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Wilmington to reimburse council member for going over travel budget

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Councilwoman Laura Padgett will be reimbursed for going over her travel budget.

In a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, the council approved giving Padgett $450.10 back. She said she went over her $2,750 budget. It was for three trips, which she said are very important to maintaining relationships and gaining information for the city.

"I have been for the last several years, starting in 2008, a speaker on many national agendas. When I do that, I recognize the City of Wilmington," Padgett said. "We've always had to justify the expense. It's not caterwauling off into some wonderful vacation spot. It's work. It's time away from home, family, children and business. It's impossible to participate in state and national organizations and not spend some money."

Mayor Bill Saffo said the travel budget for him, and the council is $20,000 a year, and they have not exceeded that.

This is not the first time Padgett's travel expenses have been an issue. Three years ago council voted to increase each member's travel budget and tweak the reimbursement policy if a member went over their allotment after Padgett was denied a request to be reimbursed after exceeding her travel budget.

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