WHY WAS PUBLIC WORKS EQUIPMENT OUT AT 8:00PM LAST NIGHT?

September 19, 2014

  FE Loader

Last night at 8:00PM a piece of equipment, which appeared to be a front end loader, from Jasper County Public Works and a county pickup truck following it, were headed down 7 Island Road toward Harvey Lane Rd. They turned left onto Harvey Lane Rd. and then right onto Hwy 212 W.

The equipment and the truck arrived at the Public Works Department yard at 8:11pm. All the yard lights were on when they arrived.

Public Works isn’t open on Fridays; so we can’t get any information from them. The County Manager, Karen Degges, is out again today and so is our Human Resources officer, Sharon Robinson (they were both out yesterday as well); so we can’t get information from them. The commissioners won’t return telephone calls or respond to emails, but maybe one of them can comment on the blog as to what this equipment was doing out so late at night coming down 7 Island Rd.

Gentlemen, any answers?

 

 

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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IMMIGRANTS IN JASPER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM

September 16, 2014

School Bldg

TWG requested information from our School Superintendent about immigrants in our school system because of recent news reports from around the State and Nation. We thank Mike Newton and the school staff for their prompt response. Here is the information we received:

The Department of Education defines immigrant children as students who are:

  1. Ages 3 -21
  2. Born outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico
  3. Attending U.S. schools for less than 3 full academic years (not necessarily consecutive)

*may include foreign exchange students & students born outside the U.S. to U.S. citizens, including military personnel

 

Last school year, Jasper County Schools reported 3 confirmed immigrant students:  

  • 2 from Mexico
  • 1 from Guatemala

The process of determining immigrant status for the current school year is still ‘in progress’ until Jasper County Schools can confirm each child meets all of the criteria listed.

At this time, there is no indication the Jasper County Schools have any of the children recently released from federal custody enrolled in the school system.

 

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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KEN JACKSON RECEIVES PAY AS UMPIRE AT REC DEPARTMENT

September 16, 2014

Ken Jackson 091014 Umpire.PAC.MidSchSoftball

If you have followed TWG for the past several years, you know that Ken Jackson was elected as a full time Magistrate Judge, and has certified under oath that he works 40 hours each week and has been paid accordingly. During that same time he coached softball, baseball, and basketball, worked as a defense attorney for Juvenile Court in Putnam, Greene, Baldwin, Jones, Morgan, and Jasper County, and did indigent defense in Jasper County Probate Court. Exactly when he had 40 hours each week to be a full time Magistrate was questionable, and no one could ever give any details.

For the FY2014 Ken Jackson was paid over $7700 for his work in Jasper County as an indigent defense attorney for Juvenile and Probate Courts in addition to his approximately $55,000 per year salary. (The other counties he worked in paid him as well.)

Now we find out that Ken Jackson has a full time teaching and coaching job at Creekside Christian Academy in McDonough (off Jonesboro Rd.) and still has time to umpire not only at the Jasper County Recreation Department, but also for GISA games, and still work as Chief Magistrate Judge of Jasper County.

In August, Ken Jackson was paid $800 by Jasper County Board of Commissioners for umpiring (he now has an umpiring business) for 10 adult baseball games from 7/10/14 to 8/14/14 at the Rec Department. See invoice here. (Notice the invoice is dated 7/31/14 but includes charges for games through 8/14/14.)
Ken Jackson umpired the Piedmont Academy vs. Trinity (Dublin) Middle School Girls Softball game on 9/10/14 which started at 3:30PM. It appears he is working for the officials association used by Piedmont Academy, which is the Houston County Sports Officials Assn.

While doing all this Ken Jackson still found time to work as Chief Magistrate Judge for 11 hours between 8/11/14 and 8/24/14. There is no detail of the dates or times he worked these 11 hours; we are supposed to take his word for it. See time sheet here. Ken certifies his own time since he is still considered Chief Magistrate.

Angie Steele has now been promoted to full time Associate Magistrate, will get full time pay which is approximately 90% of the Chief Magistrate’s full time pay, and will no longer be double dipping by getting a check from the Clerk of Courts office in addition to her Magistrate pay (which is what has occurred for the past several years).

 

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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Posted in County, Magistrate | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Can We Do Something about Problems in Jasper County, GA?

JC CourthouseYesterday I attended a workshop in DeKalb County hosted by a group called Restore DeKalb.  This meeting was about all the corruption in DeKalb County, how the Board of Commissioners and others in charge turned a deaf ear and a blind eye, how the DeKalb County School system is losing $100,000,000 a year because it is considered a “rich county”, and what the plan of action had to be to Restore DeKalb and the public trust.

