COUNTY MANAGER TRIES TO STOP CITIZENS’ MEETING ABOUT LANDFILL

StopMarch 27, 2015

This morning at 9:32AM an email arrived in my inbox with a big red explanation point next to it ! (that means high priority) from County Manager, Karen Degges. Here is a copy of that email. Apparently the Commissioners condone and encourage the kind of intimidating correspondence by the County Manager that follows in this blog.

 From: Karen Degges [mailto:kdegges@jaspercountyga.org]
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 9:32 AM
To: ‘Mary Patrick’
Cc: ‘Trammell Gene’; ‘Carl Pennamon’; ‘Bruce Henry’; csalmon@jaspercountyga.org; ‘Doug Luke’; ‘Jim Alexander’; ‘Kathy Mudd’
Subject: Citizen’s Meeting at Fire Station #5
Importance: High

Mary,
Please advise as to who authorized holding a citizen’s meeting at Fire Station #5.  I just talked with the Fire Chief, who was unaware you were advertising an event at County facilities.  I believe you had a similar issue with us allowing Kelly Fox to host a meeting to assist citizens with registering for health insurance last year. I know no one contacted me or Jarrett, and there has been no public vote to approve it by the BOC.

Karen E. Degges
County Manager

Obviously, Ms. Degges had read the blog put out last night by TWG which included information about the upcoming citizens’ meeting on Thursday, 4/2/15 at 7:00pm.

Following are the emails back and forth with Ms. Degges as she continues to try to intimidate and bully me as she copies everyone on the email, including the county attorney and the Sheriff.  Her emails are in purple; my emails are in green

 From: Mary Patrick [mailto:mppcpa@netzero.net]
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 9:36 AM
To: ‘Karen Degges’
Cc: ‘Kathy Mudd’; Bruce Henry; ‘Carl Pennamon’; Luke; Salmon; Trammell
Subject: RE: Citizen’s Meeting at Fire Station #5

It is not my meeting.  I’m just helping get the word out.

Mary Patrick

From: Mary Patrick [mailto:mppcpa@netzero.net]
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 9:38 AM
To: ‘Karen Degges’
Cc: ‘Trammell Gene’; ‘Carl Pennamon’; ‘Bruce Henry’; ‘csalmon@jaspercountyga.org’; ‘Doug Luke’; ‘Jim Alexander’; ‘Kathy Mudd’
Subject: RE: Citizen’s Meeting at Fire Station #5

As a note, Kelly Fox is a highly paid consultant that wanted to use public facilities to make more money.  This is a citizens meeting using the facility they pay for with their tax dollars. 

Mary Patrick

From: Karen Degges [mailto:kdegges@jaspercountyga.org]
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 10:43 AM
To: ‘Mary Patrick’
Cc: ‘Trammell Gene’; ‘Carl Pennamon’; ‘Bruce Henry’; csalmon@jaspercountyga.org; ‘Doug Luke’; ‘Jim Alexander’; ‘Kathy Mudd’; ‘Donnie Pope’
Subject: RE: Citizen’s Meeting at Fire Station #5

Surely you understand the inappropriateness of holding a meeting at a fire station…a facility that is not designed in any way for that use, and would have to be activated for public safety use if a fire occurred in that area of the County that night.  Also, by allowing you to set a precedent, then anyone who wants to set up their yard sale in front of the station every Saturday could do that.  Come on Mary, you know better than this.

In any case, please send me a copy of the signed Facilities Use Form that you obtained in order to hold this event at a County facility.  Otherwise make arrangements to move your event to a more appropriate facility (Thomas Person’s Hall, the Chamber, Charlie Elliott, a church….of course only after getting their permission).

Karen

Ms. Degges always sends her emails to me in this tone, like I’m a little child and she needs to reprimand me and tell me what I am and what I’m not going to do and what I’d better do and how I’d better do it, because Ms. Degges is sure she is in charge of everything in Jasper County.

From: Mary Patrick [mailto:mppcpa@netzero.net]
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 10:36 AM
To: ‘Karen Degges’
Cc: ‘Trammell Gene’; ‘Carl Pennamon’; ‘Bruce Henry’; csalmon@jaspercountyga.org; ‘Doug Luke’; ‘Jim Alexander’; ‘Kathy Mudd’; ‘Donnie Pope’
Subject: RE: Citizen’s Meeting at Fire Station #5

 As I said, this is NOT MY meeting!  Mr. Joe Johnston called for this meeting along with Citizens for a Clean Jasper County. 

Also, please cc: Jarret Slocumb

From: Karen Degges [mailto:kdegges@jaspercountyga.org]
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 10:45 AM
To: ‘Mary Patrick’
Cc: ‘Kathy Mudd’; ‘Bruce Henry’; ‘Carl Pennamon’; ‘Luke’; ‘Salmon’; ‘Trammell’; ‘Jarret Slocumb’; ‘Donnie Pope’
Subject: RE: Citizen’s Meeting at Fire Station #5

Then you better get the word out that you’re holding it somewhere else.

