Watchdog group criticizes mayor pro tem’s trip

A watchdog group is criticizing a decision by a Wilmington city councilwoman and another official to take a 15-hundred dollar trip to Barbados on Friday.

Mayor Pro Tem Laura Padgett is headed for the town of Bridgetown to sign a sister city charter. Joining her is Don Bergstrom, chairman of the Sister City Commission.

Also, two professors and nearly two dozen students from U-N-C-Wilmington will spend a month in Barbados at their own expense to study the country’s health, transportation system and other issues.

George Wrage (rayj), a representative of Citizens for a Sound Economy, calls the partnership between Bridgetown and Wilmington a waste.

City leaders say the trip originally allowed four people to go at a cost of ten-thousand dollars. With the new arrangement, the city covers air fare while Bridgetown pays for the hotels.

The trip comes just weeks after city leaders cut property taxes, forcing budget cuts and layoffs.

(Help from Aaron Saykin, WECT)