Each day we read of corrupt politicians on all levels of government.  Our Governor has serious ethical charges; our Attorney General was just fined for lack of openness and transparency (the very things he ran on to obtain the job), judges are being removed from their positions, county officials are going to jail for various reasons.  These are just here in the State of Georgia.  The Federal government is even more corrupt.  Yet, many of us wonder why nothing is being done.  We sit back and hope something will happen, but we do nothing ourselves.

Here in Jasper County we have problems as well.  Our BOC just raised our taxes 2.15 mils with excuses that just don’t wash.  We wonder where all our tax money goes as we drive down poor roads.  The people in the City of Monticello just had a utility rate increase in June and the City Council is already thinking about raising it again.  We have county employees that come and go as they please while making high salaries and are accountable to no one.  JCWSA just got a $50,000 bail out from all of us, if we are on their water lines or not.  Our county manager is adding on debt through our SPLOST funds instead of buying what can be paid for with the available funds.  Bear Creek Reservoir is back on the radar in Newton County.  We must do something about these issues; not just TWG, but all of us that pay property taxes. 

We think there should be a Citizen’s Town Hall meeting.  We need to have this meeting, discuss the problems in Jasper County, and form a plan of action during the first week of October (before early voting starts).  We have looked for a place to have this meeting, and at present the “old school” across from Rose Bowl field in Monticello is available.  If anyone knows of another place that would hold (hoping for) 100 people, please email taxpayerwatchdogs@yahoo.com and let us know where it is and how much it would cost.  We would like to meet somewhere that people from all parts of the county can get to and attend.  Also, if you would be willing to attend, just send an email and state YES--please add any topics you would like to discuss so we can have the information available.  We would like to have some idea of how many people are interested.  (Please forward this blog to your friends and neighbors as well.) This will be your time to put your 2 cents worth in–instead of just complaining.  We can have a plan to get things done–the way the people of this county want them done.

I found the following article this morning.  I have put up excerpts from that article and have included a link to the entire article.  Take time to read it.

Mary Patrick

CAN AVERAGE AMERICANS SAVE AMERICA?
© 2014 JB Williams – All Rights Reserved

http://www.newswithviews.com/JBWilliams/williams286.htm
Equal application of Constitutional Law has been systematically replaced by ill-advised concepts of “social justice”“justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society – individuality gives way to the struggle for social justice.” (aka Marxism)

Can average Americans really save their Constitution, their Bill of Rights and freedom at this late hour? Do they have the power to overcome the corrupt anti-American federal juggernaut they have allowed to seize control over every aspect of American life?

 The judiciary is the true enemy of “justice” in America and the author and enforcement branch for “social justice.”

Only the average American can save the Constitutional Republic today and they will work against all three branches of the Federal government, most State governments, all Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies and the mass media in that effort. They may even face their own military at some point in the process, if they do not act swiftly and decisively and very soon.

 

  1. Unless the people are going to hold existing public sector criminals fully accountable for their anti-American actions, they are wasting their time to try anything else. At the end of the day, career political criminals must be held fully accountable under the Rule of Constitutional Law or there is no such thing as Constitutional Law. It makes no difference who we elect if we are not going to hold them accountable for what they do after the election.
  2. Law suits in federally controlled courts will not solve the problem. State level enforcement of State and Individual Rights can save this Republic, state-by-state.
  3. The people must vote, as the democratic process is like a muscle that once atrophied and lost, will never be regained. However, the people can no longer rely on this process as a means of solving our problems. The system is far too corrupted. They cannot afford to play 3rd party fantasy games at this critical moment in history. They must use all available avenues to remove the worst criminals from power at every opportunity. All 3rd party efforts only dilute that effort.
  4. The people MUST lay down their individual agendas and UNITE in force to make the above items a reality, or there will be nothing they can do to save the Republic after the November 2014 elections.

Can average Americans save their Constitutional Republic at this late date? The answer is YES! Will they? – is a question yet to be answered.

ONLY the average American can save the Constitutional Republic and they can only do it by taking the right corrective measures, making it personal, and working with others to make it a reality. We cannot beat this by joining it. We cannot win by waiting for anyone else to do it.

 

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Citizen Journalist Violently Restrained at Public Event

September 11, 2014

Following are several reports of what happened a couple of weeks ago when all the top Republicans running for State office got together for a public political rally. You should take time to read and watch what happened here. This information is copied from other sites. There were many that reported this. The most interesting thing is this; if you had read this day by day as more came out, Johnny Burt seemed to change his story each time.

