By Kristi Reed
Dacula officials hope a written credit card policy will help avoid any future situations similar to the one that recently resulted in the arrest of a city councilman.
Earlier this month, Dacula City Councilman Gregory Reeves was arrested on a theft charge related to the alleged misuse of a city-issued credit card. Reeves, who is still on the city council but was not present at the March 27 work session, is accused of making approximately $3,600 worth of improper charges with his city-issued card.
Despite months of efforts by city leaders to resolve the situation, Reeves allegedly failed to reimburse the city for the personal expenditures he made using the city credit card. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now handling the case.
According to Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks, the city has communicated expectations regarding the proper use of city-issued credit cards verbally to authorized users, but has never had a written policy.
City Attorney Dennis Still presented the council with a draft credit card use ordinance during Thursday night's work session. The draft outlines which officials can authorize users of city-issued credit cards, how expenditures will be reported and what type of charges are allowed. The draft included a provision requiring the city to be made whole for any personal expenditures charged to a city account. Councilwoman Sue Robinson took issue with that clause, asking whether or not the language defeated the purpose of creating the regulations in the first place.
"It's kind of giving them an out in case they did," Robinson said. Wilbanks agreed.
"I really think there should be a firm statement in here which says no personal use," Wilbanks said.
The council is scheduled to vote on a final version of the ordinance during the April 3 council meeting.
In other business, Buford City Manager Brian Kerlin outlined the terms of a new natural gas franchise agreement between the City of Dacula and the City of Buford. Buford has provided natural gas to city customers since 1954. The second of two consecutive 30-year agreements regarding natural gas distribution is set to expire this year. The new agreement would include a 4 percent franchise fee paid to the City of Dacula by Buford. Previous agreements have not included a franchise fee.
The franchise fee would be paid to the city twice a year. Dacula city leaders have requested a 10-year agreement.
During the work session, council members also discussed:
The Dacula City Council will hold its monthly meeting next Thursday, April 3. The council meets at Dacula City Hall located at 442 Harbins Road in Dacula.
Northern Gwinnett County news including the cities of Dacula, Ga. and Buford, Ga.