WHAT THE SOLID WASTE COMMITTEE HAS BEEN DISCUSSING –PART 2

May 24, 2015

SWC Pic

The SWC had its second meeting on May 14, 2015. We were surprised that some of the information they requested was substituted with “fluff.” It will be hard for the SWC to make decisions if they can’t get the proper information.

INFORMATION REQUESTED ABOUT PEOPLE INTERESTED IN THE LANDFILL

The following video is about the information they requested and what they received from the County Manager about Waste Eliminators. Watch by clicking the link…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11zDIiHXA6U

 

ROPER ENVIRONMENTAL AND LANDFILL EXPANSION

Mr. Roper appears to have developed a plan while he was working as a consultant and running the Jasper County landfill. This plan recommends one of the parties (Waste Eliminators Inc.) interested in the landfill. Listen to the SWC discussion about this and landfill expansion by clicking the link…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A3FyQ41nF0

 

ANOTHER INTERESTED PARTY THAT THE BOC REFUSES TO TALK ABOUT

It seems the SWC is not getting the information they need to make informed decisions. You can hear this interesting conversation by clicking the link…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQTdivTFsEw

 

ESTIMATE OF CLOSURE COSTS

Committee not sure what landfill costs consist of or if the figures they are getting are accurate. This is a short discussion…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHk4y4ETaPc

 

INFORMATION GIVEN TO SWC IS ABOUT OPERATING A LARGE LANDFILL

The SWC chairperson points to the County manager’s handout and says, this is about operating a huge landfill. See what else is said by clicking this link….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfLy9erIYd0

 

The next date for the SWC has tentatively been set for Thursday, May 28, at 5:15PM. This may change if they can not get the information they have requested. They are meeting on the 3rd floor of the courthouse in the jury room. The public is welcome to attend.

 

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, Landfill | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

WHAT THE SOLID WASTE COMMITTEE HAS BEEN DISCUSSING –PART 1

May 23, 2015

SWC Pic

In order to keep up with what is going on with the Landfill issue, regional waste, and discussions by the SWC, we are providing links to the videos made at the first SWC meeting on May 7th. Part 2 will have video from the May 14th meeting. It is important that citizens keep up with this information.

What are the EPD requirements and what are all the issues at the landfill?

Listen to this discussion—very revealing about issues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsBWg6Zaslo
Robert Jordan submits the annual volume estimate and the amount of space left each year.

Conversion to electricity?

Even though the County Manager has pushed this, it is virtually impossible with the Jasper County landfill—listen to this discussion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dls7AryXzGQ

 

Who is using the landfill and what are the charges?

Georgia Pacific is still dumping at the Jasper County landfill. There was a lot of discussion about charges and why they don’t even cover the cost to haul off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvV6nAQMdlw

 

What companies have contacted the county or have been contacted by the County?

This is a 5 minute discussion, but well worth listening to if you want to understand some of what the SWC is looking at.   The SWC has some very thoughtful questions. The SWC wants to see any proposals that have been presented. Garbage companies are in business to make money –the most money they can make, the fastest they can make it. The issue is the volume, and the volume is going to be increased; thereby increasing truck traffic and other things. They want to see current proposals and to open up proposals to everyone to see if this is feasible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbAjFWrkmP0

 

The SWC discussed that the most pressing need is to move the fiber because of the EPD 6/30/15 deadline; they voted to have their Chairman, Mike McClanahan ask the BOC to put out a request for proposal to move the fiber. One member of the SWC told the committee that in 2013 the county had received a bid to move the fiber for $145,000 which included moving 6000 yards a day for 45 days. This was not done, but instead the County Manager had decided to do the work “in house” and it has yet to be completed (with nothing being done with the fiber over the past 11 months).

 

SWC Chair reports to the BOC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8UeBb1bkEo

There are 2 parts—the EPD issue and the landfill operation issue. The SWC committee recommended that EPD requirements be split out from the future of the landfill. They recommend that the BOC go out for a RFP as to the cost of moving the fiber and correcting the pond problems. The future of the landfill will take longer than the June 30 due date required by the EPD.

