Augusta commissioners approve credit card policy

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW / WAGT) – Augusta commissioners voted on Tuesday to approve a new credit card policy that will take effect immediately with training for cardholders starting next week.

But today’s discussion on audits has been quite heated between the commissioners and the mayor.

Five years ago, the state of Georgia sent guidelines to local governments requiring them to adopt a policy to oversee the city’s credit card use. Augusta never adopted this policy.

So far.

The new policy adds a spending limit, requirements on card use and a card use monitor.

The Commissioners adopted the policy today with two amendments.

First, they appointed the city administrator and his office as the card administrator to manage card spending and policy compliance as well as to issue cards to elected officials.

The second amendment deleted “commissioners” as potential cardholders.

The commissioners card is currently held by the commission clerk, not individual commissioners, and they want it to be.

At the end of this conversation, a back-and-forth about audits began.

District 10 commissioner John Clarke said he and commissioner Catherine McKnight “once again” were requesting a forensic check.

And again, this request failed. But not without debate.

During the discussion, Commissioner Brandon Garrett asked the mayor about his request to verify his credit cards.

Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. said: “An audit is underway, governed by the CFO who is overseeing this at the moment.”

Garrett: Do we have a timeline for this?

Davis: “It’s on its way.”

Audit talks began when News 12’s I-Team discovered Davis had charged nearly $ 30,000 on his cards last year.

In February and April, he spent over $ 8,000, but his expenses in May fell to just $ 165 after we asked him about his spending.

Commissioner Ben Hasan called the forensic audit request a “scapegoat”.

Also in the news …

  • Augusta commissioners have agreed to receive more than 150 emergency housing vouchers from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. These vouchers help house local families who are on the verge of homelessness. The city initially received 61 vouchers, although officials said they were struggling to find owners who accept them. Now they’ve agreed to receive 155 more and say they’re still looking for homeowners to help them out.
  • Also outside of the Augusta Commission, there is progress on the new James Brown Arena. City leaders adopted a request from the Coliseum Authority for additional funding of $ 15 million for the project. They are now expected to get that money over the next three weeks. They also passed a bond referendum that the public will vote on in November, which calls on the city to issue up to $ 240 million in bonds to complete the arena. This means that the fate of the new arena could now depend on your vote in November.

Copyright 2021 WRDW / WAGT. All rights reserved.


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