DISTRICT 3 –SPECIAL CALLED ELECTION TO FILL GENE TRAMMELL’S BOC SEAT

January 23, 2017

Maybe the special election could be expanded county-wide to allow the people to select their own Clerk of Court.

newspaper

The Probate Judge has called for a special election to fill the county commissioner vacancy left by the death of Commissioner Gene Trammell.  The election will be held on Tuesday, March 21. A runoff, if needed, will be held April 18.

Qualifying for the election will take place in Jasper County Probate Court beginning February 6 at 9 a.m., and ending at noon, February 9. Qualifying fee is $216.

Voters must be registered by February 21 to vote in this election.  This election will be for District 3 voters only.

J. Ross Hays has expressed his intention to revive his campaign and run again to fill the vacancy. Citizens will have to wait to see who “the powers that be” will convince to run.

 

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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DAN JORDAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AND APPOINTS HIS OWN SUCCESSOR (HIS SISTER) TO TAKE HIS PLACE—IS THAT LEGAL?

January 20, 2017

In addition, he hired Angie Steele (former Magistrate) to be Deputy Clerk of Courts; she lost the election for Magistrate Judge in 2016.

dan-jordan

Less than 3 weeks after starting his new term in office (he ran unopposed in 2016), Dan Jordan has announced he is retiring as Clerk of Superior Court.  Part of his announcement states,I will be retiring as Jasper County Clerk of Courts effective March 13, 2017. Chief Deputy Clerk Lynda Gasses will assume office at that time. No special election is called for. Lynda has over 25 years of experience and already knows how to do the job. She will have the vital assistance of deputy clerks Chrissy Mason, Tonya Little and LeAnn Airington. Additionally, I’m excited to announce that Angie Steele will return to this office as deputy clerk filling the vacancy left by my departure.

Since the announcement, first on his Facebook page, people have questioned Dan’s ability to appoint the Deputy Clerk (his sister) as Clerk of Courts.  TWG has searched the State Law concerning this, and found the following:

2014 Georgia Code
Title 15 – COURTS
Chapter 6 – SUPERIOR COURTS
Article 2 – CLERKS OF SUPERIOR COURTS
§ 15-6-53 – Appointment of clerk; actions by interim clerk; special elections

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-6-53 (2014)

(a) In any county in which a chief deputy clerk has been appointed pursuant to Code Section 15-6-59, the chief deputy clerk shall become the clerk of superior court if the clerk of superior court dies, resigns, is removed from office pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 45-2-1, or otherwise vacates office. The chief deputy clerk shall hold office for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor, provided that more than two years of the clerk’s term of office have expired at the time the clerk vacates office. If more than two years of the clerk’s term of office have not expired at the time the clerk vacates office, a special election shall be held, as provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-540, at least 120 days but no later than 365 days after the date the vacancy occurred. The person elected on such date shall hold office for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor. The returns of the election shall be made to the Governor, who shall immediately commission the person elected clerk.

——————

People are asking, TWG is asking, how can Dan Jordan appoint his own successor when the law says a special election SHALL be held?  What law is he basing his statement on that no special election will be required? 

It appears Dan Jordan has a plan to get Angie Steele in the position of Clerk of Courts without an election and without allowing the citizens their own choice for the position. 

If he can appoint the current deputy clerk, and hire Angie Steele as the new deputy clerk, then when his sister retires before the next election, Angie Steele will automatically become the next Clerk of Courts.  Pretty slick, huh?

Following is Dan Jordan’s retirement announcement:

Dear Friends,

As of March 10, 2017 I will have had the honor of serving first as deputy clerk and then as your elected Clerk of Courts for 31 years. From the day my predecessor and mentor, Mrs. Jane H. Parrott, hired me I have loved this career and have enjoyed every minute of my service to the citizens of Jasper county, the Ocmulgee judicial circuit and the state of Georgia.

I feel very good about what my staff and I have accomplished during this time. We have embraced new and changing technologies such as the e-filing of court records and internet availability of real estate records. In an effort to keep up with the needs of the public, we now accept debit and credit cards and we also have the ability to renew notary applications online. These are only a few examples. Each new state mandate brings new challenges and we have successfully implemented these and others that have been presented to us.

I believe that the renovation and addition to the courthouse several years ago was a significant accomplishment from which we are still reaping benefits. This was a team effort involving many in the community and I was proud to be involved in that project.