Gene Trammell also says he will help with the RFP because Karen Degges says “her plate is full, over full.”   She also suggests that Triple Point (the engineering firm Jasper County now pays) write the RFP because of the technical nature of the issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPsaMn5A-os

 

The county attorney addressed the SWC at their first meeting on May 7th.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3WVehdWMmo

It appears many of the “rumors” out there were accurate. We will continue to monitor the SWC and see what else comes out of the dark and they ask questions and ask for documents.

We are impressed with all the thoughtful comments and requests for information so far by this committee.

 

TWG

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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www.facebook.com/taxdogs

 

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

YOU HAVE UNTIL MAY 27TH TO APPEAL YOUR NEW PROPERTY VALUATION

May 20, 2015

Prop Value Up

About a month ago, every property owner in Jasper County received their 2015 Property Tax Assessment in the mail. Your assessment most likely went up, and it possibly went up significantly. If you don’t agree with the new value, you can appeal it in writing. Click here to get the proper form.

This form must be filed with the Jasper County Board of Assessors, located on the main floor of the courthouse by 5/27/15.

Property taxes are local government’s main source of revenue for schools, police and fire departments, libraries and other local services. Property taxes are computed by multiplying a property’s assessed value (Fair Market Value x 40%) as formulated by the tax assessor’s office by the local millage rates.

Presently the millage rates are as follows:

County           17.446
State                   .10
Hospital           1.00
Schools            18.99

Total   =   37.536 (If you live in the City of Monticello, your rate is 44.391 mils)

This rate could increase, decrease or stay the same depending on the approved budgets that the School Board and BOC are now working on.

The primary factors affecting your property value are:

*    size
•    condition
•    utility
•    location (dirt road, paved road, north part or south part of county)
•    age
•    economic and market forces
•    other

Some facts about Jasper County property taxes:

Lynn Bentley, Chief Appraiser for Jasper County, spoke about why the values went up so much this year at a recent citizens’ meeting held on May 14.

1.      There were 166 useable market sales in 2014. These sales determined the new values for our properties.

2.      The value of all non-exempt property in the county is $330,973,842. This figure is multiplied by 40% to get taxable (assessed) value.

3.   For Rural Residential (under 30 acres) houses went up 12% in value, land in the north part of the county went up 8%, and land in the south part of the county went up 12%.

4.   The total increase in taxable property values for 2015 is $14,922,931 which will bring in the following additional taxes at the current millage rate:

a.  County   $260,345

b. School      $283,386

c.  Hospital  $ 14,923

d.  City        $102,297

As you can see, higher values = higher property taxes.

Mrs. Bentley told me she was more than willing to go over anyone’s property values with them, and if there were questions she would be happy to answer them. She also said that she would be willing to take a second look at your property if you feel it is not valued correctly. You can call the Board of Assessor’s office at 706-468-4904.

 

TWG

  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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Posted in Budgets, City, County, Hospital, Property taxes, Schools | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

DON’T BE FOOLED! THE COUNTY IS NOT CUTTING THE BUDGET

May 19, 2015

County Manager, Karen Degges and our Commissioners are “struggling” with cutting the budget. Don’t be fooled! They are not cutting the budget; they are cutting out some of the wish lists submitted by the departments and others that they fund with our tax dollars.

2015 budget compare to 2016 requests

Here’s a post Karen Degges made today on the Rescue Me Ga Facebook page:

As I said before, if you have a way to cut $1M out of our budget, send us the ideas. If you want to know what other departments have been asked to give up, come to the meetings. As one lady stated earlier, we have an entire county to run…not just Animal Control. We cut $80,000 out of the fire department’s budget the other night, and that’s a pretty important department too. The fire stations have pumper trucks parked in them that were cast-off’s from decades ago from other counties. EVERY county department has to be scrutinized in a budget year like this, whether we like it or not.”—Karen Degges, May 19, 2015 at 4:58pm

The truth is the current budget is $8.8M according to the BOC. The proposed wish list of items submitted for FY16 added up to $9.65M. That is a 9.66% increase. The only cuts being made are to that 9% of extra requests.

