Debate started at the Macon city council appropriations committee meeting over hiring someone to oversee the Second Street Corridor project.
The Peyton Anderson Foundation offered the city $75,000 per year over a two year period for the position.
The project manager would take charge of finding private investors as well as handling public infrastructure issues.
Council gave Huntley Partners and CHA Company the go-ahead last week to continue planning the corridor project.
In phase two of their research, they will start drawing blue prints and figuring out how to spend the 8 million dollars from SPLOST funds.
Some city council members did not like the idea of a project manager who would be a contractor and not a city employee, taking charge of the money and the project.
"The job description doesn't give oversight to the councils, to elected officials. It doesn't give oversight responsibility over this particular position to the oversight committee, the citizen's oversight committee. I think it's a dangerous thing to take taxpayers' money, 8 million of it, and put it in the hands of someone who's contracted with no oversight," says council member Elaine Lucas.
Appropriations committee chairman Tom Ellington says the manager would have to answer to the mayor, and city council would still have a handle on spending.
He says, "That eight million dollars still rests with the city council. Any spending of that has to be appropriated by this council. So, we still have oversight on that and any proposal to spend anything, whether it's approving draining, redoing the street, or redoing some bridgework, any of that is going to come before the council."
The appropriations committee voted to accept the $150,000 grant, but the position still has to go before city council Tuesday night. If approved, the mayor's office will draw up a contract to lay out the specifics of the job and the relationship with the city.
After that was settled, city council member Henry Ficklin accused some Macon employees of using their city credit cards inappropriately.
He says, "It was considerable as far as I am concerned when you can have a pizza party with $200 worth of pizza on a city purchasing card. I think that's just excessive, and I think that it should not be allowed."
The committee cleared the air and spelled out what can and cannot be bought with the city cards.
They passed an ordinance addressing issues like personal use, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and meals.
Ficklin says buying meals is the biggest issue. A city employee can use a card for food, but only when that employee is on city business or during travel.
According to Ficklin, he saw receipts from bars, but mentioned some bars also sell food and the receipts did not specify if the card was used for alcohol or to buy a meal.
Ellington says Ficklin will have to present all of his evidence to council, and from there, they will decide which purchases require any further action.