3 commissioners head to Reno for convention

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December 5, 2006

They've taken trips to Hawaii and Chicago, and now some Augusta commissioners are headed to another convention in Reno, Nevada.

But after big budget cuts, other commissioners say it's not right.

News 12's Jonathan Martin is on your side with details about the trip and the price tag for you.

Every commissioner had the opportunity to take this all-expense paid trip, but only three of them decided to. Betty Beard, Marion Williams, and Calvin Holland are leaving today for the National League of Cities Convention in Reno, Nevada. Beard and Holland were absent from today's commission meeting.

They will all be gone for the next five days, attending workshops and meeting with leaders from other municipalities.

The city is paying about $6,000 for them to go.

And while those going say it's very important, others say it's a trip that could certainly be cut...especially after voting to cut jobs and services in the budget.

"There's always videos available for that kind of stuff," said Commissioner Jimmy Smith. "We can bring it back and use some of that here, instead of us going and running up a bill."

"We are going to continue education that we've been getting for some time here, and I think it's been necessary," said Commissioner Williams. "It's proven in the stuff we've brought back to the community, the changes. You can't stay in a box and expect to grow."

The commission's last trip to Chicago led Commissioner Jerry Brigham to motion for there to be a limit on national conferences, and that failed.

But now, Joe Bowles is asking that the commission travel budget be split up so each commissioner can decide what they want to do with those funds. We'll see if that passes.