Ms. Degges mentions Fire being cut. The Fire/EMS current budget is $1,056,999; they have requested $1,180.371 or an increase of $123,372. This does not include equipment being purchased through SPLOST. If you cut $80,000, that still leaves an increase of $43,372.

Last week, Ms. Degges made the following comments on the RMG Facebook page to defend the budget showing the Closure of Animal Shelter.

“Yes, we are in a very tough budget year, and whether I personally like it or not, I was instructed to deliver to the board a balanced budget at various millage rates. Some commissioners want to lower the millage rate, so I was charged with finding ways to cut between $850,000 and $1,500,000 million dollars. To the person above who suggested we start cutting with our salaries…the entire county payroll (including the sheriff’s office, ambulance drivers and so on) is less than $500,000 so we could all be let go and it wouldn’t be enough money…that’s how much we have to cut this year. “ –Karen Degges, May 13 at 9:39am

The truth is her own budget report shows ONE DAY of pay for the county is $14,255.60 or $3,706,716 per year. If you add in the FICA and retirement that must be paid, one day is $15,975.32 or $4,153,583 per year. Look at this schedule for salary details.

We hear Ms. Degges tell these types of “facts” to the BOC at most every meeting, and not one commissioner questions it—like the Animal Control shelter spends $3500 or $7000 a month in utilities!

Yesterday Ms. Degges made a comment on the RMG Facebook page (yes, we Jasper County taxpayers are paying $40.87 an hour for Facebook posts, but they are interesting!) about Comm. Trammell and what he really meant in his comments about no one ever mentioning closing Animal Control.

“this kind of wild rumor was the kind of thing Commissioner Trammell was referring to the other night. Gene does suffer from memory issues (and hearing loss), as do many people his age, but that is no reason to be unkind, call them names or make fun of them. Only a few on here have done that, but come on folks, there is no need to sink to that level and pass judgement without even knowing him or knowing that he sometimes gets confused.”Karen Degges, May 18, 2015 at 1:07pm

Folks, here’s the bottom line…the County Manager seems to be more interested in being on Facebook all day than taking care of the bigger issues we have in the county. How many people has she fired for supposedly not doing their jobs and/or being insubordinate? Our BOC considers increasing our taxes through budget increases while allowing playing on Facebook by the County Manager who makes $85,000 a year!

HOW TO CUT THE BUDGET

We do have some suggestions. Cut the $295,000 proposed increase in Public Works. All they do now is waste time and materials trying to fill potholes over and over again only to last a few days. Recreation fees need to be raised to help offset the actual costs of uniforms to decrease the amount of extra requested. Does Economic Development need a 79% increase or is this to fund another raise for the director?

Cut out bloated staff in the BOC office and have everyone actually work an 8 hour day! 3 code enforcement, 1 administrative specialist, 1 receptionist/clerk, 1 HR, 1 CFO, 1 County Manager, 1 EMS billing clerk/receptionist = $382,200 in salaries just downstairs in the BOC offices (not including free health insurance, cell phones, and other benefits).

If the budget is now $8.8M and at every BOC meeting where financials are presented it is stated that no one is ever over budget and everything is in “great shape” and it has been stated the county may have a $500,000 surplus, why does the budget need to be increased at all? Take the $500,000 surplus and divvy it out among the departments and keep the budget at $8.8M. That way, everyone gets a budget increase and the taxpayers won’t get such a big tax increase. But please quit telling us that you are “cutting the budget.”

Other budget requests—Appropriations—this includes things the BOC is not required to fund:

FY 2015         $711,696

FY2016         $827,690 requested      +$123,372 increase

Additional money Requested by:                  Already Receive:

Library                              $9275                           $89,320

Chamber of Commerce   $5780                           $32,620**Chamber salary $26,650

Family Connection            $2500                          $6,000

Health Department          $4997                          $49,970

Economic Development   $47,511                       $60,002 **David Dyer’s salary is $60,000 per year plus mileage and expenses

Sr. Center                             $30,856                    $163,673

911                                         $21,950                    $245,250

 

Where would you “cut” the budget?

