Should outgoing elected leaders travel with taxpayer money? - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Should outgoing elected leaders travel with taxpayer money?

Posted: Updated:
Should outgoing elected leaders travel with taxpayer money? That’s the question up for debate in the Jefferson County Commission Chamber.

Jefferson County's Assistant Tax Assessor who works out of Bessemer lost his bid for re-election in the June Primary.

Most newly elected leaders take office at the end of the year. Tax assessors, however, serve until the start of a new fiscal year in October. That gives Andrew Bennett 15 more months in office.

"During that time, I do intend to continue to take care of county business, state business or whatever you want to call it,” explained Bennett. “It is important for me to network. And it is not only a networking trip, but an educational trip.”

Bennett wants to go to Orange Beach in August to attend an educational conference. He also had asked to attend another conference at the coast in June, taking place just days after he was defeated.

"It was unusual that we had someone who had just been defeated in a primary election that would want to immediately go to for further education,” said Jimmie Stephens, Jefferson County Commissioner.

"As a general statement, I don't think lame duck elected officials should be going on educational travel,” added Commissioner David Carrington.

Jefferson County Commissioners denied Bennett's first request, which was for approximately $2,000.

"I was really surprised that they've taken anything to do with that,” said Bennett. “It's supposed to be a formality that they, you know, would just pass through."

"The way it’s set up is the commission reviews expenditures of public funds in the County. So, if that's his opinion, he needs to go change the statute,” responded Carrington.

But, Bennett isn't giving up. He still wants to go to Orange Beach for the August conference, with a price tag of approximately $1,000.

"In this office, it's very necessary to be able to know your legislators because this office is governed by laws and rules and regulations from the state of Alabama,” said Bennett. “So it is in any rules and regulations that have changed, it is done by the legislature. It is not done by the County Commission."

Stephens says the money for the trip is set aside. But, he'd rather see employees in the office go.

“It's much more practical to send someone who's going to be there for the next 30 years to gain that institutional knowledge,” Stephens argued.

"That's not their concern, shouldn't be their concern,” said Bennett. “First of all, I am the tax assessor. I am the elected official so it is my decision to send me."

Jefferson County Commissioners are expected to vote on Bennett's trip next week.  

Commissioner David Carrington believes that because of this debate, the county will begin crafting a new travel policy for elected leaders.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Alabama farmers honored at the White House

    Alabama farmers honored at the White House

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:52:40 GMT
    Two Alabama farmers are being honored at the White House. Bill Bridgeforth of Tanner and Lee Haynes of Cullman are among 15 people being recognized as "Champions of Change" in Washington on Tuesday. The the Agriculture Department honors people who are empowering and inspiring members of their local communities.Bridgeforth is a fourth-generation farmer in Limestone County. He's also a county chairman of the National Black Growers Association.Haynes is an egg farmer in Cullman County. After gra...More >>
    Two Alabama farmers are being honored at the White House. Bill Bridgeforth of Tanner and Lee Haynes of Cullman are among 15 people being recognized as "Champions of Change" in Washington on Tuesday. The the Agriculture Department honors people who are empowering and inspiring members of their local communities.Bridgeforth is a fourth-generation farmer in Limestone County. He's also a county chairman of the National Black Growers Association.Haynes is an egg farmer in Cullman County. After gra...More >>
  • FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

    FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-28 19:19:17 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners. Beginning in 2006, Southwest made "extreme makeover" alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners, the FAA said. An FAA investigation determined that Southwest's contractor, Aviation Technical Services Inc. of Everett, Washington, failed to follow proper ...More >>
    The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners. Beginning in 2006, Southwest made "extreme makeover" alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners, the FAA said. An FAA investigation determined that Southwest's contractor, Aviation Technical Services Inc. of Everett, Washington, failed to follow proper ...More >>
  • Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:00:39 GMT
    David PittsDavid Pitts
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • 2 arrested in Anniston after toddler found with broken ribs, cigarette burns

    2 arrested in Anniston after toddler found with broken ribs, cigarette burns

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:33:16 GMT
    Police in Anniston have arrested two people on charges that they physically abused a 2-year-old girl found with cigarette burns and fractured ribs.More >>
    Police in Anniston have arrested two people on charges that they physically abused a 2-year-old girl found with cigarette burns and fractured ribs.More >>
  • Ozark man wanted in abduction, sexual assault of woman and her child at knife-point

    Ozark man wanted in abduction, sexual assault of woman and her child at knife-point

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:33:58 GMT
    A nationwide search is underway for an Ozark man who allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted a 30-year-old woman and her 8-year-old child at knife-point Friday morning.More >>
    A nationwide search is underway for an Ozark man who allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted a 30-year-old woman and her 8-year-old child at knife-point Friday morning.
    More >>
  • Fort Payne man charged with breaking into home in Cherokee County, assaulting ex-girlfriend, others with knife

