Oliver taxpayers will be buying the mayor’s $2,200 plane ticket to Japan this summer.
That was the decision Town council made Monday night after a discussion about a special invitation that Mayor Ron Hovanes received from their sister city, Bandai.
The Town and Bandai have had a partnership since 1988, and this year is the 30th anniversary, which the mayor has been invited.
In the past, members of council and staff that have travelled to Bandai have done so at their own expense. However, because of the special ceremony, staff have suggested that council consider approving the expenditure, which would come from the Legislative Promotional Fund.
Hovanes left council chambers while the issue was being discussed.
Councillor Dave Mattes filled in for the mayor, saying Hovanes has gone a long way to foster the sister city relationship.
Fellow Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger said the Legislative Promotional Fund is already budgeted for council travel to events where the Town of Oliver is represented. He stated the sister city relationship has been a mutually beneficial relationship for both communities.
“Citizens and students from both communities have had the opportunity to visit the respective towns and benefit from this cultural exchange.”
The Town of Oliver hosted students from Bandai last month.