TWG

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Posted in Budgets, County, Economic Development, Recreation | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

WHAT DO THE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS AT OCONEE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER (ORMC) MEAN FOR JASPER MEMORIAL HOSPITAL?

May 18, 2015

JMH Logo

 

“The Hospital” is something no one is supposed to talk about; however, it may be time that the board and administration of Jasper Memorial Hospital (JMH) talk about what is going on at Oconee Regional, how it will affect JMH, and how the tax money paid by Jasper County citizens will be used.

JMH has an agreement with Oconee Regional; several years ago JMH was leased to Oconee Regional for $1.00 per year. Since that time both the JMH and the Retreat have been part of Oconee Regional and are included in the Oconee Regional Health Systems audit. Last year’s audit shows that the Retreat made $900,000 and Jasper Memorial lost $200,000.

Oconee Regional has become part of the Medical Center in Macon, now run by Navicent.

The people of Baldwin County recently found out things were not going well with ORMC. Now that things seem to have gotten worse, the hospital board admits a lack of transparency in the past—read the articles below that were in the Union Recorder newspaper this past week:

http://www.unionrecorder.com/news/ormc-went-into-technical-default-on-bonds-three-years-ago/article_912c6e08-fb17-11e4-a6cb-0fcff9300a16.html

ORMC went into ‘technical default’ on bonds three years ago

Web Break

Posted: Friday, May 15, 2015 1:00 pm

by Billy W Hobbs

Oconee Regional Medical Center in Milledgeville went into what has been described as “technical default” three years ago, according to David Groseclose, chairman one of two local hospital boards.

He made that statement during a Monday night meeting that began in the administration boardroom of the hospital and later followed with a question and answer session with physicians, medical staff and private residents that packed the educational center downstairs.

“Since 2011, we have been on a downslide with our finances,” Groseclose told the standing room only crowd of between 250 and 300 people.

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

http://www.unionrecorder.com/news/standing-room-only-crowd-attends-public-ormc-meeting/article_f6bb2eea-f8be-11e4-bcf0-7b66c29a6be6.html

Standing room only crowd attends public ORMC meeting

ORMC Q&A

A standing-room-only crowd packed the educational center meeting room at ORMC Monday night to hear answers related to the hospital’s financial woes. 

Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 11:52 am

by Billy W Hobbs

More than two dozen questions were asked of local officials who serve on boards at Oconee Regional Medical Center about what’s going on at the local hospital in terms of its financial woes and the way the hospital is managed.

For the first time, hospital board officials admitted, publicly, that there had been a lack of transparency about several matters at the hospital.

The meeting with the public, which was held in the educational center of the hospital, drew between 250 and 300 people, including dozens of staff physicians, other medical staff and private residents.

“We’re going to make this a listening session,” Ted Zarkowsky, chairman of the ORMC Health Systems Board, said. “We want to hear everybody’s thoughts.”

The open session lasted more than an hour as hospital board members attempted to answer as many questions as they could.

A closed-door executive session meeting, held prior to the public question and answer session, was described by Zarkowsky as a strategy session.

“We’re still in session from the ORMC Health Systems Board meeting,” said David Groseclose, chairman of the ORMC Hospital Medical Board. “We’re glad to see you here tonight. We’re going to have additional opportunities for your input.”

During the Q&A session, one man asked what role did board members play, and whether or not the board had the ability to hire and fire management personnel.

The two-board system meets at various times to decide certain issues at the hospital, and board members have the ability to hire and fire.

“In reality, the board is responsible for the operations of the hospital,” Groseclose said. “We do that through a management staff. Our responsibilities are No. 1, is the quality of health care, and that responsibility does fall on the board.”

Another role played by board members is the credentialing of physicians, he explained.

“Our No. 1 thing is to try to look out for the welfare and continued operations of our community hospital,” Groseclose said.

One woman asked about the salary of ORMC CEO Jean Aycock and why she wasn’t in attendance for the meeting.

Aycock actually did attend the meeting and stood near the front of the room, not far from where board members were seated. She stood for the entire Q&A session, but was never asked any questions by the audience.