The most detailed story is here:

OFF DUTY DEPUTY ATTACKS JOURNALIST FILMING PUBLIC EVENT

RALSTON LAW ATTORNEY INSTIGATES ATTACK, TAKES DOWN HIS WEB PAGE

The Rest of the Story

By Garland Favorito

Special thanks to Brian Pritchard at fetchyournews.com. Click below for more on this story:

Updated: Video Journalist Forcefully Removed From Republican Meeting!

=================================================================

Georgia Watch Macon

Citizen journalist Violently Restrained at Public Event

http://gwmac.com/citizen-journalist-violently-restrained-public-event/

There are so many disturbing aspects to this story. An off-duty deputy manhandled a female citizen journalist and slammed her against a table. She still has bruises and pain a week later. He also presses his body into hers while he held her at the table which must have been simply awful.This happened at a PUBLIC political rally in Dawson County, GA at Burts’s farm. No one else was told not to record. The thug officer that grabbed then slammed the woman refused to identify himself or even acknowledge he was an officer of the law or give his name or badge number. The journalist had permission of Mrs. Burt who owns the farm with her husband. You can hear Mr. Burt claim he rescinded her invitation or rather that was not true. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a very detailed accounting here. The video journalist had moments earlier been told by attorney general Sam Olens she had won a case to allow video recording at public meetings.

Credit at least goes to the Dawson county GOP Chairwoman Linda Clay Umberger to protest that unwarranted brutality. She was in fact so upset that she had to leave.  Nydia Tisdale, the citizen journalist that was attacked, runs a website called AboutForsyth.com.

Read more…

==========================================================

OCONEE OBSERVATIONS:

Woman with a Camera

http://oconeecountyobservations.blogspot.com/

Nydia Tisdale went to Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville to record the speeches by political candidates for her website AboutForsyth.com.

A summary of what happened next is available here.

This is Tisdale’s video recording of the event. The last four minutes are the most important–and hardest to watch.

Here is an MSNBC report in which Tisdale explains what happened and where things stand with her arrest.

And here is a report by Brian Pritchard of FetchYourNews, who was present and shot some photographs of what happened as well as made an audio recording.

===============================================================

“Pumpkin Gate”: The Story Continues

Now according to a lot of “opinions” on Facebook, et al., the event was held on private land, and the owner had the “right” to evict her.

That may be true in the finer distinctions of law…however, in the political world, this was a “political event”, hosted by a political candidate, who coordinated a location owned by a private individual.

I am going to give you 4 exhibits that show the following:

http://secure.campaigner.com/Campaigner/Public/t.show?77ko8–3pwrt-o4d0wh6&_v=2

========================================================

Comments on many of these sites are worth the read.

 

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.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com                 www.facebook.com/taxdogs

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A SYNOPSIS OF THE 9/8/14 BOC MEETING

September 10, 2014

BOC meeting

Following are notes from the BOC meeting. We will get out more details on some of the issues in the following days.

Chairman Gene Trammell was absent, no explanation given. All votes were 4-0 during meeting.

 

There was a 45 minute presentation on “Paved Road Reclamation” by The Miller Group, Joe Vail. Two roads, Dumas Road and Jones Road, in the south part of the county below Hillsboro were discussed and used as examples. Both Comm. Pennamon and Comm. Trammell have pushed these 2 roads over and above roads in the county that are used by 100’s of cars each day. According to Mr. Vail, the side ditches are not draining properly and water is holding on the road and not running off. This is the main problem all over the county. He also stated that Jasper County should maintain their roads from beginning by sealing cracks and grading shoulders. He said the county was throwing money away to resurface roads, instead they have to address problems and not keep doing same thing. (These are things that have been discussed and tried repeatedly by commissioners for the last 15+ years. Maybe it is time to privatize Public Works since we continue to have the same problems year in and year out.)

 

When the meeting started Karen Degges introduced Mike Benton, the new Financial Director. “We’re excited he’s on board with us,” she said.

Karen Degges then informed the BOC that Pam Meyer couldn’t be there and wanted the Facebook presentation and discussion tabled.

 

Two citizens, Mary Ann Hyde, from ASWA, and Mark Smith, a resident of Rollingwood Cove spoke during citizens comments about the BOC dealing unfairly with the Alcovy Shores Water Authority.  (A separate blog will be sent out on this.)

 

The following issues were approved 4-0: 

The new Ag Extension Agent was introduced. Trey Gafnea was coming to Jasper from the  Meriwether County office. He has worked on ranches and farms and graduated from Berry College. He will start 10/1/14 in Jasper County.