The permanent consolidation of the clerical functions of the superior, juvenile and magistrate courts is an accomplishment that will save taxpayers money every year on an ongoing basis. Along with the Probate court, we have also absorbed many of the duties as well as the caseload of the former Monticello municipal court. I appreciate the recent help of the county commissioners and State Representative Susan Holmes in implementing these accomplishments.

I believe that 31 years of service is a good stopping point for me from the perspective of the county as a whole, the office itself and my own personal situation. As of December 2016 our county government was the best it has been in the 31 years I have been here. Of course the loss of Commissioner Gene Trammell leaves a hole and the challenges of the coming term will be great. I believe that it is time to leave those challenges to others, however.

I will be retiring as Jasper County Clerk of Courts effective March 13, 2017. Chief Deputy Clerk Lynda Gasses will assume office at that time. No special election is called for. Lynda has over 25 years of experience and already knows how to do the job. She will have the vital assistance of deputy clerks Chrissy Mason, Tonya Little and LeAnn Airington. Additionally, I’m excited to announce that Angie Steele will return to this office as deputy clerk filling the vacancy left by my departure. I have been working with these ladies for the past several months to insure a smooth transition. Your property and court records will be in good hands!

On a personal note, I have many retirement projects planned and I’m already setting up a workshop on my property for that purpose. I’ll be doing plenty of traveling as well which will be well documented on Facebook.

I have two months of service left so I won’t say goodbye at this time. However, I want you all to know that serving as your Clerk of Courts has been the greatest honor of my life and I have truly appreciated the opportunity.

With love and gratitude,

Dan Jordan, Jasper County Clerk of Courts

 

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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FORMER JASPER COUNTY MANAGER, GREG WILLIAMS, IS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF COVINGTON HOUSING AUTHORITY– WHICH IS NOW UNDER FEDERAL INVESTIGATION

January 16, 2017

greg-williams

While Greg Williams was Jasper County’s county manager he was well known for falling asleep in the BOC meetings.  Was he was asleep while the Covington Housing Authority manager was buying thousands of dollars of Home Depot gift cards? 

We find it most interesting that a local accountant found this problem by filing open record requests, because he was “concerned about a practice that NO ONE ELSE SEEMED TO NOTICE.

 

The I-Team filed the following report.  (Highlighting is TWG’s.)

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/i-team/228780116-story

Gift cards snare popular Housing Authority manager

  • Randy Travis
  • Fox 5 I-Team Investigation

POSTED:JAN 12 2017 04:39PM EST

UPDATED:JAN 12 2017 11:42PM EST

 COVINGTON, Ga. – Longtime Covington Housing Authority property manager Erica Morris resigned amid a federal investigation into thousands of dollars in missing tax money.

Receipts obtained by the FOX 5 I-Team showed Morris bought more than 200 VISA gift cards at a local Home Depot, often at denominations of $100. She also paid $5.95 to activate each card.

Housing Authority manager

Morris worked at the Housing Authority for nearly 11 years. Residents said she sometimes let them pay rent late if they had a budget emergency.

“It hurt me so bad, I can’t believe,” resident Hope White reacted. “When I heard about it, when they said it was her I said no, it can’t be her.”

Executive director Greg Williams said the first he heard of possible financial wrongdoing came in September after Morris’ sudden resignation. He said no one should have been buying gift cards like that. He couldn’t explain why such wild spending wasn’t spotted by Morris’ bosses or auditors.

An outside forensic audit is almost finished. The inspector general for Housing and Urban Development is conducting its own investigation.

At the Alcovy housing complex where Morris was once in charge of 180 units, residents tried to imagine what $28,000 could have bought. That included the people who live near the neighborhood’s aging basketball court.

“We ain’t got no bleachers where kids can sit down,” lamented resident Lisa White.

They also don’t have a playground. Or swingsets.

“I can’t hate her,” resident Lisa White pointed out. “I can’t be mad. I can just forgive her. I can’t forget it.”

Local accountant Barry McIntosh originally filed the open records request for Morris’ spending. He did it as a private citizen, concerned about a practice that no one else seemed to notice.

“You’ve got entire invoices that are nothing but gift cards,” he explained to Housing Authority board members at a recent meeting.

“I’m hoping that through all this there can be an open, frank, honest discussion about where the failure was that allowed this to happen.”

 

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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FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR GENE TRAMMELL

January 13, 2017

A memorial service for Comm. Gene Trammell will be held at 11:00 A.M., Monday, January 16, 2017, at Monticello Presbyterian Church, with visitation to follow in the church fellowship hall.

gene-trammell

Clarence Eugene “Gene” Trammell

Clarence Eugene “Gene” Trammell, was born in Sumner, Georgia, March 22, 1947, and died January 12, 2017, in his adopted hometown, Monticello, Georgia. He was the son of the late Merle Hancock and Clarence Hall “Bo” Trammell. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Charles Walker Trammell.

Gene married his childhood sweetheart, Norma Jeanne McGill forty-nine years ago. He graduated from The University of Georgia, and then returned home to dairy farm. After a farming accident, he returned to UGA where he completed his Masters of Science in Vocational Agriculture. He later earned his EED degree as he continued his work in public education.

He pursued his career in education, moving his family to Roberta, Georgia, where he taught vocational agriculture. He was elected to the post of Crawford County School Superintendent in 1988, serving there for eight years before accepting the position of Baldwin County School Superintendent where he served until 2007. After moving to Jasper County, he served as interim superintendent for one year before retiring.

In retirement, he continued to be involved in civic and church work. He served on the Jasper County Board of Commissioners for four years. He was also active in the Monticello Presbyterian Church where he was an elder.

He is survived by his wife, Norma Jeanne McGill Trammell of Monticello; daughter, Shannon (Patrick) Barton of Monticello; son, Clem (Jackie) Trammell of Rome; grandchildren, Mac Barton, Avery Barton, Camille Trammell, and Madeline Trammell; sister, Mary Alice (Fred) Newlin of Jerricho, Island; brother, James (Linda) Trammell; and eight nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Monday, January 16, 2017, at Monticello Presbyterian Church, with visitation to follow in the church fellowship hall.

Honorary pallbearers will be Carl Pennamon, Doug Luke, Bruce Henry, Craig Salmon, and Mike Benton.

The family suggests in lieu of flowers donations be made to Monticello Presbyterian Church, P. O. Box 308, Monticello, Georgia 31064; or Never Too Late Foster Home, P. O. Box 181, Monticello, Georgia 31064.

Jordan Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Please visit our website at http://www.jordanfuneralhomemonticello.com/

 

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CHAIRMAN PENNAMON TAKES COMM. SALMON TO TASK FOR GOING BEHIND BOC’S BACK AFTER DECISION WAS MADE PREVIOUSLY

January 12, 2017

 Comm. Salmon has repeatedly tried to dismantle the rumble strips at Bethel Church Rd. and Hwy 212 W.  This time he worked with a citizen living on Bethel Church Rd. to contact DOT, and then tried to push the rumble strip removal without going to the BOC for a vote.  According to emails received through open records, Comm. Henry wanted it on the agenda for discussion.

 When this issue came up for discussion, Comm. Pennamon had a few choice words for Comm. Salmon.  Watch this video.

 

 Pennamon emphasized that anything already voted on by the BOC, should be brought back to the BOC to see if they want to re-visit it– NOT go behind the rest of the BOC’s back to get your way when you lost the vote.  He also said that this situation–Comm. Salmon going out on his own contacting DOT and working behind the others backs– has caused a lot of conflict with DOT.

 

Comm. Salmon had excuses…..this was all done by a citizen.  But admitted he pushed this with the County Manager, and contacted DOT and the county attorney about it.  Watch the video.

Salmon  also admitted that he didn’t ask to have it put on the agenda.  Why not?  So he could have it done without any other citizens knowing about it?

Remember, Comm. Salmon is the one that said he didn’t think there was a problem at the Bethel Church Rd. intersection as almost weekly wrecks were occurring.  He and the BOC rejected various ideas that were repeatedly presented to the them  on how to stop all the wrecks, and eventually the death of a young man.  Once a solution was put into place by DOT, the wrecks stopped, but Comm. Salmon can not seem to leave it alone.

The rumble strips are rough.  The rumble strips are loud.  They were put in that way by DOT, and as Doug Luke said back in February, there was a reason to do them that way. 

After discussion, the BOC decided the set of strips furthest away from the intersection on each side of Bethel Church Rd. will now be removed to help the noise level for the citizens living nearby. 

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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SYNOPSIS OF 1/9/17 BOC MEETING

January 11, 2017

what-happened

 

The 1-hour work session on Public Works consisted of putting out bids to have some of the county paved roads milled (ground up) and renting a crack sealing machine.  (More detail to follow in a separate post.) 

Carl Pennamon was voted in to be Chair for one year; Bruce Henry will be Vice-Chair.  Sharon Robinson continues as Clerk.  David Ozburn was appointed as County Attorney and Jim Alexander will be “assistant county attorney.”  Both were present at the meeting.

Paul Kelly was appointed to the P&Z Appeals Board.

The BOC voted to rent a crack sealing machine for $1500 per week

Quotes on a Crew Cab Flatbed were discussed.  This item was NOT put out for bids as required.  Instead, the County Manager and Public Works director solicited quotes on used trucks.   Since the truck was not diesel and had no warranty, the Public Works director was told to look for a similar truck that was diesel.

Magistrate Judge Tim Lam requested that the BOC allow new legislation allowing him to appoint his own clerk for Magistrate Court; however, the BOC voted 4-Ø to allow Dan Jordan to continue as the clerk.  (More detail to follow in a separate post.)

 

Bethel Church Road Rumble Strips were discussed thoroughly and despite voting in February to leave them as they are, the BOC voted 4-Ø to take up one set of strips on each side of Bethel Church Rd.  (This will be a separate post with video and more detail.)

The County Manager was authorized to meet with the county engineer to draw up specs for grinding and base prep for 1 mile of road.  The specs will be used to solicit bids that will be used as a unit price for all roads to be milled.

 

Pittman Paving mobilized on Goolsby Rd. on Monday and was to start milling the road and laying down asphalt on Tuesday.   There were puzzled looks from the crowd, as the BOC has always said it has to be 60 degrees and above to pave.  The high temperatures have been in the 40’s.

The new Landfill building has been put in place, and EMC still needs to install the electric.

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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BOC TO HOLD WORK SESSION ON PUBLIC WORKS –MONDAY 1/9/17 AT 5:00PM

January 7, 2017

Mack Tillman Dr1.070715.done by PW

Monday night the BOC will once again discuss Public Works—and the emphasis here is on “discuss.”  Over the past 3 years, the BOC has discussed reorganization.  It has not happened yet.  They have discussed changing Public Works schedule back to 5 days a week instead of 4.  It has not happened.  They have discussed training.  That has not seemed to get any better results.

The only thing that has happened is, the BOC listens to the rhetoric from the County Manager and the Public Works director, but never opens their eyes to the reality of what is going on.  Buying new equipment that the employees do not know how to use seems to be the only thing the BOC does when it comes to Public Works.

TWG has reported on various problems with the work Public Works does (and we use the term “work” loosely).  Included are pictures and videos.  The BOC seems to ignore it all.

PUBLIC WORKS CAN DO A GOOD JOB PAVING ROADS— GENE TRAMMELL SAYS SO

 BOC WILLING TO BUY MORE EQUIPMENT AND HIRE MORE PEOPLE SO PUBLIC WORKS CAN “DO THE JOB”

WHAT DO PUBLIC WORKS EMPLOYEES DO ON A RAINY DAY LIKE THIS?

THE REAL REASON WHY ROADS IN JASPER COUNTY ARE A MESS

WHEN YOU ARE THIS INEPT YOU SHOULD BE FIRED, NOT CODDLED–ANOTHER PUBLIC WORKS DISASTER

JASPER COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS—ANOTHER EPIC FAILURE

MORE EQUIPMENT FOR PUBLIC WORKS & OTHER WAYS TO SPEND MONEY

A BIG PILE OF ROCKS SCRAPED OFF THE ROAD BY PUBLIC WORKS

The director and/or his job supervisors seem to be doing anything but supervising and making sure the work is actually being done and is being done properly.  Remove, replace, and start over seems to be an idea worth considering.

If your road is a mess, come to the work session on Public Works Monday night at 5:00PM.  If you can not attend, call the Commissioners and let them know your ideas for a more productive Public Works in Jasper County.

District 1 – Carl Pennamon 
District 2 – Bruce Henry
District 3 – Gene Trammell
District 4 – Craig Salmon
District 5 – Doug Luke

 

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

www.facebook.com/taxdogs

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