“Jean Aycock is our president and CEO,” Groseclose said. “Her compensation is set and approved by the board. Her current salary is, I think with all the benefits that go with it, is about $340,000 a year. That’s give or take. It’s a significant salary.”

He pointed out that she has not received a salary increase in three or four years, and that she doesn’t set her salary. That’s something board members set.

“You’ve got to have a CEO and you’ve got to pay your CEO,” Groseclose said, noting that her salary is based upon what it would cost to fill a position at a similar size hospital in a similar setting. “You can’t get it done for nothing.”

One woman asked what community residents could do to help the hospital.

“You’re doing it tonight, and we appreciate you being here,” Groseclose said.

“It seems that all a sudden, the community has taken this great interest in our hospital,” he added. “If you’ve been reading the paper since about 2010, 2011, we have been on a downslide with our finances here. There has been article after article in the newspaper since 2010 regarding this.”

Groseclose explained that hospital officials went to the Baldwin County Board of Commissioners in 2011, seeking assistance in refinancing its bond.

“The number one thing, at that point in time, was possibly not just turn things around, but ask for their assistance,” he said. “What we got from them was an understanding that yes, we are responsible for the good of the hospital, and financially, we should be responsible, but we don’t have any money. We can’t help you.”

Groseclose said hospital officials had tried several times to refinance their bond.

“What you can do to help is to take an interest in your hospital,” he stressed.

Tripper Cook was another resident who asked a question.

“I am not a fan of Navicent (Health Systems),” Cook said. “I come from Macon, lived there most of my life.”

Navicent is the management firm that now manages ORMC. 

Cook asked whether or not hospital board officials would allow for the financial books to be opened, and offer transparency to the public, as well as officials of this community. He said he believed that someone might come up with a better organization than Navicent to support the local community hospital.

“Would you allow your books to be examined by other potential investors,” Cook questioned.

“I can’t answer that question exactly,” Groseclose said. “I can get back with you on that question. I will tell you that our financial reporting that we receive every month is a matter of public record. It’s open to you, today.”

Everything that has been done up to this point by local hospital officials, as well as board members, and the management team of Navicent has been done in an attempt to save ORMC, he said.

Prior to the executive session ending, Dr. Wes King, one of several staff physicians who attended the meeting, passed out copies of comments he made about the hospital to those in attendance.

“In recent weeks, Milledgeville physicians have become aware that Navicent plans to cut patient bed capacity at ORMC, and to reduce services, and specialists offered by the hospital,” King said. “Such moves would do an unconscionable disservice to the citizens of Baldwin County, who count on our community hospital to meet our medical needs. We must act now to preserve and strengthen ORMC.”

TWG

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Posted in Budgets, County, Hospital, Open Government | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

THOSE VICIOUS RUMORS OR THOSE BLATANT LIES ABOUT ANIMAL CONTROL?

May 13, 2015

Keep speaking the truthLast night at the BOC meeting we weren’t sure if Gene Trammell had lost his mind or just can’t remember from one day to the next what he says. He started the meeting this way, “Nobody ever mentioned closing Animal Control.” Watch his 57 second speech…

“Rumors” with no basis in fact? Nobody ever mentioned closing Animal Control? At the 5/7/15 budget hearing HE was the person that asked County Manager Karen Degges to go over the closure proposal. Here is a copy of the 2 separate budgets for Animal Control that are in the FY16 budget packet. The discussion about Animal Control, its budget, and the closure proposal lasted from approximately 7:15 to 7:25pm on May 7. If the tapes haven’t been destroyed or altered, they will show this was discussed.

Even though the other commissioners didn’t comment on Trammell’s blatant lie, Comm. Salmon did dispute what he said. He said it was indeed discussed, and we thank Comm. Salmon for being honest about it publicly. Watch the video with all the commissioners’ comments, and watch how Comm. Trammell tries to change the tone by interjecting “it wasn’t voted on.” (Comm. Salmon starts at :53 on the video.)

Karen Degges also has comments about what was discussed. Trammell says “nothing has happened.” Well, nothing is ever voted on during budget discussions, but maybe he forgot that too.

