Effingham County commissioners approved travel expenses for themselves to go to the White House Dec. 5 with other Georgia commissioners.
They didn’t know how many of the six commissioners would go, how long they’d stay, or how much airfare, hotels, food or cab expenses might cost when they made the decision at their Nov. 7 meeting.
“This is a once-in-a-blue-moon event,” chairman Wesley Corbitt said. He said he can’t attend but he hopes “a couple of commissioners at least” attends the event organized by the Association County Commissioners Georgia.
Commissioners canceled their regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 5 and moved their Dec. 19 meeting to Dec. 12, partly to clear the way for the Washington trip.
Jack Garvin, a Clyo resident who last year was chairman of the county’s Democratic Party, told commissioners he can’t believe they didn’t go to the White House when Obama was president. All of the commissioners are Republicans.
Commissioner Vera Jones said they weren’t invited. “This is the first time we’ve ever been invited,” she said.
Jones said if her husband goes, he would pay his own expenses.
Garvin asked how long the commissioners would spend in Washington D.C.
“Not on the county’s dime one extra second,” Jones said.
Garvin asked what motels cost in the nation’s capital. Corbitt said they had “no idea” because they just received the invitation.
“These opportunities by ACCG to get before the White House are rare,” Corbitt said. “The president and those folks probably aren’t going to remember who we are. But if we support ACCG and they make a good showing at this thing, ACCG and our local legislators, it’ll make a big difference with them to see our interest. I’d love to see a couple of people at least go to this.”
Jones said she’s been a commissioner seven years “and I’ve not participated in any wasted travel. … I don’t travel on the county’s dime for fun or anything else, ever. I do think this could be a beneficial trip. I’d even go probably, possibly, if Obama wouldhad invited us. But he didn’t.”
Jones said she was waiting for more information. She said she wants to be sure it’d be “truly beneficial” before she decides to go.
Commissioner Reggie Loper said he also might go.