EXCUSES, EXCUSES, AND MORE EXCUSES

September 26, 2014

Braley Sherry

Sherry Braley, Code Enforcement

 

Our County Manager seems to have a penchant for blaming others and making excuses. So it is when it comes to people complaining about our Code Enforcement Officer/Zoning Administrator.

 

If you go by the P&Z office, where Sherry Braley, our code enforcement officer is supposed to work, you never know how long you have to wait for her to show up so you can get a permit or license. It could be hours or even days. Just don’t go before 9:30AM because you would be wasting your time for sure if you go before then.

There are many days when Sherry doesn’t show up for work at all, like this past Friday (9/26/14). When an open records request was put in for code enforcement citations, we were told there was no list to provide. So how does anyone know what she does or if she does anything? When folks complain , all they hear from the County Manager is excuses instead of making sure the work is being done.  No doubt Ms. Degges’ solution is to hire more people instead of requiring everyone to be in on time and keep a log of their work. (Code Enforcement officers used to always keep a daily log. That way they could prove when inspections were done. Now there are no logs kept or required to be kept.)

How many cases has Ms. Braley taken to Magistrate Court this year? Last year it was a whopping 11 cases. This year, as of 9/28/14, she has had TWO cases in Magistrate Court—both for open burning. How many fines has she collected this year? For the two cases the fines were $50 each.

Where is the evidence that Sherry Braley actually works 40 hours a week? There is none. Just because a time sheet says 8 hours for a day means nothing because everyone puts down their own time.

 When people that have driven to town to get a license or permit want to know where she is and why she is never in the office, the County Manager gives them the excuse that “back in 2009 there were 5 people in that office, blah, blah, blah.” That may have been true for a month or two in 2009, but there have only been 2 people in the P&Z office for more than 4 years, and up until our new County Manager graced our county with her presence, 2 was sufficient.

 In 2008 when 5 people were in the office, there was a need for them—4 or 5 subdivisions being worked on, houses being built that required inspections , code enforcement issues, monthly P&Z board meetings, etc. Now what is there to do and why can’t 2 people handle it? They could if the County Manager did her job and made the employees come to work on time and actually work for the money they are making. Of course, that might be hard to do when the County Manager has a hard time showing up on time and putting in a full day’s work herself.

 Ms. Braley had her picture in the Monticello News this past week because she went to class and became a certified code enforcement officer (at taxpayer’s expense). Now we are just waiting for her to show up for work and do her job every day—like doing something about those burned out houses that have been an eye sore for years, working on numerous other long time code violations, and printing out business licenses that people are waiting on.


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REMINDER: TOWN HALL MEETING THIS THURSDAY NIGHT AT 7:00PM

MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND

CITIZEN’S TOWN HALL MEETING

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2014 — 7:00PM–

AT OLD “CIVIC CENTER” NOW KNOWN AS THOMAS PERSONS HALL

HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU? HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?

  1. What do you think the major problem is in Jasper County?
  2. What do you think the major problem is in the City of Monticello?
  3. What are your suggestions for road repair and maintenance and any other issue of concern in our county?

Any and all issues brought up will be discussed.

 

Your opinion matters. This is your chance to have your voice heard! Let’s develop solutions for the problems as we seem them, not through some personal agenda.

This is not a political rally.  This is not about Republican or Democrat.  This is about GREEN and how our tax dollars are being spent!

Here is a link to the flyer.  Please print it out and post it where you can or hand it out.  Forward it to your friends and neighbors and urge them to come. (Flyer has map of location.)

We can accomplish great things by standing together.

See you Thursday night!

 

Go to www.taxdogs.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/taxdogs for more information.

 

 

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NEW LANDFILL OPERATOR MAKES $300 PER DAY

September 27, 2014

 Hand with money
The last landfill operator, Billy Jones, made $15 per hour for his travel time in addition to the hours he worked at the landfill, plus mileage at $.56 a mile, plus his motel stay two nights a week. What a deal! But the new landfill operator might have even a better deal.

The new landfill operator, Matthew Roper, makes $15 per hour plus mileage from Ball Ground, GA and back home. He says he was promised $300 per day by County Manager, Karen Degges. In order to make that $300 per day he says he works 12 hours a day at the landfill. ($180 for 12 hours + $117.60 for travel per day = $297.60)

See $300 per day deal and mileage request here. These documents were attached to his mileage check for $705.60 that we requested under Open Records.