    Fort Payne man charged with breaking into home in Cherokee County, assaulting ex-girlfriend, others with knife

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:19 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:19:15 GMT
    A Fort Payne man was arrested this week after he allegedly broke into a home in Cherokee County and assaulted his ex-girlfriend and others with a knife, authorities said.More >>
    A Fort Payne man was arrested this week after he allegedly broke into a home in Cherokee County and assaulted his ex-girlfriend and others with a knife, authorities said.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Update: Man arrested after woman doused with gasoline and burned

    Update: Man arrested after woman doused with gasoline and burned

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:57:16 GMT
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's department is looking for 48 year old Michael Kennedy. He's wanted on several charges after allegedly setting his ex-girlfriend on fire. Just after 2:30 this morning deputies respond to a report of a house fire in the 4400 block of Nellie Anderson Street. They arrived to find a 49 year old female victim with extensive burns to her head, arms, upper body and legs. She was transported to the hospital and admitted to a burn unit in serious condition. Investigators...More >>
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's department is looking for 48 year old Michael Kennedy. He's wanted on several charges after allegedly setting his ex-girlfriend on fire. Just after 2:30 this morning deputies respond to a report of a house fire in the 4400 block of Nellie Anderson Street. They arrived to find a 49 year old female victim with extensive burns to her head, arms, upper body and legs. She was transported to the hospital and admitted to a burn unit in serious condition. Investigators...More >>
  • Alabama farmers honored at the White House

    Alabama farmers honored at the White House

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:52:40 GMT
    Two Alabama farmers are being honored at the White House. Bill Bridgeforth of Tanner and Lee Haynes of Cullman are among 15 people being recognized as "Champions of Change" in Washington on Tuesday. The the Agriculture Department honors people who are empowering and inspiring members of their local communities.Bridgeforth is a fourth-generation farmer in Limestone County. He's also a county chairman of the National Black Growers Association.Haynes is an egg farmer in Cullman County. After gra...More >>
    Two Alabama farmers are being honored at the White House. Bill Bridgeforth of Tanner and Lee Haynes of Cullman are among 15 people being recognized as "Champions of Change" in Washington on Tuesday. The the Agriculture Department honors people who are empowering and inspiring members of their local communities.Bridgeforth is a fourth-generation farmer in Limestone County. He's also a county chairman of the National Black Growers Association.Haynes is an egg farmer in Cullman County. After gra...More >>
  • Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

    Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:45:02 GMT
    Authorities say a sex-assault suspect got in a shootout with law enforcement in New York City that wounded the suspect, two federal marshals and a police officer.More >>
    A California man who skipped town after being accused of molesting a child was killed and three law enforcement officers trying to arrest him were wounded in a daytime shootout inside a New York City smoke shop, officials...More >>
  • Deal to improve veterans' health care costs $17B

    Deal to improve veterans' health care costs $17B

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:18:33 GMT
    After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records...More >>
    A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department...More >>
  • FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

    FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-28 19:19:17 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners. Beginning in 2006, Southwest made "extreme makeover" alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners, the FAA said. An FAA investigation determined that Southwest's contractor, Aviation Technical Services Inc. of Everett, Washington, failed to follow proper ...More >>
    The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners. Beginning in 2006, Southwest made "extreme makeover" alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners, the FAA said. An FAA investigation determined that Southwest's contractor, Aviation Technical Services Inc. of Everett, Washington, failed to follow proper ...More >>
  • Update: Body found in bakery truck, no foul play involved

    Update: Body found in bakery truck, no foul play involved

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:28 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:28:15 GMT
    ABC 33/40 has confirmed that the body of 40 year old bakery employee Shane Landrip Caldwell was found in the truck. Police do not believe any foul play was involved.More >>
    ABC 33/40 has confirmed that the body of 40 year old bakery employee Shane Landrip Caldwell was found in the truck. Police do not believe any foul play was involved.More >>
  • Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:00:39 GMT
    David PittsDavid Pitts
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
  • Attorney "getting conflicting stories about absentee ballots" in contested JeffCo race

    Attorney "getting conflicting stories about absentee ballots" in contested JeffCo race

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:08:43 GMT
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown is expected to address the challenge to the District Two election results Monday. The contest was filed by one of her opponent's supporters. ABC 33/40 spoke with the attorney representing that supporter.More >>
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown is expected to address the challenge to the District Two election results Monday. The contest was filed by one of her opponent's supporters. ABC 33/40 spoke with the attorney representing that supporter.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

ABCNews4 WCIV-TV

888 Allbritton Dr.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
843-881-4444 | Advertising Information

Public Information File

For assistance with accessing WCIV-TV's public information file, click here.

Advertising

Advertising Credit Application and Terms and Conditions PDF.

Powered by WorldNow
All content Copyright © 2014 WCIV and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.