BOC Meeting Monday, August 3, 2015 at 6:00PM

August 1, 2015

Meeting Notice

 

The next meeting of the BOC will be this coming Monday (8/3/15) at 6:00pm. The agenda includes:

 

Appointments to the following boards

  • JCWSA
  • DFACS
  • Planning & Zoning
  • Planning & Zoning Appeals

Increase Board of Assessors pay to $100 per meetingthis is for a once per month meeting. Current pay is $75 per meeting if the meeting lasts ½ hour or 2 hours.  

Approve solicitation for bids for the landfill fiber removal

Review & accept bid for new Fire Rescue Pumperthe price of this piece of equipment started at $217,000, went to $255,000 on a previous bid, and now is at $310,000.

Apply for a $500,000 grant for a multi-purpose building for Recreation and Older Americans.

If you have any concerns about any of these items or want to serve on any of the boards, please contact the commissioners:

District 1 Pennamon   cpennamon@jaspercountyga.org   762-435-9766

District 2 Henry   bhenry@jaspercountyga.org       706-819-3943

District 3 Trammell   genetrammell@gmail.com                  706-468-0554

District 4 Salmon   csalmon@jaspercountyga.org   706-819-9561

District 5 Luke     dluke@jaspercountyga.org            706-819-3933

 

Take time to attend the meeting. Be informed! Get involved!

 

TWG

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Posted in Bidding, County, Fire, Recreation, Water | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

JASPER COUNTY HIERARCHY

July 30, 2015

 The FY14 audit contained a flow chart of how the hierarchy is supposed to be in Jasper County (or any county).

 County Flow Chart

Notice who is at the top of the chart—the citizens, the taxpayers, of the county.

 But here is how the hierarchy really works:

JC Govt FLOW CHARTUntil the BOC decides to first– listen to the citizens, and then– be in charge of what happens, we will have unelected people deciding our fate with higher taxes, taxpayer backed bonds, and other debt and decisions.

 TWG has long advocated for a County Administrator that carries out the directives of the BOC rather than a County Manager that makes all the decisions and tells the BOC how it is going to be.

As always, your comments are welcome.

TWG

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Posted in County | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

JASPER COUNTY LIVES MATTER

July 28, 2015

 7:45am—July 28, 2015—Screeech! Boom! Another wreck at Bethel Church Rd. No fooling, folks!

 Scene as you drove up this morning—3 police cars, ambulance, several DOT workers, citizens that stopped to help and the vehicles involved in the wreck:

BCR Wreck 7.28.15-2

TWG does not know if someone was hurt or not, but the “big truck” had demolished the stop sign and a small truck was down in the ditch.

BCR Wreck 7.28.15-3

Note to Craig Salmon, who hasn’t had trouble here:

#JASPERCOUNTYLIVESMATTER

It is time Salmon and the rest of the BOC started listening to the citizens of Jasper County.

 TWG

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Posted in County | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

NEW 4-WAY STOP COMING!

July 27, 2015

 The STATE is going to do something about the intersection at Bethel Church Rd. & Hwy 212 W; they started work on it today.  Signs one mile from the intersection on Hwy 212 already have traffic slowing down.

BCR DOT sign

BCR All Way Stop

What are the Commissioners going to do about the Bethel Church Rd. approach to the intersection?

 On 10/15/14 they were asked to do something after a fatal wreck at the intersection.

 

 At that meeting, even though the BOC seems sympathetic to the plea, Comm. Salmon had a different idea. After asking the County Manager to look into “getting quotes,” Comm. Salmon said he had been hitting Bethel Church Rd. for 26 years and had never had an issue with it. In fact he said this 2 or 3 times 

 After many more wrecks, several blogs, and letters to the editor, Sheriff Donnie Pope and Rep. Susan Holmes joined in and made pleas to the GDOT for help.   After the last wreck on July 17, 2015 GDOT seemed to understand there was a big problem at the intersection.

 Another attempt to get the BOC to do something on Bethel Church Rd. was made again on 7/23/15:

 

 Comm. Luke said on his way home from work there were Stop signs with flashing LED lights on them in Putnam County, and they did get your attention. Commissioners, please don’t wait too long to put safety measures in place on Bethel Church Rd.

 Thank you Sheriff Pope, Rep. Holmes, and GDOT for your help in resolving this serious situation.

 TWG

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Posted in County, Sheriff | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WE HAD NO WAY OF KNOWING—GENE TRAMMELL

July 26, 2015

Incompetence.Trammell 

We have heard nothing but EXCUSES from this BOC for the past 2 years. Anything and everything is always someone else’s fault. During the audit presentation, Comm. Trammell asked the auditor, “It would be virtually impossible for one of us to have caught that, would it not?” This was his question to help defend himself and the BOC for not knowing anything about the misappropriation (theft) of county money in the P&Z office.