There was never an advertisement in the paper for a new landfill operator, but Jasper County has one. Mr. Roper works 2 days a week at the landfill, Thursday and Friday. He drives 105 miles to the landfill and 105 miles back home (at least a 2 hour trip each way) and works 12 hours a day at the landfill according to the documents.

What happened to Billy Jones, the man Karen Degges said was going to give Jasper County all sorts of ideas to bring in revenue at the landfill? After going to class in Athens to have his Landfill Operator Certification renewed at a cost of $600 to Jasper County taxpayers, he left to work somewhere else.

See his mileage reimbursement (from Carnesville to Monticello and back) and his certification reimbursement here.

The landfill seems to be the place Karen Degges can make a deal for someone to earn good money and have their licenses renewed at taxpayer’s expense.

Both Mr. Roper and Mr. Jones are employees, not subcontractors, yet they are paid mileage to come to work. Let us all remember that no travel is paid to any other employee for commuting and no other employee gets mileage for driving back and forth to work. (James Gregory, EMS Director does get $250 a month “vehicle allowance” for some reason.) It is ridiculous that the BOC allows special privileges for certain employees, but then the Personnel Policy in Jasper County has always applied to some and not to others.

What are the commissioners doing about this? Apparently nothing, because they don’t seem to know or care how our money is spent!

 

If you like this newsletter, please forward to a friend and recommend they subscribe, too.

Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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1st Installment of Property Taxes Due

September 25, 2014

 TAX burdenYou now pay your Jasper County property taxes in two installments. Don’t forget the first installment is due 9/30/14.

 

 

 

Also, mark your calendar for the Town Hall meeting on 10/2/14 at 7:00PM.

 

 

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The Case of the Six Missing Screams

September 24, 2014

Fear closes mouths Truman
This is a follow up to our blog on September 11th, Citizen journalist Violently Restrained at Public Event. More has happened since. Read both articles below. (Highlighting in the articles is TWG’s.)

Did the Dawson County Georgia Sheriff edit the Nydia Tisdale Video to delete Her Cries for Help?

September 21, 2014

Daily KOS – by Porter Springs

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/09/21/1331421/-Did-the-Dawson-County-Georgia-Sheriff-edit-the-Nydia-Tisdale-Video-to-delete-Her-Cries-for-Help#

On August 23, 2014, Citizen Journalist Nydia Tisdale was assaulted by a security guard at a Republican Rally for Governor Nathan Deal and Senate Candidate David Perdue at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawson County Georgia.

Ms. Tisdale was video recording the talks by many of the Republican candidates for statewide office when she was asked to stop by Clint Bearden, a local Republican operative. When she refused, she was physically assaulted by a security guard who was an off-duty member of the Dawson Sheriff’s Department, Mr. Wooten. Wooten dragged Ms. Tisdale away from the Rally to a nearby building where he bent her over a table and twisted her arm behind her back.

Various of these events where captured on two separate electronic records, one in audio, and the other in video. The full Rally was captured on audio by Brian Pritchard of FetchYourNews.com. The audio recording exists as a “baseline”. It is a complete record of the formal rally and is unedited. The second record was captured by Ms. Tisdale with her video recorder. She was able to keep the recorder running while Mr. Wooten was dragging her away from the rally and for a time in the room where he took her.

The audio recording is here. http://vimeo.com/…

The video recording is here. https://www.youtube.com/…

There is a serious discrepancy between these two electronic records.

At one point in the confrontation between Ms Tisdale and Mr. Wooten, Ms Tisdale screamed out for help six times. Her screams can be clearly heard on the audio recording starting at 14:15. The Georgia Labor Commissioner was speaking to the crowd at the time and the crowd responds by laughing at Ms. Tisdale’s plight. No one comes to her aid.

Read more here..

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The Case of the Six Missing Screams
September 22, 2014

http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/09/22/the-case-of-the-six-missing-screams/
Jim Galloway – AJC Political Insider

The Nydia Tisdale affair is growing ever more strange. We can now call it the Case of the Six Missing Screams.

You’ll remember Tisdale as the citizen-journalist from Roswell who was arrested in August at a GOP rally at a pumpkin farm in Dawsonville for pointing a video recorder at candidates. Which is what she does.

In front of the top of the GOP ticket, including Gov. Nathan Deal, Tisdale was grabbed — then roughed up. Her camera was confiscated by a Dawson County sheriff’s deputy.

But when the camera was returned several days later, the single computer file that should have been the result of the rally recording had been divided in two. And six screams were missing. Yet you can hear them by clicking here:

The above sound was captured by Brian Pritchard, editor-owner of fetchyournews.com, who was allowed to record and photograph the event undisturbed.

