HAVING TO FUND CODE ENFORCEMENT SEEMS LIKE A WASTE OF TAXPAYER’S MONEY

July 15, 2014

What? We need code enforcement! Well, do we really have any in Jasper County? Oh, yes, we have someone we pay as a “code enforcement officer”; in fact two people seem to share in this job- Sherry Braley and Brad Cherry. But is there really code enforcement in Jasper County? Let’s look at a few facts.

 ONE–At the end of 2012, Ms. Braley told the BOC she had over 100 active code enforcement citations, many in the Alcovy Shores & Rollingwood Cove area. In 2013 there were only 9 cases that went through Magistrate Court—none of which were from this area. What happened to all these citations? When a request was made for a list of citations, Ms. Braley said she no longer kept a list and didn’t have to because in essence, no one told her to or made her do so. Question: How does the County Manager or BOC know what Ms. Braley is doing if anything?

TWO–Two of the burned out houses that we know of have been brought to the attention of the code enforcement officers. What has been done about it? Nothing. One on County Line Rd. has been sitting for over 4 years.
County Line Rd Burned out house 2014

 

 
The other has been sitting on Hwy 212 W near the lake and Waters Bridge for over a year.Burned out house on 212

There are others like these in the county as well. Sherry Braley has told a citizen that asked, the ordinance in Jasper County states that if there was no insurance on the property, the owner has 90 days to remove the debris; if there was insurance involved the owner has 180 days.

Blighted and burned-out properties are eye sores and bring down surrounding property values. Citizens of this county should not have to tolerate something like this being next door or in their neighborhood for a year, or two, or more. That’s the reason for code enforcement.

THIRD– Code Enforcement obviously has no oversight from the County Manager or the BOC.   So instead of making sure the people we have already hired are actually doing their jobs, we are going to hire someone else to help since Sherry and Brad are just so tremendously busy they can’t even enforce the codes on the books after a year or two of continuing violations.

And to make it worse, there are no logs or time sheets to tell us anything more than they work 8 hours a day. There is no log of what they have actually been doing during the 8 hours and how long each task might take.And if they are so very busy, why aren’t there any court records showing all these numerous violations? How much money has been collected for “violations” by our code enforcement officers and what were the violations?

Answers are very hard to find because when asked, our County Manager/Finance Director, Karen Degges, says all these things are private. She says special care has to be taken to keep everything private until the case is closed and names can’t be released of those given citations. And to even think about seeing anything, a fee must be received up front, and each item must be pulled from a file, etc. However, Ms. Braley keeps no master list and there are no citation copies to review that are kept in numerical order. In other counties you can read in the paper about the citations and violations and the owner’s names are listed! It’s hard to tell if Jasper County just keeps things private so we can’t tell if there are really any citations at all.

Because of all this secrecy, no one can know if we need another code enforcement officer or not. The BOC seems uninterested in finding out who does what and when and for how long in any department. It is easier just to hire another person; it is the government way to do things.

How many times have you gone by the “Planning and Zoning” office to get a permit, pay for your business license, or report a problem and it says CLOSED on the door? It can be any time during the day and sometimes most of the day, and no one is in the office. They are so busy “running up and down the road” as Comm. Luke put it. Doing what, he didn’t say and probably doesn’t know because no one does.

FOURTH— There are blighted properties like this all over the county–with

022814.Meadowlark.BrokenWindow

broken out windows, tires in the yard, and abandoned. This property is in Turtle Cove.   We have been told that there are two old trailers on Jackson Lake Rd. that used to have “red stickers” (condemnation) on them in 2012, but the stickers are gone and the trailers are still there. This is true all around the county. It causes a lowering of values in the area. And isn’t that the reason the BOC had to go up on our taxes? Comm. Trammell said the values were so low that it just wasn’t bringing in enough money to run the county so they had to increase our taxes 2.15 mils just to make it—and to hire another code enforcement officer.

 The county Code of Ordinances (below) will fine a citizen for failing to perform or for doing something in violation of this code. Yet, our code enforcement officers are not fined for not doing their jobs.  We citizens are just taxed more to pay their salaries and give them additional help if they are doing their job or not.

 

 

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6 Responses to HAVING TO FUND CODE ENFORCEMENT SEEMS LIKE A WASTE OF TAXPAYER’S MONEY

  1. LR Short says:

    First off, I’m impressed that an elementary school student is reading the TWG blog .
    While, it’s desirable for young citizens to seek knowledge of how local politics can be corrupted by such a small insidious group as currently running county government, I would have hoped that before your guardian allowed you to log onto the internet, he/she had taken the time to provide proper instruction in internet etiquette and rendered lessons on how to articulate the message one would wish to convey sans the uncontrolled emotional outburst.

    Also, your mentor should have taught you that typing in all-caps is generally perceived as screaming at your reader and unless you want your reader to think that throwing a temper tantrum is intellectually the best you can muster, then you should refrain from typing in all capital letters.

