Williams faces conflict of interest on Planning Commission pay

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) Marion Williams doesn’t think a vote is needed for him so he can be paid  for planning commission meetings   but says if it comes to that he’s ready.

“I don’t think that’s a conflict personally don’t first of all there shouldn’t be a vote if it comes up to a vote and I need to vote I probably going to vote,” said Williams.

Williams says there’s no record of the commission stopping the ex-officio member on the planning board from being paid so if the commission votes and Williams takes part if that a conflict?

“I don’t think so I think he would be voting for that board as far as the policy that was set I don’t take it as an individual need here,” says Commissioner Mary Davis.

“He should abstain,” says Commissioner Sean Frantom.

Would it be a conflict of interest for him to vote?”  “I think so I mean he’s getting compensated it’s just like a business voting on a business,” said Frantom.

The commission does have rules when it comes to conflict of interest or even the appearance of it.

“It says officials shall not engage in activities that would even be a conflict of interest or create the appearance of a conflict of interest I’m not going to give a legal opinion on that that would be reserved for my client,” said Law Department General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie.

The mayor runs commission meetings so does he think Williams should vote on any issue concerning planning pay.

“Where there are things like that the commissioner of record would recuse himself or herself from voting on a matter like that,” said Davis.

“Will you abstain?

“No I’m not going to say I’m going to abstain I’m going to do what it takes to make it right,” said Williams.

Mayor Davis says he talked with Commissioner Williams about the planning pay issue last night  and says he expects the commission to address the issue without it being a quote flashpoint for the city, the mayor says any future discussion will be about the policy and not about a commissioner getting paid.


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