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.