Karen

Now this is the email I liked best. I had better get the word out that I am (even though it’s not my meeting) holding the meeting elsewhere! The only thing she didn’t add to this email, even though it was implied was, “Or else!!”

From: Mary Patrick [mailto:mppcpa@netzero.net]
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 10:38 AM
To: ‘Karen Degges’
Cc: ‘Kathy Mudd’; ‘Bruce Henry’; ‘Carl Pennamon’; ‘Luke’; ‘Salmon’; ‘Trammell’; ‘Jarret Slocumb’; ‘Donnie Pope’
Subject: RE: Citizen’s Meeting at Fire Station #5

Is that a threat? 

From: Karen Degges [mailto:kdegges@jaspercountyga.org]
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 11:36 AM
To: ‘Mary Patrick’
Cc: ‘Kathy Mudd’; ‘Bruce Henry’; ‘Carl Pennamon’; ‘Luke’; ‘Salmon’; ‘Trammell’; ‘Jarret Slocumb’; ‘Donnie Pope’
Subject: RE: Citizen’s Meeting at Fire Station #5

Don’t be ridiculous Mary.  You said you were helping get the word out didn’t you? 

So what Karen Degges started at 9:32am, she ended at 11:36am—2 hours of county time spent harassing a citizen. Of course, when you have 4 other people in the office helping you do your work (or doing it for you), it doesn’t matter too much how much time you waste.

Later in the day, after Comm. Trammell had a discussion with Mr. Johnston, the following email was sent to me by Ms. Degges:

From: Karen Degges [mailto:kdegges@jaspercountyga.org]
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 3:13 PM
To: ‘Mary Patrick’
Cc: ‘Trammell Gene’; ‘Carl Pennamon’; ‘Bruce Henry’; csalmon@jaspercountyga.org; ‘Doug Luke’; ‘Jim Alexander’; ‘Kathy Mudd’; ‘Donnie Pope’; ‘Jarret Slocumb’
Subject: RE: Citizen’s Meeting at Fire Station #5

Mary, I spoke again with Jarrett, and he advised that particular fire station has been used for other events in the past, on a very informal basis.  Jarrett was unaware the County even had a policy on this type of thing, and he has assured me the fire equipment will be positioned so that it could pull out quickly if necessary.

Please be advised that the rated capacity for that facility is 316 people, which must be enforced to ensure public safety.  From this point forward, County policy must be followed and the proper paperwork submitted for use of any county facility.  His Captain gave Joe verbal permission, and we will stand by that informal arrangement this time.

Karen

So, now everything is ok, “this time”, but from now on she will determine if people can meet or not at the Piedmont Community House, which is at the Piedmont Fire Station on Smithboro Rd.

Folks, we don’t want to disappoint Ms. Degges—we need at least 316 people to show up for this meeting! We need to let the BOC know we don’t like behind the door deals like selling the landfill or bringing in regional waste that will affect our quality of life and the wear and tear on our roads. We feel sure Ms. Degges, Comm. Trammell, and one or two other commissioners will show up for this meeting. They like to come and tell the citizens what’s what, even though citizens can’t discuss things at the BOC meeting for more than 3 minutes.

Here’s another reason why you need to come to the Citizens Meeting. The BOC Chairman, Gene Trammell, isn’t even sure there is a resolution for a Solid Waste Authority. That’s exactly what he told me on Thursday, 3/26/15. That he had not seen the resolution! That is so strange since he voted in favor of it after the Executive Session on 3/16/15. So if he’s not sure that there is a resolution or what it says, we need to let him and the others know what we think should happenthey are supposed to represent what we want, aren’t they?

MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND CITIZENS MEETING—APRIL 2ND AT 7:00PM—PIEDMONT COMMUNITY HOUSE—NEXT TO FIRE STATION #5 ON SMITHBORO RD. This is on Hwy 212 E toward Milledgeville, at Smithboro Rd., about 6 miles from the Monticello square.

On another note, the Piedmont Community House was built by the people in that community and it has been used for years for reunions, birthday parties, Easter egg hunts, etc. A few years after the Community House was built, the people in the area worked hard to get a fire station, which was located on the same donated property next to the Piedmont Community House. It is hard to believe that Ms. Degges is now going to be in control of who can use it and when. Of course, she runs Jasper County, not the commissioners.

TWG

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9 Responses to COUNTY MANAGER TRIES TO STOP CITIZENS’ MEETING ABOUT LANDFILL

  1. Roger Resseau says:

    Over the years the Fire Station at Hillsboro has also been used for various community events.
    It was built with local support and operated as such, by local volunteers until the County “took over”.
    Seems our local government are following the trend of the Federal Govt, where they govern by
    “proxy”, allowing hired bureaucrats to run things. Seems Ms. Degges wants to turn the County Government into a totalitarian dictatorship??

