City won’t pay for councilmen to attend D.C. conference

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The city of Auburn will not be paying for a City Council member to attend the annual Sacramento Metro Capitol-to-Capitol trip this May. In a unanimous vote Monday night, the Auburn City Council decided not to pay between $1,595 and $3,295 to send a representative to the conference in Washington, D.C., but to express support for those who want to pay their own way. The Cap-to-Cap conference offers local government officials a chance to lobby for federal assistance for local issues including Auburn’s Electric Street Stormwater Diversion Project, funding for the Auburn State Recreation Area, the Lincoln Basin Downtown Drainage Project and the regional sewer plant, according to city documents. Both Councilman Mike Holmes and Mayor Bill Kirby expressed interest in attending the conference and asked for $1,595. Holmes said it was important for him to go, because he has been personally working on trying to secure funding for the recreation area. Councilman Kevin Hanley said he disagreed with the city paying to send someone to the conference this year. “The thought that we are going to get any appropriations from the federal government is not really in tune with the realities,” Hanley said. Councilwoman Bridget Powers said she thought it was important for an Auburn representative to attend, but that it should be Kirby, as the city has sent the mayor in the past. Powers made a motion to spend $1,595 to send Kirby to the conference, but no one seconded her motion. Kirby and Holmes said they both planned to pay their own way. Powers said she was disappointed the city would not pay for Kirby’s way. ~Bridget Jones