FAULTY FIGURES BEING USED TO MAKE ANIMAL CONTROL LOOK “BAD” TO BOC
June 28, 2015
Why did Karen Degges and Sherry Braley tell the BOC during the budget hearings that Animal Control was over budget by April? Sherry Braley also told the BOC in May that “she” wasn’t letting Animal Control spend anything else because they had already spent their entire budget. Mike Benton, CFO, reiterated that statement.
Is this true? Sometimes open records verify what is suspected.
In this report you will see that $3345 has been brought in at Animal Control during the budget year. It also shows that $190 was deposited during June.
An open records request was filed for copies of the June deposits for Animal Control, and the information was verified by Mike Benton. He stated that there were no checks or cash that had not been deposited on 6/26/15.
If that is true, what happened to the rest of the $900+ of Animal Control money that was turned over to Sherry Braley, Animal Control director, during June? And how much money did Animal Control actually bring in during FY15? We suspect a good bit more than $3345.
On this report you can see that “Personnel” is not overspent. In fact as of 6/26/15, there is still over $7900 left in this category, yet no overtime is allowed at Animal Control. If there is an emergency, tough luck; Animal Control staff is rarely allowed to respond. If they do have to work overtime, the Animal Control staff hesitates to put down the hours they actually worked so they won’t be harassed by the County Manager.
You will also see that “Communications” is over budget by $1200. This might be because three (3) cell phone bills are being charged to Animal Control when only two (2) employees have cell phones. The third phone is/has been used by Virginia Williams, the Code Enforcement officer Karen Degges hired that used to work in Baldwin, GA with her. Why has this phone been charged to Animal Control?
The BOC was told that “Utilities” were so far over budget because Animal Control utilities were costing $7,000 per month. This report shows that for the entire year to date the “electric” bills were $7900—over budget by $2000. BUT, the “natural gas” bills were $1400—underbudget by $1800. Utilities are only over budget by $200.
What is over budget? Vet supplies. Animals that come into the shelter have to be taken care of, and even though this figure is over by $4900, rescue groups do provide food, emergency vet care, and supplies to the shelter at no cost to Jasper County.
So what is the bottom line? The YTD report shows Animal Control still has $2,276.73 left in their budget as of 6/26/15 and the end of the budget year is 6/30/15. There may be end of the month expenses that change this figure, of course, but Animal Control was not over budget in April and they should have been allowed to buy supplies for the animals and work overtime if it was necessary to do their job properly.
The commissioners have allowed Karen Degges and Sherry Braley to give them false information about Animal Control; these two have led the BOC to believe that Animal Control has sky high utility bills and out of control personnel costs. Since the BOC always has plenty of money in “contingency” to dole out to every other department that goes over budget, why not Animal Control?
Commissioners, it is time that you started looking into the REAL finances of this county and what is being spent. It is also time you put a stop to the harassment of employees by your County Manager. Harassment is not leadership!