April 2, 2015
Should county decisions be HIS way or what the citizens want?
A citizens meeting was called to get information about the landfill being for sale and the newly created Solid Waste Authority. However, neither Comm. Trammell nor Comm. Henry who attended answered one question tonight.
When Comm. Trammell got up to speak, he started off by saying that he had the “best interest of the county” at heart and that is why he was elected. But he never would address any of these questions:
- If this Solid Waste Authority (SWA) is so great and wonderful, why was it done in secret? It wasn’t even on the agenda the night it was done in Executive Session and voted on afterwards. No one could have known about it.
- Who are the investors and the partners he referred to? Citizens asked repeatedly, who were they? Why couldn’t we know? Why shouldn’t we know what their background was and how they conducted business before coming into our county?
- Trammell did say, “No deals have been made.” His idea of representing the citizens seems to be to tell us what has been done AFTER it is done.
- Speaking of deals—why does this BOC, and especially Comm. Trammell and the county attorney think all deals should be made in secret in Executive Session or over the telephone?
- How much is this going to cost the citizens? The only figures available were what the County Manager had produced. It was asked if any figures that the BOC were working from were audited by an engineering firm? If not, all this was just assumptions, and the assumptions were to justify what the BOC was doing.
- Even though the proposals done by the County Manager had “debt” from $7M – $10M to help a partner, no comments by Comm. Henry or Comm. Trammell were addressed to debt or exactly what would be done at the landfill—other than “to get someone to come in and operate the landfill was the best thing to do.”
Secrecy was a word used frequently during the meeting. Why is all this secret? Part of that problem is this BOC has let the County Manager do everything, and they don’t do their homework to find out if she, Karen Degges the County Manager, has used “projections” or actual information based on fact. There are way too many meetings with Comm. Trammell and the County Manager; in fact, these meeting are done on almost a daily basis.
Obviously, the BOC doesn’t think anyone in Jasper County is smart enough to know what is going on, but the questions asked and the information presented by Mr. Joe Johnston and his committee proved that the citizens know a lot more than the commissioners, County Manager, and county attorney combined. We might not know about the deals, but we do know the effects of these deals.
One gentleman brought up the fact how he had thought it would be good to have commissioners that could work together. However, now that they all get along, we have secrecy, deals, and lies. The citizens are left out—except, of course, when it comes to paying for all the deals and the debt they create.
Even though Henry and Trammell both said this is only for C&D waste, the question is then, why do we need a solid waste authority for only C&D waste? The resolution says, including, but not limited to, the acceptance of regulated amounts of qualified Construction and Demolition Waste.
What this leads to is doing things in increments—behind closed doors without the public knowing until it is too late. Today it is just C&D waste; what will it be tomorrow or next year? Only the SWA will know.
The citizens all raised their hands showing the commissioners present that they wanted the SWA Resolution RESCINDED. Here are the reasons why:
- The BOC and the citizens will lose control of what is brought in to the landfill
- The landfill will be run by others for profit only. How good is this for Jasper County?
- There is opportunity for Solid Waste to be brought into Jasper County, and the SWA can (by State law) condemn property.
- The BOC passed the resolution illegally without any public input or hearings, and without even putting it on the agenda.
The citizens also suggested that the BOC set up a citizens committee to research alternatives and give suggestions rather than going into a partnership with anyone outside Jasper County. Why can’t this be done and what is the rush—especially since “no deal” has been made yet?
The Commissioners were elected to REPRESENT THE PEOPLE. Comm. Trammell seemed to forget that tonight when he said, “I’m going to do what I think is right.” Watch this video of his comments:
Trammell said he was “being straight with us.” No one can believe that when he didn’t tell us anything or answer any questions. He also said that all the truck traffic would be on State Roads and then even went so far to say “we didn’t pay for those.” Really? Who does he thinks pays for them? Trammell even said he lived on a State Road—Smithboro Rd. is now a state road? Because of the arrogance shown at the meeting, it is hard to believe anything we are being told. This BOC thinks it knows best and the people of the county will like it because the BOC doesn’t plan to be questioned about anything!
The BOC meeting is Monday night, April 6th at 6:00PM in the Courthouse. We need everyone to show up for this meeting and let the BOC know we want the resolution rescinded. We do not want a regional landfill or someone else controlling it. Since the Chairman didn’t read it before he voted on it—and it had to be “cleaned up” by the county attorney, it is all the more reason to rescind the resolution. It probably isn’t even the same resolution they voted on!
Comm. Trammell had a new excuse tonight for “what he meant” when he said hadn’t read the resolution. Watch this video.
After he said there were “misspelled words” so he hadn’t really read it, the crowd reacted with laughter. They had a hard time believing this explanation.
Remember, the Commissioners come and go, but they saddle people with debt, more taxes, and problems forever! It is time they listen to the people and this SWA is stopped before it goes any further!
Please attend the BOC meeting Monday night, April 6th, at 6:00PM in the Courthouse!
Your comments are welcome. We also urge you to contact your commissioner about this issue.