DID YOU KNOW?

January 21, 2015

 DID YOU KNOW…

….That AT&T is out of compliance because they don’t have the new cell towers operating yet?  

The permits issued to AT&T stated that the towers had to be operating within 120 days. They are not. Many of the towers have been built and have a red light on top but that is all. David Dyer, Economic Development Authority director and the county’s cell tower consultant, told the BOC, “AT&T is clearly out of compliance with what the BOC approved.” The answer was to send them a letter requesting information on non-compliance. Mr. Dyer consults for The Center for Municipal Solutions, which was paid over $55,000 in 2014 for his consulting work on these cell towers.
 

….That Sherry Braley is now over Animal Control as well as Planning & Zoning, Code Enforcement, and Building Inspection?

We were shocked to learn that Ms. Braley has been given more job duties when the ones she has had are not being done. Coming in to work before 10:00am also seems to be a challenge for her. Here is an interesting comment about Code Enforcement (the lack thereof) from a resident of Turtle Cove:

“And the lovely house on MeadowLark that’s caving in, also with the Boat on the side covered by KUDZU….and the box springs and mattresses. It’s a regular landfill there. and has been Several years.”

The County Manager, Karen Degges, supposedly oversees Ms. Braley’s duties and gave her the new Animal Control position. When did Ms. Braley become qualified for this position?
 

….That the County Manager said by converting the fiber at the Landfill into electricity it would mean $60,000 in savings?

As usual with the figures she throws around to the BOC, Ms. Degges gave no backup for this claim, and in fact the BOC seemed quite skeptical that such a plan would work. However, they gave Ms. Degges until May 1st to prove her hypothesis, then if her plan didn’t work they would proceed with removing the fiber as EPD has required. Ms. Degges never mentioned how much it might cost to get the “$60,000 in savings,” but this BOC never worries much about cost or where the money is coming from.

Ms. Degges had told the BOC and citizens previously that former landfill operator Billy Jones was brilliant and it was worth paying his mileage back and forth to work and putting him up in the Monticello Motel two nights a week because he was going to find ways to increase revenues at the landfill. After the county (taxpayers) paid for his classes and his landfill license ($600), he left the county’s employ with no brilliant ideas given and no new revenue.

 

….That Comm. Craig Salmon still doesn’t have a site address posted as required as of 1/20/15?

Jasper County Ordinances require site addresses, and regular, every day citizens have been cited for lacking them, but not Comm. Salmon. He seems to be above the law. Citizens have 10 days to comply with the law. Comm. Salmon just doesn’t comply. He is also violating the county ordinances by having mud coming off his driveway out onto the paved road in front of his house.

 

….That in answer to several that have asked, Yes, that really was a picture of Karen Degges’ desk.

And to hear people talk, that was a picture after it had been cleaned up!

 

….That the County (taxpayer) pays for 16 employees to have Verizon cell phones?

Recently added to the list of employees granted the privilege of county paid cell phones are Sharon Robinson (“Administrative Services Director”) and Mike Benton (Financial Director). Exactly why these 2 employees need a cell phone is unknown, as these positions have not had cell phones in the past. Comm. Gene Trammell did have a cell phone, but turned it in 5 or 6 months ago. Instead of his phone going to one of these employees, oh, no, they had to have new phones, which the county paid for. In fact the county paid Selective Solutions $32.50 each just to program email on Sharon Robinson’s and James Gregory’s cell phones. Several months after Comm. Trammell turned his phone in, the county still paid the monthly bill until it was finally removed from service.

The employees that have county Verizon cell phones are:

  • Brad Cherry, Building Inspector
  • Jarret Slocumb, Fire
  • James Gregory, EMS
  • Sharon Robinson, ASD
  • Animal Control Director (whoever that might be now)
  • Mike Benton, Finance
  • Jay McMichael, Recreation
  • Karen Degges, County Manager
  • Billy Norris, Coroner
  • Animal Control worker
  • Animal Control worker
  • Sherry Braley, P&Z/Code Enforcement/etc.
  • Commissioners from District 1, 2, 4, and 5

This list does not include Sheriff’s deputies that also have Verizon phones.

