Commissioner curious over big bonus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Commissioner curious over big bonus

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Commissioner Fletcher Commissioner Fletcher
City Mgr. James Taylor City Mgr. James Taylor
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Some Albany city commissioners are looking to get some answers about a big bonus given to a city employee at Tuesday's city commission meeting.  City Commission B. J. Fletcher says now is not the time for any bonuses and she wants it recalled. Fletcher is expecting more answers from city manager, James Taylor, during Tuesday morning's commission meeting.

"I think a lot of people are just waiting to hear for an explanation," she said.  

 Taylor gave Risk Management Division Manager Veronica Wright a bonus of just over $20,300. In an open records request by WALB News 10, we've learned that Wright originally asked for a bonus of more than $41,000  in an e-mail to Human Resources Director Henry Cohen.  

Wright says that amount is 25% of the money she saved the city in consolidating their liability insurance premiums.   "I'm just surprised that anybody that works for the city and knows everyday that we're struggling to make ends meet is even asking for a bonus. I mean it is a job. It's the job that you do," Fletcher said.    

Taylor approved the bonus on Friday, June 6th, saying it was based on 10% of the savings she produced for other areas of the city government.   He's authorized to spend up to $40,000 without commission approval.  

But Fletcher says now is not the time. "I'm out in the public every day at my restaurant and a lot of the citizens, it has sort of brought the citizens down. They didn't like it. I haven't met one person that's been ugly about it, they're just like, we're struggling right now, this is not a time to give $20,000 out to anyone for doing their job."     

Fletcher wants to see this money returned to the taxpayers.   City manager James Taylor is expected to return from vacation for Tuesday's meeting.  

We tried to contact Taylor and Veronica Wright for comment today but so far neither has returned our phone calls. Fletcher is encouraging concerned residents to attend the commission meeting tomorrow morning at 8:30 in the government center.

 

 

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