Trammell has to make another comment about RUMORS at the end of the Commissioner comments. “This is typical of the way rumors travel in Jasper County. I guess it..we just have any…we just don’t have anything to do. And we ..so we try to tend to one anothers’ (sic) business.

What Trammell seems to forget so often as he is working “one on one” or behind closed doors, it is our business. It is the public’s business. And we will “tend to it” so we know what is going on and how much it is costing us! This is why it is called OPEN GOVERNMENT, which this BOC tries desperately to get around anyway they can.

The new discussion about Animal Control is now about how words are used–not “close” the shelter, but have it so one person picks up animals and takes them somewhere to be euthanized. They will still have one staff member, so in essence it won’t be closed down. And are there any guesses who that person will be? We are betting it will be the new ‘code enforcement officer’ that Karen Degges hired.   All she (Virginia Williams at $15/hour) does now is ride around with either Sherry Braley (the Animal Control director, Code Enforcement, P&Z person) or Brad Cherry the building inspector. She used to work in Baldwin, GA with Karen Degges and has been an Animal Control officer.

There has been NO air conditioning at Animal Control for a week or more. Any bets Karen Degges making $85,000 a year is sitting in her office without air conditioning? Or Mike Benton ($55,000/year) in his office, or Sherry Braley ($18/hour) in her office without air conditioning? But it is ok for the peons at Animal Control that make $8.00 per hour to suffer along with the animals there. Karen Degges says on Facebook that “she didn’t know about it.” Well, her Animal Control director, Sherry Braley knew about it; why didn’t she tell Ms. Degges? No, instead Degges tries to blame the Animal Control staff for not telling HER. Who is in charge—Karen Degges or Sherry Braley? The staff must stay confused, because we sure do at the meetings. If it is something to brag about Degges is in charge. If it is something else, Braley is in charge.

 There has been no money allowed to be spent on vet services recently either. Today RMG raised enough money to help a dog with a wound on his neck with maggots in it, and he was able to be seen by a vet today.

Mike Benton told the BOC during his quarterly financial report on 5/4/15 that Sherry was not letting Animal Control spend any money because they had gone over budget in some areas. BUT when any other department goes over budget, he and Karen Degges come with a budget amendment and have plenty of money left in contingency to move to that department’s budget so they can continue to spend. In fact, both Benton and Degges have bragged to the BOC how they still have over $100,000 in contingency and have been finding ways to spend it during the budget hearings. But not for animal control! No air conditioning, no money for traps or a catch pole, no money for a vet to look at hurt or wounded dogs, but plenty of money for everyone else.

Here’s some examples..

Karen Degges just hired a new person this Monday 5/11/15 —an administrative specialist at $15 per hour—to help Sherry Braley, to help Mike Benton, to help her do whatever it is she does. Today Degges’ spent hours of county time on the Facebook page of the rescue group that pours time and money into the animals at the Jasper County shelter and to give those folks a budget lesson.) Karen Degges makes $85,000 or $40.87 per hour. She is always so overwhelmed with her work, which mostly consists of stirring up confusion and trouble and then convincing the BOC she can fix it. Her Facebook time today cost the taxpayers a pretty penny.

She added more money in the P&Z budget to make sure her friend got full time pay all during the new budget year at $15 per hour.

–She has moved contingency money into Public Works after spending $25,000 more on plate dirt than the BOC approved.

Economic Development already gets $60,000 a year and they have asked for another $47,511. A $10,000 increase is suggested by the County Manager.

–We could go on and on, but the problem is here, someone does not want Animal Control to succeed.   The BOC was misled with bloated utility figures and problems that don’t exist. (The utility bills paid in April only totaled a little more than $400, not the $1000’s the BOC was told was happening.)

Karen Degges also says in her Facebook posts that she has to cut the budget. No, that is not true. She has to cut the 12% proposed increases in the FY16 budget—the wish lists every department has submitted. The current budget is $8.8 M; the proposed wish list is $10,000,444. So this isn’t about “lean years” and huge cuts; this is about cutting wish lists that some departments will get and others won’t. Animal Control seems to be one that won’t.

