BUILDING INSPECTOR RESIGNS DUE TO CONFLICTS—COMMISSIONERS ALLOW REHIRE AS SUBCONTRACTOR TO DO BUILDING INSPECTIONS

January 18, 2019

At the end of September 2018, Keith Smith, the building inspector resigned due to conflicts.  He was having a hard time building his own spec house and doing contractor work while serving as the county building inspector. 

Supposedly, the BOC was considering hiring an outside company to do the building inspections in Jasper County.  This would be an excellent idea, but it did not happen.

Instead, Shane Sealy hired Keith Smith back as the building inspector on 10/1/18–the very next day after Smith formally resigned.  Smith was hired back as a subcontractor.  When questioned about this arrangement, office staff said it was ok because “it saved money.” 

If Smith builds a house and uses Mr. XYZ as an electrical/plumbing/etc. contractor, can he then inspect the work that Mr. XYZ does on other properties?  Having a building contractor inspect other’s work, especially those he hires to work for him, is a big conflict, and the reason that Smith should have resigned in the first place. 

Hiring a qualified outside source to do building inspections would be more fair and ethical with a lack of conflicts of interest.

 

 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 Code Enforcement, County, Planning & Zoning, Shane Sealy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

AFTER YEARS OF WORKING AT IT, BRIDGE OVER PITTMAN’S BRANCH ON PITTS CHAPEL RD. WILL BECOME A REALITY

January 11, 2019

The BOC, and Comm. Doug Luke in particular, worked for three or four years to get the one-lane bridge over Pittman’s Branch on Pitts Chapel Road replaced with a two-lane bridge.

When talks first commenced, the Jasper County BOC tried to get the Newton County BOC to help with the cost of the new bridge because the creek is the county line between the two counties.  Those talks did not produce much progress and pretty much died altogether when a new Newton County BOC Chair was elected.

There has been little if any discussion in the BOC meetings about the bridge over the past year, but meetings behind the scenes must have been taking place.  The GDOT has agreed to replace the bridge, and it will be done with 100% of the money coming from GDOT according to county manager, Mike Benton. 

This bridge will be a huge improvement and a time saver for all the people traveling Pitts Chapel Road going to or coming from Newborn.  Congratulations to Comm. Luke for the constant push to get this done!   

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 County, Public Works | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A CANDIDATE FOR THE DISTRICT 4 SEAT ON THE BOC

January 3, 2019

TWG has talked with someone that might run for the District 4 seat; however, that person wants to wait to see who the establishment gets to run to replace Craig Salmon.

If anyone else is willing to or wants to take on the challenge of being a commissioner, please let us know.  Send us an email at Taxpayerwatchdogs@yahoo.com

What do the voters in District 4 want?

  • Another “yes man” that is willing to raise taxes every single year (over 20% in 5 years) or someone actually willing to cut waste?
  • A person that wants to “get along” rather than speak out about problems like poor employee choices (Karen Degges) and employee theft (Sherry Braley), or one that is willing to take corrective action to keep it from happening again?
  • Someone that goes with the same old thing that produces the same old results–poor roads and poor road maintenance, or a person that has new ideas and approaches to get the job done?
  • Add your ideas to our blog comments or on our Facebook page.

Whoever is willing to run will have to qualify between 9AM February 13 and noon on February 15.  The election will be held on March 19. 

District 4 deserves a commissioner that will actually represent them and their problems.  Will it be you?

 

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 County, Elections/voting | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

SALMON RESIGNATION LETTER

December 29, 2018

Craig Salmon had the following letter published in the 12/27/18 Monticello News, announcing his resignation.  Click the link below to read the entire letter.

Salmon Resignation 12.27.18_18

Be Informed.  Stay Informed.

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 Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

CRAIG SALMON RESIGNS FROM JASPER COUNTY BOC 

CRAIG SALMON RESIGNS FROM JASPER COUNTY BOC

December 27, 2018

Craig Salmon has submitted his resignation to the Jasper County BOC, effective January 1, 2019 at 12:00 am, according to his long letter to the editor in today’s Monticello News.

After running unopposed for another four (4) year term, Salmon stated he did not like public life and politics and decided to resign.  We will send out the entire letter as soon as we can get it typed in.

Salmon also states that the BOC will appoint someone to replace him.  This is false, as there will be a special election in March to fill the vacancy.  (If you live in and are ready to serve District 4, think about running for this position.)

Salmon ends his letter with, “..the county is better off than it was when we all took office years ago.  I was always told to leave things better than you found them and we have tried to do our best to ensure this has happened.”

What do you think?  Is the county better off that it was six (6) years ago?  Your comments are welcome on the blog or on our Facebook page.

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 County, Elections/voting | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

JASPER COUNTY—DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN?

December 26, 2018

In the last several elections, voters in Jasper County have voted overwhelmingly-approximately 70%-Republican.  We have four out of five commissioners, or 80% of the BOC, claiming to be Republican.  Yet each January they vote for the only Democrat on the BOC to be Chairman.  Why is this?

The Republican commissioners seem to be uninterested in being chairman, or even holding the line on spending.  Pennamon has repeatedly said he is best suited to be Chairman because he has more time.  Maybe we don’t need a chairman with so much time that he micromanages the county on a day-to-day basis.  Or, if Pennamon is going to run the county, then maybe we don’t need the $80,000 per year county manager.

All of our so-called Republican commissioners continually vote for every spending project that is proposed.  Additionally, it is questionable if the current Vice-Chairman, Craig Salmon, is even living in Jasper County.

If 70% of the voters in this county elect Republicans, why do the Republicans we elect turn around and vote for a Democrat to lead them?

At their meeting in January, we will see who the commissioners chose to be the Chairman for 2019. 

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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ANOTHER CHRISTMAS PARTY AND WE WEREN’T INVITED—AGAIN!

December 22, 2018

This year the county commissioners’ Christmas party for the employees was kept quiet and no pictures of the extravaganza were posted online.  We do know that Thomas Persons Hall was the site of the Christmas party that was held on December 6, 2018. 

Last year the Christmas party cost the taxpayers over $7,000.  We don’t know the entire cost this year, but here is what we do know.  (Pictures from last year’s party)

  1. This year each employee (approximately 120) received a $25 Ingles gift card – $3,000
  2. Cost of catering, food, etc.  TBD (last year $2500)
  3. Cost of Thomas Persons Hall  TBD (last year $750)

When we posted the blog about last year’s Christmas party, several people posting on Facebook thought this use of taxpayer’s money was perfectly fine (even if it isn’t a legitimate use of taxpayer money).  One poster said that the county employees were “severely underpaid.”

 “Severely underpaid” – Fairly Paid – Overpaid?  Most Jasper Countians have no idea what the county employees are paid. 

The county employees received a 3% pay raise sometime this fall.  Total cost to the taxpayers for those raises was $143,098.  Total estimated salaries, before the 3% pay raise, would be $4,769,933.  Additionally, 6% of the salary of all full time employees is contributed by the county taxpayers to the employee’s pension plan.  And let’s not forget about the almost free ($30 per month) health insurance, with the taxpayers picking up the difference.

So while you are busy saving your money to pay your property taxes right before Christmas, that hard earned money is being spent on not just a Christmas party, but an extravagant party where the cost is hidden under “professional services” or some other designation.

Be informed and stay informed as you watch your property taxes continue to rise.

 

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.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com

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Posted in County, Property taxes | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments