately, the credit cards that are issued to some of the departments…there’s not a policy surrounding that,” says Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
Mayor Hardie Davis is one of the elected officials using a credit card, and while you can see when he made a purchase, where, and for how much, there’s no other explanation. What was it for and why? Creating a credit card policy could change that.
“I think anytime spending taxpayer dollars, we should have open conversations about that in a transparent way. You know, folks work hard for their money. We ought to work hard to make sure we’re protecting and using it to the best of our abilities,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
“I think we need to take a look at it let’s see what’s going on, exactly how people are using the money, how credit cards are used, I think it’s a good thing,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.
“As long as he operates within his budget sure but there’s also there’s some accountability that needs to take place in regard to what are these purchases in regard to who did you take out to lunch how is this benefiting the city these types of questions need to be answered,” said Commissioner Garrett.
The mayor who is facing criticism for his credit card use missed today’s committee sessions.
Credit cards for elected officials have been in use in Augusta for twenty years.
City leaders are just now having the discussions on how to make sure they’re used properly.
A commission committee directed the administrator to develop a policy based on a 2016 state law that focuses on credit card use by elected officials. That’s something that was not done when the law was passed.