We agree that some of these positions need a county cell phone, but how they are used by some is questionable. For instance in October 2014, James Gregory had 26 minutes of talk, 95 texts, and 1,446,784KB of data usage. This is more data usage than 13 of the other lines combined. There is also one line being paid for under Animal Control that has no usage at all.

 

TWG

Mission Statement:

** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed as to where and how their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and laws being discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending, and lower property taxes.

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4 Responses to DID YOU KNOW?

  1. Sam says:

    I think our county manager is wasting her time and our money trying to turn fiber board into electricity.

    Obviously when producing electricity with wood/fire you need to create steam to turn turbines, so one big issue is water supply.

    Almost all electricity is produced by heat, usually by burning coal, oil or natural gas, sometimes by using fission reactions. (Exceptions are hydroelectric which uses the energy of falling water to power a turbine and diesel-powered generators which are relatively inefficient). A key element in each case is some means of converting heat energy into rotary motion. This is typically done with a steam-driven turbine (regardless of the fuel source).

    Therein lays the problem. Steam at high enough temperature and pressure to be useful is difficult to produce and control. Some type of heating vessel or boiler is needed that is strong enough to contain the desired (high) pressure. Temperature must be maintained and controlled. The steam output must be directed to where it is needed.

    Assuming all those requirements are met, one still needs a turbine and a generator and a lot of labor to keep the system running and an adequate source of water and probably a license from the state. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “payback period” was 200 years.

  2. LR Short says:

    So, are no new businesses to be allowed as start-ups in Jasper County unless they come by the way of paying hefty tribute to David Dyer via his consulting gig at The Center for Municipal Solutions? By the way, Dyer also happens to be the very well-compensated executive director of Development Authority of Jasper County. Is this not double-dipping on the part of DAJC employee David Dyer?

    How did this rotten, bastardization of free market capitalism in Jasper County come to be? Isn’t it enough for new commercial venture to come before the BOC and apply to operate a business sans the requirement of stuffing cash in a middle–man’s pocket to assure a fair hearting at a BOC meeting?

    The free market system in Jasper County is broken and can only be repaired by removing the power of any opportunistic third party to deviate private enterprise opportunities in the country for personal gain, and begin to allow all entrepreneurs a fair chance at competing on level playing field.

    The question remains, will the current BOC man-up and perform their sworn their duty as representatives of the citizens of Jasper County by welcoming all industry sans the need for third party pay-offs or will they continue to shirk their responsibility by playing third string to the whims of credit pimps and self-appointed consultants?

    Income Inequality Is a Problem—When Caused by Government Meddling
    Political-economic systems throughout the world are built on deeply rooted and long-established systems of privilege for the well-connected.
    Sheldon Richman | January 22, 2015

    Unlike market inequality, political-economic inequality is unjust and should be eliminated.
    How? By abolishing all direct and indirect subsidies; artificial scarcities, such as those created by so-called intellectual property; regulations, which inevitably burden smaller and yet-to-be-launched firms more than lawyered-up big businesses; eminent domain; and permit requirements, zoning, and occupational licensing, which all exclude competition. These interventions and more protect incumbent firms from conditions that would lower prices to consumers, create self-employment and worker-ownership opportunities, and improve bargaining conditions for wage labor.
    Instead of symbolically tweaking the tax code to appear to be addressing inequality—the politicians’ charade—political-economic inequality should be ended by repealing all privileges right now.
    http://reason.com/archives/2015/01/22/income-inequality-is-a-problemwhen-cause

  3. gary says:

    How much is the county getting as revenue on the new towers?
    On another issue!
    The county roads department installed a clay product(mine tailings) on lots of road in jasper county. This clay is terrible to drive in when it is wet. It sucks yoj right into the edge. And of course they installed it on sharp curves and grades. I understand the product was free.
    Now what are they goIng to do. Rock would have worked a lot better but I understand its not free. The property taxes in this county are very high and it seems we the citzens should at least be able to trust the county to improve roads not make them worse.

    • taxdogs says:

      The county gets NO revenue from the cell towers unless the property value is increased and the property taxes assessed are higher. The property owner does get revenue from the owner of the cell tower.

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