    And, before you went careening off your emotional rails with this brash nonsense; “Is that all you have to do everyday is ride around looking for stuff to write about and how hard you can bash people”, you should re-read and take note of the ignorance displayed in that statement. The only county organization I know of that rides around all day, “writing stuff” and “bash[ing]” people are the very ones you seem to be defending.
    The two tax feeders at the P&Z spend every working hour – thankfully they work so few – engaging in personal threats on property, levying fines and generally harassing the good people of Jasper County, who by the way put the food on their tables, and the clothes on their backs…talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

    I’d like to make one point before closing this missive. The Taxpayer Watchdog Group is just what its name denotes, ‘watchdogs’ (i.e. protectors) of the taxpayer’s interest.
    If you have to ask why the taxpayers of Jasper County needs a community of eyes to watch our six, then you haven’t been paying attention to the years of rampant fiscal abuse inflicted on we the taxpayers of Jasper County by an avarice-driven element of opportunistic, publicly-promoted public debt pimps, who upon every election year, will manipulate some dim-witted puppet clown into subjugating themselves to their will in return for a pat on the head and inclusion into the outer circle of sycophantic satellites or you’re on the Jasper County government’s payroll and harbor fear your free ride may be threatened by too many eyes on your leisurely work week

    In fact, TWG is a very loosely affiliated community of concerned citizens who glean local political news from their neighbors and friends, county-wide and thus, never have to drive anywhere. Maybe if the crony hand puppets now abusing the purse strings of the taxpayers of Jasper County were to make the same overtures for community input on county affairs that TWG has, then perhaps the people of this county would be less inclined to mistrust this government of the back-door deals .

    If ones wants an example of lack of common sense displayed by a county leader and a prima donna Forward Jackass planner, all one needs to do is drive from highway 16 about a mile down Smithboro Rd and look over to your left into the massive hole at the first curve that is the often-flooded swamp where the Third District Commissioner built his place of residence ,which ought to raise the question for all property owners and potential builders , just how does Eugene get a permit to build a home in a federally protected flood plane while others in the county are denied building permits due to their property being located in a mere low lying depression…some Forward planning…more please, said the Team sycophantic morons .

    But I digress, I know this is over your head, so don’t fret over it, but for others who do engage their brains in critical thought, someone should explain to Gene Trammell that We, the People of Jasper County, are not the “customers” of the P&Z nor are we the customers of the BoC as Eugene would have us believe, but in fact, we are the employers of his increasingly progressive leftwing government.

    BTW, I have a life. Come by sometime and I’ll share it with you, but bring your parent. For a teaser, it has nothing to do with controlling my neighbor’s property or seizing their wealth to give to their crony bankster buddies, but based on the founding father’s non-aggression principle of liberty and justice for all. If the government of Jasper County was of the same ideological spirit, the county would be a prosperous county in which to live while enjoying greater freedom.

  2. Jasper County says:

    WOW! Lynn and Mary. Is that all you have to do everyday is ride around looking for stuff to write about and how hard you can bash people? PLEASE GET A LIFE!

    • taxdogs says:

      We don’t have to ride around looking for stuff. People send in information to TWG all the time, including those pictures and other information. Taxpayers are sick of people getting a nice paycheck and free health insurance and never working!

  3. Gay Morrison says:

    I agree, Lynn Nailed this one! They move to the country to get away from the growing counties such as Rockdale and Henry and then get upset when a possum comes up on their porch or a coyote howls not far from their bedroom window and the list goes on. My most favorite one is buying land next to a goat farmer, build a huge house and then complain that they have a goat farmer for a neighbor. Seriously!?!?!?

  4. Roger Resseau says:

    Lynn Short needs an award for this article!
    Roger

  5. Lynn Short says:

    I’d prefer to see the P&Z Department shut down and the money spent on harassing the property owners of Jasper County returned to those who rightly earned it.

    It takes a special type of loathsome character to desire a job which requires the employee to prowl the rural back roads of a rural county looking for property owners to threaten with legal action and hefty fines, just so they can justify the existence of their crappy job.

    Yes, its a person in possession of a special sort of foul spirit who will happily pull into the yard of an elderly person that’s lived in this county all their lives and demand they remove their personal property from their own yard and then place them on costly court supervised probation if they don’t move fast enough.

    There is plenty to offend one without taking petty sensitivities out on neighbors, as anyone with eyes and ears who have been out in public recently can attest. The music, language and pagan appearance of what passes for modern culture is not only offensive, but downright appalling, but we don’t see the culture police out in force, nor do we see parents up in arms attempting to turn the tide of the youth’s descent into cultural barbarianism.

    Yet, all the booger eating, bedwetting urban transplants set their sirens to incessant whine when their neighbor’s property doesn’t meet their hifalutin standards. The fact that most of these easily offended snivelers came here from urban centers to escape the city life, but then set about remake Jasper County into very unneighborly and pompous-ass infested dung heap they left is enough to make one wish they’d stayed where they belong, in their true element..

    And, as far as property values go, your property is worth as much as a buyer is willing to pay you and not a penny more. The tax assessor arbitrarily assigns a value to your property and then uses that value as the metric for which to justify seizing a portion of your hard-earned money , later to be absorbed into the vast system of cronyism masquerading as government.

    Some really slow-witted people seem to think this so called Fair Market Value is really what their property is worth, as if by magic the tax wizard can make your property worth more than it actually is and the crazy part is that a lot of these “geniuses” actually demand their Fair Market Values be increases by the tax wizard…so they can pay more tax?
    LOL…stupid has never been in limited supply. City folk come to show us hicks “how it’s done” …what a cart load…

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