Wilmington City Council discussed Monday the possibility of making changes to their travel policy. The council debated the topic at length, in hopes of coming to a compromise.
Council member Margaret Haynes was vocal about how the policy should be structured.
"We have a good travel policy. Each council member has a set amount of money. It's about $2,500," Haynes said.
Some of the elected officials thought more travel money should be available if unused by fellow council members. Haynes suggested a proposal that could provide extra money if needed to those members.
"If they're an elected officer of a state or national organization that perhaps they initially at the beginning of the budget process get a little bit more money so they can put that into their budget and prioritize where they want to go," she explained.
Some council members argued that the policy should be tweaked so council members can use leftover funds from their peers that travel less. Haynes disagreed with the idea.
"No one or two people should just travel wherever they want to go and ask to take whatever leftover money there is. That's not a good policy and a good way to operate for the future," Haynes said.
When asked how the trips could be beneficial to the city and its taxpayers Haynes replied, "You're learning techniques and procedures that other communities use and you can't just stay here and be insular and never learn from other people."
Most council members seemed on board with Haynes' policy modification suggestion. The council agreed that trips should be planned sooner rather than later.
Haynes said that Wilmington City Manager Sterling Cheatham will now draft a new policy that will likely be discussed at the next council meeting in August.
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