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franklin county times

County supervisors approve travel list

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
October 14, 2004
With two Lauderdale County supervisors on the road Wednesday, two others approved budgeted travel plans for out-of-town conferences and conventions an issue supervisors deadlocked over last week.
Supervisors Jimmie Smith of District 2 and Joe Norwood of District 4 approved seven out-of-town trips for some supervisors and county officials. Supervisor Ray Boswell of District 5 cast the sole "no" vote.
Last week, Smith and Norwood tried to approve the trips, but Boswell and District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt dissented. Boswell and Hitt tried to vote on each trip individually, but Smith and Norwood opposed that move.
District 1 Supervisor Eddie Harper was not at last week's meeting.
Harper and Hitt missed the Wednesday meeting. Norwood said the two supervisors were with some Meridian city officials in Jackson County meeting with an unspecified business.
Boswell objects
When Smith made the motion Wednesday to approve the trips, Boswell objected and asked the supervisors to wait until everyone was present to vote on the issue. Boswell voted no.
Norwood replied: "I totally disagree, but you have your opinion, sir."
Smith also defended the action.
Supervisors have come under fire publicly this year over the number of trips they've taken. They also have been criticized for increasing the county's travel budget this year as well as property taxes.
Travel budget
Although travel for supervisors was budgeted at about $30,000 for the current fiscal year that began Oct. 1, Lauderdale County Administrator Tony Green estimated the trips approved Wednesday would cost about $20,000.
After the meeting, Norwood said supervisors may not take all of trips that were approved. He said there "are always conflicts in schedules that come up."
Both Smith and Norwood said they serve on other boards and sometimes take trips that are not funded by the Lauderdale County budget.
Here are the out-of-town conferences and conventions Lauderdale County supervisors have scheduled and budgeted for this fiscal year.
Conference
When: Jan. 10-12
Where: Jackson
Scheduled to attend: District 1 Supervisor Eddie Harper, District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith, District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt, District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood and Tony Green, county administrator
Conference
When: March 4-8
Where: Washington D.C.
Scheduled to attend: District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith, District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood
When: March (specific dates not available)
Where: Jackson
Scheduled to attend: Tony Green, county administrator
When: March (specific dates not available)
Where: To be announced
Scheduled to attend: District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith, District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood
When: April 13-17
Where: Houston, Texas
Scheduled to attend: District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith, District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood
When: May (specific dates not available)
Where: Biloxi
Scheduled to attend: District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith, District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood
When: May 22-25
Where: Las Vegas
Scheduled to attend: Board president and vice president.(Currently, those offices are held by District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood and District 1 Supervisor Eddie Harper.)

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