Editor, After reading an article in the Coastal Courier about the recent Ludowici City Council meeting, I feel I need to make a few points. The article states that the council discussed the mayor’s travel pay; it did not. The meeting was set up a week early and for 9 a.m., even though the council said meetings would be at 6 p.m. This was a ploy to have a meeting the public wouldn’t be able to attend. They did hire the police chief after a lengthy executive meeting, which only three members of the council attended: Mary Hamilton, Gwen Davis and Mark Chesser. Frank McClelland and Johnny Manning were absent.
I videotape and make audio recordings of the meetings because of the tricks many of the old politicians play. At the most recent meeting, the mayor decided to take issue with my position on the travel pay. He brought out the old meeting minutes he had been carrying around town, pointed at them and stated that, in August 2003, the council voted for a $50 per diem rate, and he could receive $50 a day without travel.
However, I believe “per diem” means the amount of money an individual receives to cover living and traveling expenses for work done away from home.
I, in no way, said the mayor shouldn’t get $200 in travel pay. My contention is that he should prove expenses.
I have requested an audio recording from the August 2003 meeting, because a piece of paper can be falsified and none of the discussion of the meeting is printed.
Cindy McClelland, the city clerk, is quoted in the Courier article saying that Fuller’s pay would be adjusted as of Tuesday. I gather that means he will get $50 a day, and if McClelland, Hamilton and Davis go along with this, then shame on them. The other two council members definitely will be against it.
Mayor Fuller also has paid the municipal court judge illegally. Our state representative, Roger Lane, emailed me in response to my question about whether the charter had been changed. His answer simply was, “We did not change the city charter. No legislation was introduced.” Therefore, Mr. Fowler’s salary is still set at $500.
— Janis M. Goode