 

Additionally, Comm. Trammell said “the guys” were only in the office—at best—once or twice a week. That may be the “other guys” on the BOC, but not him. Trammell was in the office almost every day for an hour or more; and Comm. Pennamon was there almost as often.

The real problem is this BOC has failed to listen to anyone other than Karen Degges. No matter what she told them, even if others questioned what she said or what was presented as fact, they paid no attention. Take for instance the following citizen’s comment on March 2, 2015:

 

This citizen wanted to know why it had been 53 days since he gave the County a check for his business license and it had not yet cleared his bank account (something else Sherry Braley was in charge of). Do you think the BOC started checking into this situation to see if other checks were just as late being deposited?

 The FY14 audit shows there were problems with deposits the year before as well.  The auditor’s presentation of the FY14 deposits for P&Z are shown here:

P&ZDepositsFY14

 At every financial presentation, the BOC has been told everything is great—money is coming in and no one is over budget. No questions were ever asked.

 TWG questioned the validity of the PowerPoint presented to the BOC in February 2015.  When discussing this with Comm. Luke, he said, “It all came right out of the audits.” Again, he and the others (with the exception of Comm. Pennamon) believed every word, and Comm. Trammell complimented Karen Degges on “all her good work”; even though it was totally bogus and the BOC has never taken the time to verify anything for themselves.

 Just in the last few months, numerous things have been questioned by the public and TWG, but ignored by the BOC— from hiring more and more people, to raises for Sherry Braley; from a missing audit to higher taxes; from violations of policy to gross absenteeism. And the list goes on…..but the BOC does not listen, does not ask questions, does not verify anything.

 So yes, this BOC did have a way of knowing and numerous signs were pointed out to them, not just once, but repeatedly. If you refuse to ask questions, if you refuse to verify anything—even once in a while, and if you refuse to even sign checks but approve them a month after they have been written, sent off, and cleared the bank, then it is going to be hard to know what is going on.

Commissioners, just because you choose to “be in the dark” don’t say you had no way to know. It is your job, your fiduciary duty TO KNOW, and we all expect you to step up and do your job or step aside and let someone else take your place.

 Your comments are welcome/

TWG

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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 | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

BOC FIRES KAREN DEGGES

July 23, 2015

Axe & chop block

The Special Called Meeting tonight was rather exciting! Both attorneys, Comm. Trammell, Comm. Henry, and Comm. Pennamon were already in the meeting room by 5:30PM. Comm. Luke came in at 5:55PM. The meeting started at 5:57PM. Comm. Salmon was again absent.

 The agenda was approved with Jim Alexander adding “threatened litigation” in addition to “personnel” for the reasons for Executive Session. He also added that action would be taken.

At 5:59PM the BOC and their two attorneys went into Executive Session. At 6:16PM they returned to the meeting room.

After citizen comments, Comm. Trammell asked if any of the Commissioners had comments. There were none from Comm. Luke and Comm. Pennamon. However, Comm. Henry said yes, he did.

Comm. Henry made a motion to “terminate Karen Degges immediately for cause.” Comm. Luke 2nd the motion. The vote was 4-0. The video below has the details.

 After the meeting was adjourned, Mary Patrick asked if this meant Karen Degges no longer has county health insurance. Jim Alexander responded that it was total termination affective now and yes, it cut off her health insurance.

The exact cause for the termination was not stated, but what more would the BOC need than the problems and findings with the audit, an employee under Ms. Degges’ supervision misappropriating county money, and this same employee being given a raise and promoted by Ms. Degges.

Your comments are welcome!

TWG

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Posted in County | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

SPECIAL CALLED EXECUTIVE SESSION TONIGHT -7/23/15 AT 6pm

July 23, 2015

Economic Development is a Secret

It’s a secret!

 Tonight there is a Special Called Meeting of the Board of Commissioners at 6:00PM. The only item on the agenda is Executive Session—Personnel.

 What can it be? More questions, more money, more leave for Karen Degges? More money missing? Or maybe secret discussions about plans for Animal Control?

It could be a pay raise for Mike Benton, but does that qualify for Executive Session?

Anything qualifies for Executive Session with this BOC and their attorney. Everything is a secret until something is decided. Then they might let us know.

Here’s what an open government expert has to say about Executive Sessions a/k/a Back Door Deal Making. There is no requirement in the law for Executive Session, there is an exception, but no requirement.

 

 The BOC has chosen to conceal the public’s business by going into Executive Session.

TWG

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Posted in County, Open Government | Tagged , | 2 Comments