Wilmington City Councilwoman Laura Padget has had no problem running up her travel expense tab and even exceeding the limit. On Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to let Padgett dip into some more cash, but one member says it's the first and last time it will happen.Ms. Padgett is traveling as a result of her involvement on committees that do not directly relate to her involvement on city council. Therefore, her travel should not be reimbursed by the city. It should be paid for by herself or by the board she is serving on.
"I'm just telling you I think we have a budget and we need to try and live within that. This year I don't have a problem with what Ms. Padgett said and Mr. Sparks agreed with. That if there is money left over to dip into that, but after this year I would not be in favor of it," said Wilmington City Councilman Charlie Rivenbark. "If you're going to be on these boards and commissions you need to make other arrangements."
Rivenbark says [...][i]f you're elected to serve the people, you have to be willing take on responsibilities even if it hits your own personal wallet.
[Laura Padgett said,] "These are extraordinary times and I want to recognize that. I'm not asking to do more than other people (No kidding) or to misspend the city's money. With that in mind I would like to see an amendment to the resolution that says something to the effect that I will spend my own money to finish the commitment I made but when we get to the end of June if there is money still in the travel fund that has not been used I would have first dibs in being reimbursed," said Padgett.
Moreover, Ms. Padgett should not have "first dibs" on anything. If anything, any left over money should be split between the people who exceeded their allocation.
For instance, both Laura Padgett and Ron Sparks have exceeded their travel allotment for the year. If both spend out of their own pocket to travel, which seems to make sense, then there should be nothing saying that Laura Padgett should get reimbursed before anyone else who has done the same thing.