NEWPORT NEWS -- Each member of the Newport News City Council gets a salary, but each is allotted taxpayer money to spend as they see fit.
The money, roughly $2,000 per member per year, was discovered through a series of Freedom of Information Act made by 13News Now. Those records show some council members use your money to attend lavish events, stay at high-priced hotels and drive city-owned vehicles for weeks at a time.
Mayor McKinley Price said he doesn’t see a problem with council members using tax dollars to buy tickets to events like the Mardi Gras gala thrown by Habitat for Humanity or the Red Cross’ Down Under event. Two council members each bought two tickets to those events at $150 per couple.
“Council is invited to a lot of things,” Price said. “Everybody wants the presence of council members there, so it can be quite expensive for council members to purchase tickets to go to all of the events.”
Tune in to 13News Now Thursday at 6 p.m. to find out which council member drove a city car for three weeks straight and why Mayor Price said taxpayers had to foot his $600 hotel bill.