Most of council pays back city

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Most City Council members who said they would be paying for their own accommodations during the council’s recent retreat to the exclusive Tides Inn on Wednesday settled their bills with the city.

Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett and council members Linda T. Johnson, Bobby Ralph and Calvin Jones each reimbursed the city $239.30 before or after the council meeting.

Mayor E. Dana Dickens III said he will be paying his bill today.


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Council members Charles F. Brown and Curtis Milteer have indicated they believe the city should pick up the tab because the council was on city business.

The total cost of the retreat was $6,500. That covered meals, use of a conference area, and rooms for the seven council members, facilitator Lyle Sumek, five city administrative officials and the police officer who accompanied them.

Approximately $1,998 of the total bill was spent on meals. The main meal, the Aug, 7th dinner meeting with Sumek, cost $1,506.

The bill showed that breakfast and lunch the next day were more affordable: $215 and $275 respectively.

The city has not yet received a bill for Sumek’s services, Rohlf said.

At the retreat, Sumek said his rate is $1,400 for a 10-hour day. After that, he bills $175 per hour.

He was unable to estimate a total at the time and his office could not be reached Tuesday.

Several council members decided to pay their own way on the retreat after a newspaper editorial criticized the council’s decision to hold the retreat at the exclusive Tides Inn.