Several others have done some Internet sleuthing. But we’ve talked to Tisdale’s pro bono attorney, Bill Finch of Cumming, a Republican who in January will become solicitor general of Forsyth County.

“This is extremely preliminary. I’m not one to go around slinging accusations, especially when it comes to law enforcement, but it certainly raises the hackles,” Finch said.

The lawyer said the Dawson County sheriff’s department was in sole possession of the camera after it was wrested from Tisdale, who was charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor, and obstructing an officer, a felony.

“And then, when it comes back, it does not sync with other recordings,” Finch said. “It leads you to believe that one of two things has occurred. One is that it’s a fantastic coincidence. The other is that it’s been doctored.”

The attorney said he’s not ready to jump to any conclusion, but said a forensic audit of the camera’s innards, and the Dawson County’s computer system, is in order.

“It wasn’t us. We didn’t edit anything,” Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle said. The sheriff confirmed that Tisdale’s recording of the rally had been downloaded onto a CD for the department’s files.

Tisdale herself told us that when her camera was returned, a recording of the rally that should have been on one file was divided into two segments – one 15 minutes, 26 seconds long, and another file that is two minutes, 47 seconds long.

Tisdale said she did not perform that operation. While the camera was fastened to her hand at the time, her arm was twisted behind her back. “I just know my camera wasn’t stopped and then restarted,” she said.

You can “divide” an individual file on a Sony HXR-MC50U Ultra Compact Pro AVCHD Camcorder. The manual we downloaded says so. But Tisdale says she has never tried it – she prefers to edit her video on a separate computer.

For those of you who want to play sleuth, click here for the full Pritchard/fetchyournews.com audio. At the 10 minute, 40 second mark, state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler (who said he had no problem being videotaped) took the rally’s microphone. He’s your marker.

Three minutes and 37 seconds later, the screams begin.

Three minutes and 22 seconds later, you’ll see the video jump slightly. Conversations don’t match up. That jump, Tisdale said, is the end of the first file she found in her camera, and the beginning of the second.

There could be two or three or four minutes missing, she said. “How can you prove what’s gone if you haven’t seen it?”

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CITIZEN’S TOWN HALL MEETING

TOWN HALL MEETING

JASPER COUNTY CITIZENS UNITE! WE HAVE A VOICE AND CAN USE IT TO SET THE DIRECTION FOR THIS COUNTY!

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2014 — 7:00PM–


AT OLD “CIVIC CENTER” NOW KNOWN AS THOMAS PERSONS HALL

TPHallMapGUEST SPEAKER: ANGELA WALSH, Jasper County Tax Commissioner, will give us an update on tax collections and the new “pay online” system.

If the following issues concern you, attend the meeting and bring your friends and neighbors.

–Our BOC just raised our taxes 2.15 mils
Poor roads and poor road maintenance.
High utility bills in the City of Monticello keep out business
–Monticello City Council is borrowing money to pay monthly bills
–County employees come in when they please and leave as they please & are accountable to no one
JCWSA just got a $50,000 taxpayer bail-out
— Our BOC is adding debt instead of buying what can be paid for with the available funds and buying expensive items without bids
Bear Creek Reservoir is being pushed again by Newton County

We must do something about these issues to relieve the current and future tax burden on all of us.

Your opinion matters. This is your chance to have your voice heard!

This is not a political rally.  This is not about Republican or Democrat.  This is about GREEN and how our tax dollars are being spent!

Here is a link to the flyerPlease print it out and post it where you can or hand it out.  Forward it to your friends and neighbors and urge them to come.  We can accomplish great things by standing together.

Go to www.taxdogs.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/taxdogs for more information.

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Where Was the Ambulance?

September 22, 2014

AmbulanceThat is the question everyone kept asking Friday night, 9/19/14, at the Morgan County vs. Jasper County high school football game. No one at the game could remember when an ambulance had not been present at a home football game.

Unfortunately one of the players got hurt and the parents, along with Dr. Barton, had to carry the player off the field. This happened during the third quarter of the game.

Commissioner Pennamon was at the game. We wonder what he thought about the lack of an ambulance. Perhaps this is a new county policy, but if it is, it was never discussed or decided upon in a public meeting.

Congratulations to Jasper County High School!  Their win over Morgan County was a first in many, many years!

 

If you like this newsletter, please forward to a friend and recommend they subscribe, too.

Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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