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Johnson moves to put new county travel policy into effect

Grady County personnel who travel on county business will have new guidelines and procedures if a new travel and per diem policy presented last week is adopted by the county commission.
Administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III is recommending the new policy to streamline the approval of travel and to better manage travel expenses of county personnel who travel for county business.
Under the proposed new policy, the administrator’s executive assistant will serve as the travel agent for the board and all travel arrangements will be made through the commissioners’ office.
The travel agent will be responsible for obtaining the lowest fares and lodging expenses at AAA standard rating of 2 stars or higher, preferably 3, if possible, according to the policy.
The proposed policy calls for a $50 per diem to be paid to employees prior to departing on travel for county business or training.
“To be perfectly honest, we didn’t have a policy and it’s been done willy nilly over the years,” Johnson said. He said the county was not looking to book employees in “roach motels,” but the county should not be paying for employees to stay in a Ritz Carlton either.
The county administrator said the policy would sit on the table for 30 days to allow department heads and constitutional officers to comment on it, as well as for commissioners to study it and offer any recommended changes or revisions.
Johnson said that he was not looking to “shove” the policy in the faces of employees, department heads or constitutional officers. “This is not a power thing. We are just trying to get some structure and to streamline the process,” he said.

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