    Roger

  2. Swamp Thing says:

    FIRE THE NAZI. She doesnt own the County Facilities. FIRE THE NAZI. I can see this is the tip of the iceberg with this out of control public servant.

  3. Craig says:

    After attending many BOC meetings in Jasper County, as well as other counties, I have observed that all too often our elected officials have the “attitude” that they are somehow far superior in making competent decision than their constituents. This landfill issue is a prime example of how our elected officials are going behind closed doors making deals and decisions without allowing citizen input. This Board is lazy and all too often listens to the county manager and relies on her management expertise to solve problems. This landfill meeting is not a science project or a crisis. It is simply an attempt by concerned citizens of the county to have a meeting to help insure we are not dumped on with more taxes and a decreasing quality of life in the county.

    Ms. Degges turned a simple meeting into a “crises” in an attempt to make it as difficult as possible for the taxpayers to address the landfill problem. Ms. Degges, the BOC, and any other official involved with this landfill undertaking; the taxpayers of this county have a key interest in the landfill, and we are not given the opportunity to address the issues when attending BOC meetings. For you commissioners who read this and say we have three minutes (which is not long enough) – please do not insult us with such a response. Some of us who have contacted our commissioners on this and other issues do not receive a reply, even though a response was promised. This is disrespectful and total disgraceful behavior by our commissioners.

    Back to Ms. Degges. The way she handled this meeting “crisis” shows her total lack of respect for the citizens in their attempt to address a key issue. Her priority is to prevent citizens from gaining knowledge and addressing the problem outside her and the BOC’s control. This demonstrates extremely poor management expertise, and a total disregard for the citizens who employee her.

    Much of the same can be said for the BOC, and for them to continue to allow a county manager to exercise such poor judgment speaks volumes.

  4. Helios says:

    This would be funny if it was not so pathetic.

    “From this point forward, County policy must be followed and proper paperwork submitted.“ Oh yes, we have policies and paperwork for everything, except almost nobody is aware of them. The fire chief didn’t know about it. The facility has been used for many events in the past on an informal basis. There was never a need for paperwork until TWG promotes a function. How long and hard did the county manager have to look for a policy that fit her agenda?

    Commissioner Trammell is not sure there is a resolution about establishing a Solid Waste Authority? Really? There was a draft available the night he voted for it. Mr. Trammell, please contact your office to get a copy or contact the press, they have a copy.

    • Helios says:

      Correction: There is no SIGNED Solid Waste Resolution. There is a fully drawn up resolution just waiting for the commissioners’ signatures.

  5. Alan Cox says:

    Why is there any surprise here? The BOC is a combination of inexperience and puppets of the Monticello gang. The people leading this county are of the opinion that the unincorporated area of Jasper County exists solely for the pleasure and support of Monticello. At the same time you have to realize that this is exactly what the voters of this county wanted. They did not want an opposing opinion. How many times did Kathy Mudd, Monticello News, Editor say that the previous BOC could not get along????? If you have a five commissioner BOC, are they really suppose to agree on everything?

    I for one, believe that the people of this county are getting exactly what they deserve. I really do not know why the TWG continues to fight this battle. I have got to give you credit for being persistent but this county is doomed to being a two horse town controlled by a couple of people and is never going to amount to anything.

    They allow code violations everywhere with incompetent control, they allow the county to be governed by a county manager who is totally out of control, and all they want to do is try and pretend they are moving forward when in fact they are just being used by surrounding counties.

    This county has NOTHING going for it but a lake and there are those who are killing the duck who layers the golden eggs to support their habits.. Within 2 years County Line Road ,the second busiest county road will again be almost impassable and the roads off of it will be nothing but pot holes and muddy areas. Welcome back to 2008.

    I have a house for sale, I will have to take a huge loss on it because we have nothing going for us. No freeways, no good school ratings, no jobs in this area, no decent roads, no infrastructure, high taxes on the lake, minimal police service, minimal medical service, a poorly rated volunteer fire service, and code violations on every corner.

    ALAN COX

  6. gary says:

    I think its fitting that karen deggess becomes the queen of garbage. Lets start sn annual event to commemorate this great acheivement.
    We wil call it trash day we will get t shirts made we will start a trash dash. lets have a parade with a float for her to ride. With a competion to see who can bring in the biggest bag of trash.

  7. Gay Morrison says:

    The last time the citizens of Jasper County had a meeting a BOC member tried to take control of the meeting. We need to set the same rules as they so rudely put in place for us at the BOC meetings. No talking, sneezing, coughing etc… And they will have an opportunity to speak and allowed 3 mins each for comments. We can all check our emails or read a book, roll our eyes etc…while they do so. This would include Karen Degges and we can count out loud how many times she says um in 3 mins.

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