Wilmington's City Audit Committee reviewed travel policy

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Laura Sinacori - email
Updated by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington's Audit Committee met Monday morning to discuss the city's travel policy.

Wilmington city council members came under harsh scrutiny a few weeks ago for spending almost $20,000 of taxpayer money on a trip to Washington DC.

Many Wilmington residents were upset after seeing dinner receipts of $400 and $500 for city council members and their spouses, but the audit committee, headed up by Kristy Tomey, is looking at changing more than just their meal plans.

"I think it's always a good thing to go through and look at your policies and procedures on how you do stuff, see how you can be more efficient through those and certainly, economics drive a lot of that," said Tomey.

"We've asked our audit committee to give us their reaction to how we handle travel, how do we handle transportation, how do we handle hotels, lodging, how do we handle meals, those kinds of activities," said Wilmington City Manager Sterling Cheatham.

The committee is reviewing policies from other cities including Asheville and Fayetteville to help form a policy for Wilmington.

They are talking about whether council members should get a set daily allowance for meals and other expenses, share hotel rooms on trips, or only send a few council members to out of town meetings.

"We wanted to look at the whole policy, altogether as a unit, and then make one solid recommendation to the city council so that they can approve it," said Tomey.

Council members say this meeting is just the beginning of a long process and will make a recommendation to the full council at a later date.

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