 

DFCS Board Appointment—this item was tabled because no one had applied.

 

Alcovy Water Authority Board Appointments—The county attorney said his recommendation was to wait until 2015 and make appointments next June 2015. Karen Degges said she had Juanita Gazaway’s resignation letter in her hand. The BOC approved Ruth Wimberly to replace Ms. Gazaway on the ASWA board. (A separate blog will be sent out on this with more details and video.)

 

Fire Station Roof Bid Review—The bids came in too high so Karen Degges wanted to rebid and “slightly modify” the gauge of metal for the roof.  Approved.

 

2015 LMIG (Road) Work – Mark Whitley, the county engineer was not at the meeting. This is the 2nd time he has not come and been on the agenda. Karen Degges told the BOC she had sent him several emails about the meeting. Several roads were discussed that could use LMIG (State) funds and the BOC wanted Mr. Whitley to check these, do core samples, and let them know which roads should be done. Karen Degges did make a comment that “if he [Mr. Whitley] is too covered up we can find someone else.” She said the county can use Triple Point, the firm that is doing the landfill work. Betty Jean Jordan (Robert Jordan’s wife) is the point engineer for Jasper County for Triple Point. Comm. Pennamon makes motion to do RFP for County Engineer. Approved.   (TWG wonders if any commissioner has actually talked to Mark Whitley to find out why he wasn’t at the meeting. There could be something other than he just didn’t show up.)

 

Comcast Service Agreement – County Facilities Network—Karen Degges started off by saying “this is not to watch TV in BOC office.” (If not, why is it part of the contract?) Ken Holmes with Selective Solutions presented the information to the BOC. He told them they would have to sign a contract, then they [Comcast] will do the site survey. He said this would let Comcast know they were serious about doing something. This would be a VOIP system and would save from $1500-$1800 per month (note: not $3000 that the County Manager told the BOC it would save monthly).   The BOC voted to get the county attorney to look at the contract and bring it back to the BOC. ( A separate blog with video will be sent out with more detail on this issue.)

 

Firefighter Turnout Gear Request for Purchase Jim Gregory (Fire/EMS Director) presented this and didn’t seem to know what he was talking about. He started off by saying Jarret Slocumb had asked him to come. Every question that was asked was met with “Jarret says.”  When asked what was being bid on (obviously the BOC didn’t have anything in front of them) Mr. Gregory said the “thought” it would be boots, pants, jackets, helmet and shield. Karen Degges then chimed in and said they can email the BOC with specs. (WHY isn’t this in front of the BOC now anyway? These guys seem to like being in the dark and looking dumb.) Comm. Pennamon asks if will cover all 7 stations. Gregory said that is what he understood from Jarrett, for active fire fighters in county. Comm. Luke wanted to know how many Fire Fighters were at each station–by station. Mr. Gregory said he would send them an email with what is included in the bid and the information Comm. Luke wanted. Approved to go out for bid.

 

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.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com                 www.facebook.com/taxdogs

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NO AMBULANCE AVAILABLE—WRECK VICTIMS DRIVEN BY GOOD SAMARITANS

September 8, 2014

 No Ambulance

On September 1st, there was a wreck on Hwy 16 E, in which a car went off the road, overturned, and landed on its top.

 

 

As reported in The Monticello News:

In one accident, Gromiko West was driving a 2006 Infiniti traveling east on Hwy. 16. He said the heavy rain caused him to lose control and the car overturned, coming to rest on its top. Because emergency officials were deployed elsewhere, rather than wait on an ambulance, they had family members transport them to a hospital, they said.


However, this isn’t then entire story. Sources tell us that it was not family members that drove Mr. West and his young daughter, both of whom had to crawl out of the car, but some good Samaritans that were passing by and saw the wreck.

 

In addition two (2) fire fighters on their way to a fire, came by the wreck, and told the victims that there was no ambulance available and it would take too long to get one there, and they should just drive to the hospital.

 

The good Samaritan(s) that had stopped, took Mr. West and his daughter to Putnam General Hospital in Eatonton. No ambulance ever came to the scene despite stories that are being circulated that the victims “refused treatment.”   We have been told that when the police arrived on the scene, no ambulance was enroute.

 

TWG has also learned that one Jasper County ambulance was at a fire and one was out on a medical call. Jasper County does participate in mutual aid with other counties, and an ambulance from Putnam, Newton, Butts, and others could have been called. What kind of liability would the county face if the wreck victims had been more seriously injured and were told to just drive to the hospital?

Posted in County, EMS | Tagged , , | 16 Comments