This morning (May 13, 2015) Karen Degges showed up at Animal Control and happened to be there when a citizen arrived. She was sitting in her car talking with one of the Animal Control staff that was standing outside. There is no telling what she was unhappy about, but based on her Facebook posts today, we can guess what it was all about. The BOC refuses to reign in this bully, and employees are too worried about keeping their jobs (except for a very few chosen few) to do anything about it.

Karen Degges whines about all the “hard budget years” ahead of the county on her Facebook posts about Animal Control, but brags to the BOC in a power point presentation that the county will have a $630,000 surplus for FY14 (no audit finished yet) and Mike Benton said FY15 will have a $500,000 surplus. So which is it?   Again, the problem is, Karen Degges can make any department look bad if she wants something changed. Right now it is Animal Control. Animal Control is one of the few budget areas we saw that no pay raises are requested on the FY16 budget. Why is that?

Here’s just part of Degges’ post on RMG’s Facebook“Yes, we are in a very tough budget year, and whether I personally like it or not, I was instructed to deliver to the board a balanced budget at various millage rates. Some commissioners want to lower the millage rate, so I was charged with finding ways to cut between $850,000 and $1,500,000 million dollars. To the person above who suggested we start cutting with our salaries…the entire county payroll (including the sheriff’s office, ambulance drivers and so on) is less than $500,000 so we could all be let go and it wouldn’t be enough money…that’s how much we have to cut this year.”

These are the kinds of blatant lies told by the County Manager and repeated by the BOC. She says that the entire county payroll is $500,000 a year!! Her own report in the budget packet shows ONE DAY of pay for the county is $14,255.60 or $3,706,716 per year. If you add in the FICA and retirement that must be paid, one day is $15,975.32 or $4,153,583 per year. Look at this schedule and see what Animal Control costs the county in salaries.  (Salaries are almost 1/2 of the annual county budget.)

When did all the problems with Animal Control start? Right after Comm. Henry made mention at a BOC meeting that he wished everything was running as smoothly as Animal Control was. This was when the $72,000 renovation of the Animal Control building was completed (with funds Rescue Me GA worked to have donated, not Jasper County staff or commissioners) and there was going to be a grand opening. Ms. Degges had rarely if ever been to Animal Control before then, but right after all the hoopla, she sent Mike Benton (CFO) down to Animal Control to inform them they couldn’t spend any more money. The real problem here was RMG got the credit they deserved, Comm. Henry commented everything was going well, and Karen Degges wasn’t in the limelight she so craves.

Yes, TWG does bring issues to the forefront, and we will continue to do so. With the blatant lies told and the secret meetings held by this BOC and their staff, no one knows what they will do. They did present a closure of Animal Control budget and they did discuss it with Comm. Trammell leading the way. These are not vicious rumors, and the blatant lie in denying it by Comm. Trammell shows why people of this county do not trust him or the BOC.

As we said in our first post about this proposal–We have learned long ago, if something is presented and no one says anything about it, it will happen. By alerting people to this possibility, the BOC knows where those who contacted them stand on the issue. The BOC can find all sorts of money to fund everything else, why not animal control?

Again, here are the numbers and email addresses for the Commissioners. Take time to let them know your feelings on this issue.

 

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

When will enough be enough? When will the citizens of Jasper County decide they want the truth and honesty and demand it? Soon, we hope!

Please forward this to your email list, and take time to get involved.

 

TWG

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 Animal Control, Budgets, County, Open Government | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

JASPER COUNTY SOLID WASTE COMMITTEE MEETING 5/14/15

For anyone that is interested in attending and keeping up with the landfill issues—

JASPER COUNTY SOLID WASTE COMMITTEE

                                                  REGULAR MEETING

                                                      MAY 14, 2015

                      AT 5:15 P.M.

(NEW JURY ROOM, 2ND FLOOR OF COURTHOUSE)

 

AGENDA:

  1. Approval of Agenda
  2. Approval of Minutes from May 7, 2015
  3. Chairman, review of meeting with County Manager
  4. Chairman, review Board of Commissioners meeting
  5. General Discussion of Options for Landfill
  6. Adjournment

 

 

Posted in County, Landfill, Open Government | Tagged | Leave a comment