January 28, 2015

Queen DeggesRemember folks, just a couple of months ago, Karen Degges repeatedly told the BOC she and existing staff could do all their own work and all the work for JCWSA with it costing nothing!

Folks, you can expect another big tax increase in the near future. Karen Degges has hired another employee to help her with her job. The position is an “Administrative Specialist.”

According to the job description, this position is responsible for providing administrative and clerical support to the Executive Department. One of the job duties is to provide secretarial and administrative support to the County Manager by taking messages, returning calls, maintaining appointment calendar, and typing memoranda, reports, and correspondence. This position will have Karen Degges, Mike Benton, and Sherry Braley as supervisors.

 See all the job duties here–
(right click link and open hyperlink)

Since Ms. Degges has taken over the realm of Jasper County and set herself up to be the empress, she has fired all those she had to work closely with and replaced them with “her own people.” From four people doing the job (including the County Manager) in the BOC office, now there are six, and each new person does part of the job the County Manager was hired to do.

First it was Lathaydra Sands, a 10+ year employee; she was replaced.

Then it was Kathy Skinner, the 11 year EMS billing clerk who Karen Degges moved in the BOC office to help answer the phones and other work, as well as do the EMS billing work. She was soon replaced by “an auditor” named Debria Murphy that Ms. Degges hired.

Then Phyllis Studdard was harassed and fired and replaced with former Angel Foods Ministries CFO, Mike Benton who took half of Ms. Degges’ job and became Finance Director at an added $21,000 a year over what Ms. Studdard was making.

Then in September Sherry Braley was given an $.83/hour raise with another $2.00 per hour raise in December. This raise was given in two steps to avoid having to get the BOC to approve it. Ms. Braley was making $16.00 per hour and with her 18% pay raise, she now makes $18.83 per hour. There is no explanation on her pay sheet as to why she was given the $2.00/hour raise.

Now a new job has been created as Administrative Specialist and a new person started in this job on Monday, January 26 at $12.00 per hour.

Over and over the BOC talks about needing more help at Public Works and how they are shorthanded. However, our roads continue to deteriorate and are not maintained properly (putting plate dirt in pot holes is not maintenance), yet the County Manager continues to dole out her own job, piece by piece, to new employees.

People continue to wonder just where the money is coming from, but the County Manager keeps assuring the BOC that everyone is within budget and things are grand in Jasper County.   Until the audit is presented and made public, we can’t believe anything about the finances because it truly appears that Karen Degges does not know or understand finances.

There is always a good reason to keep hiring more people. That reason seems to fit here in Jasper County– When you lie your way into a job you can’t do, then you have to hire more and more people to CYA. It appears that is exactly what is happening in Jasper County and for some reason the BOC just won’t stop it. At the next BOC meeting we are going to hear about “re-organization,” which is nothing more than an excuse for hiring all these extra people (oh, yeah, and to bring us into the 21st Century)!

Remember folks, just a couple of months ago, Karen Degges repeatedly told the BOC she and existing staff could do all their own work and all the work for JCWSA with it costing nothing! Now all of a sudden Ms. Degges has to have help taking messages, returning calls, maintaining appointment calendar, and typing memoranda, reports, and correspondence.  Just what does she actually do to earn $85,000 a year??

 Another big property tax increase is coming! Bet on it!



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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  1. Sam says:

    Does this new administrative specialist live in Jasper County or reside in neighboring counties like so many recently hired people?

    If he/she lives outside of Jasper County, will he/she get a car allowance or mileage pay, like some?

    I don’t remember the commissioners voting to approve these special privileges for a select few.

  2. Shirley Arnold says:

    This is only a small particle of what takes place in this small town . The leaders could stop some of this if they were here for ” all the people ” and not just to glorify themselves and upgrade their own life styles. Why do we keep putting them back in office? Let’s put a stop to this when election day rolls around again!!! I would love to hear an answer to Dewey Fisher’s question!!!!

  3. Drsaid says:

    Just recently a community in Jasper County was on the verge of financial ruin due to wasteful spending, falsely projected revenue, padded budgets and increased dues. Fortunately the members of this community were proactive and nipped it in the bud before we experience total ruin.
    I encourage our commissioners to show a little more concern about our county’s financial situation, mismanagement of funds, wasteful spending and a padded budget can spell disaster for our county.

  4. Robert Billings says:


  5. LRS says:

    TWG, thanks again for keeping the taxpayers of Jasper County up to date on the shenanigans of their shady county government. If not for the spotlight of TWG, the county taxpayers would be sitting in the dark waiting for accurate news of how our government is being run.

    I keep expecting adults to rush in at any minute and take the taxpayers candy sack away from the children before they rot all our teeth out , but apparently there are no responsible adults to be found.

    How many people does it take to manage paltry 8 million dollar budget? Do we really need six people to do the work of one or is it that the one needs six scapegoats to cover the mismanagement of the job itself.

    When it comes to managerial skills, we now know that the people of Jasper County were sold a pig in a poke which actually turned out to be no pig at all…just the poke.

    “I [Gene Trammell] am a retired educator with the last 20+ years as a school superintendent. In this position I was responsible for an annual budget exceeding 40 million dollars with 900 plus employees.”

    “Mr. Salmon has experience with managing multi-million dollar business segments, developing positive relationships with both internal and external customers, and performing risk assessments and implementing plans for improvement for municipalities, utilities, schools, health care facilities and major manufacturing plants.”

  6. Missy says:

    Anybody who paid attention could tell that the county manager lied when she said that the current staff had enough time to run the day to day operation of JCWSA.

    The FY 2015 budget was increased by $586,901.00 resulting in a 2 mil property tax increase. There is enough fat in the increase to pay for some extra employees and still claim that we are on budget. When all else fails, we can finance capital improvement items such as ambulance, fire trucks, public works equipment etc.

    I have long believed that the county manager has too much decision making power. The commissioners seem to be happy to let her make decisions and run the county. There is hardly ever any push back from the commissioners when she comes up with ideas to spend money, all in the name of moving our county forward and into the 21st Century.

    We pay high property taxes with very little to show for. In addition, voters approve SPLOST, yet our roads have major issues and seem to get worse each year.

    If you want businesses and people to move to Jasper County, we better have decent roads to get there.

  7. Bob says:

    It looks like Karen Degges can do as she pleases because there is evidently no one she has to report to . In the chain of command she must be at the top. Bob

  8. BOBBY PITTMAN says:

    this is so informative which we had a website like this in our county.

  9. Linda Collins says:

    I can’t understand the board not looking into the finances of Jasper County. If I was told I had more money coming in, I would definitely want to see proof before I spent the money. Jasper County is a poor County, so how and where does the board think this money is coming from

  10. Dewey Fisher says:

    What recourse do we have to get rid of the problem of Karen Degges and her entourage?

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