April 22, 2015

Does that sound crazy to you? It probably does, but it was what our County Manager, Karen Degges suggested doing for a new “Fireline Pumper Truck.”

Karen Degges told the BOC that there was a “demo unit” available, but as is her regular habit, there were no bids solicited. The county purchasing policy requires bids on a purchase of this size; however, with Ms. Degges that purchasing policy is something she frequently tries to get around.

Watch the video of Ms. Degges trying to convince the BOC to go ahead and buy the pumper without bids:


At the :53 mark, Ms. Degges tells the BOC that “we have a pumper truck that we need to replace because it needs $4000-$5000 of repairs to be useable.” The cost of the demo pumper truck would be $217,000 plus $18,000 of equipment according to Fire Chief Jarret Slocumb.

The BOC had already approved the repairs at the previous BOC meeting. When asked by the Comm. Pennamon if the repairs had been made, Mr. Slocumb told the BOC they had not because the County Manager wanted him to wait until “this” meeting. Mr. Slocumb also said that the truck had only been out of service since the last meeting (2 weeks).

Despite knowing that the truck needed less than $5000 of repairs, the BOC voted to ask for bids on a new/demo pumper truck.

Would any hard working citizen in Jasper County consider spending their own money to buy a new piece of equipment for $235,000 vs. paying for a $5000 repair?

It makes it a lot easier to spend money when it is other people’s money or SPLOST money or grant money , and it doesn’t come out of your own pocket. It is something governments do well.

 Govt Waste




This entry was posted in Bidding, County, Fire and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Samuel Hay says:

    Looks as though you have some decision makers there who may only have partial mental capacity. I was a fireman for years and a pumper is a pumper. We rebuilt ours several times. Save your money and use it to keep stations open. I heard Newton is closing about four of theirs! Threaten to quadruple ATT’s taxes on existing facilities or improve cell service. You are holding all the cards. WAKE UP PEOPLE.

  2. Alan Cox says:

    Seems to me we get what we allow…I have not been to a BOC meeting in two years because my focus has been in selling my house and putting some distance between me and this county. Those of you who plan to stay here need to go to the meetings and see how this county is being run.

  3. Ahgast in Jasper county says:

    I wonder how many fire trucks and sheriff cars could have been bought and paid for with the thousands and thousands of our tax dollars wasted by the county manager on filling the dirt road ditches with sand and mismanagement of landfill finances?

  4. LR Short says:

    There was a time in the not –so distance past when Jasper County government, mirroring the frugality of its citizenry was a government of savers, but somewhere along the path of so-called progress, a government of fiscal responsible savers morphed into one administered by spendthrifts whose wants are never limited by the county government’s ability to pay.

    Can we own or lease a pumper truck for less than $5000 a year? I sincerely doubt it.

    If a $5,000 repair will save the county $ 230,000, then that’s a no-brainer …and if the repair only lasts another year, then that’s another year we’ve had the opportunity to save towards paying cash.

    Jasper County government should get it priorities straight. Instead of spending millions of our tax dollars on crony corporate welfare under the guise of economic development and continually bailing out the deceitfully conceived deadbeat Jasper County Water Authority, a sane conservative county government would have been investing those hard-earned tax dollars in roads, fire stations and law enforcement. You know the real business of government sans the graft and greed.

    Perhaps if Jasper County government quit playing at investment banker and instead started applying those crony corporate welfare bucks towards improving our infrastructure, then county taxpayers wouldn’t to be gouged with more debt every time the Sheriff’s department needs a new patrol car or a firehouse needs a pumper truck.

    Due to the vacuous leadership of those who like to imagine that unfettered public debt is a natural incubator of prosperity, we the pernicious taxpayers are now forced to borrow for even the most basic equipment needs of county government, while the freeloaders at DAJC, Four County Development, JCWSA get generously funded with our tax dollars during closed door executive sessions…no questions asked.

    We get what we allow.


  5. Robb Leggett says:

    What you have to understand is the pumper that needs repairing is old as dirt. This will not be the last time this truck will need to be repaired. The safety of the Jasper County citizens is one reason that Chief Slocumb would like to replace this truck. It doesn’t make sense to spend $4500 now to repair this truck only to have to spend another $4500 later and so forth and so on. At some point you have to cut your losses and get something newer. The truck that needs to be repaired is not worth $4500 after the repairs are done. If you are going to tell the story then tell the whole story and not just the part that makes you look good or someone else look bad. I don’t agree with everything that Mrs. Degges has done however in this case I don’t believe that Jasper County should repair this truck. It needs to be replaced with something newer and with something that the Jasper County citizens can depend on to get to the emergency it needs to respond to and be capable of doing the job. This old pumper truck is not what this county needs.

    • taxdogs says:

      We did tell the whole story as it was presented in the BOC meeting. If there was more to the story such as you have written, we would have presented it. However as usual, only particular things are discussed in the meetings. This is why we post video.

  6. James says:

    There is a reason for getting bids on high dollar items. In our business we get bids on everything over $1000 but if we know there are several suppliers we will bid out items costing $400 or more. We save money this way and the county could as well if they wanted to. No one in our company can circumvent the bid process. The #1 reason for circumventing the bid process is KICKBACKS.

  7. Bobo the Sad Tax Mule says:

    The circus is in town and the county manager is the ring leader.

  8. Jamiie says:

    What the heck. Ms. Degges has the attitude that taxpayers are her personal source of infinite funding for any project she sees fit. She is also an expert adviser on any purchases or projects the citizens of Jasper county may need. You know the type, she has superior knowledge on any subject you wish to discuss with her, and she will quickly infer that she is far more qualified and experienced than the simple minded people she has to deal with.

    I keep equipment and vehicles for decades with proper maintenance. I use common sense to determine when it is more economical to replace parts rather than replace equipment. I save major dollars and the key word is MY money. I do not have the luxury of tapping the taxpayer bank account at will.

    My question is, how many commissioners have actually talked to the fireman who have far more experience knowing what they need regarding this issue? And also, how many commissioners have actually done their due diligence to make a decision which is best for taxpayers.

    It is about time the BOC get a set and make the right decisions on their own, and stop totally relying on the CM whose competence leaves a lot to be desired.

  9. Gayle says:

    Are they crazy.

    Gayle Gray


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