Augusta Commissioner Jerry Brigham is correct in saying the city had no liability for the unpaid bills left over from the May 30-June 4 fire chief's conference organized by the local fire department and its former chief.
Brigham, with Commissioner Ulmer Bridges, voted against the city's $9,000 settlement with Dan Cook Associates Advertising - and as a matter of principle they were right. But as a practical matter, the seven commissioners who approved the payout were right, too.
As City Attorney Jim Wall points out, the city would have spent about $9,000 anyway just to defend against the Cook firm's lawsuit. Such is the cost of litigation today - even if you can win, you lose. The settlement at least gets the ugly little matter off the table so the commission can move on.
The one good thing to come out of this is that there's not likely to be a repeat fiasco - new City Administrator George Kolb is drawing up procedures to clarify exactly what are and aren't city-sponsored events.