November 27, 2015
TWG must question the lack of meetings and items on the agenda in the past 3 months. September 21st, October 5th, and November 2nd are the only meetings that the BOC has had in the past 3 months. The 11/2/15 meeting had 2 “old business” items and 3 “new business” items. The next meeting is scheduled for 12/7/15. Very few items have been discussed recently, yet we all know business is being conducted.
Open meetings laws state that a quorum of commissioners can not meet together or it is considered a meeting. Last week 3 commissioners –Carl Pennamon, Gene Trammell, and Craig Salmon—were seen together in a local restaurant. Pennamon and Trammell left together, while Salmon stayed to talk with David Dyer, EDA director.
Maybe it was during one of these out-of-the-public-eye meetings that these commissioners decided to put out a “Grant Administrative Services Request for Qualifications.” This request for “Grant Administrative Services for a FY2016 CDBG Project” was never approved in a regular BOC meeting, yet it has been advertised in the local paper for the past 2 weeks.
On August 3rd the BOC approved the Grant Writing Firm of Allen-Smith Consulting without bids. (See THE BIDDING PROCESS ONLY MATTERS IF IT DOESN’T INVOLVE SOMEONE GENE TRAMMELL WANTS), This was another deal that was made with an out-of-the-public-eye meeting between Pennamon, Trammell, Dyer, and a representative from Allen-Smith Consulting, and then pushed on the other BOC members, who were clearly out of the loop.
We want to be able to trust our Commissioners, but we can’t. They continue to meet and discuss issues in private and never bring them to the light of day.
The Request for Qualifications for Architectural Services—for the proposed Recreation Multipurpose Building that will also house the Senior Center– is also advertised in the paper. It was approved on 9/21/15 by the BOC.
This proposed building has been discussed out of the public eye. SPLOST was approved with $300,000 voted in for a multi-purpose building. However, Trammell and his cabal have bigger more expensive plans for this building –$300,000 + a $500,000 grant + “more money” per Comm. Pennamon. The taxpayers will then pay for more staff, more maintenance, more insurance, etc.
Both of these “Requests for Qualifications” are to be submitted by 5:00PM on 12/14/15. The ad does not state when these proposals will be opened or discussed by the BOC. We will just have to wait to see what is actually done in a public meeting—as required by Open Meetings Law—in awarding these contracts and letting the public have a say in the scope and cost of the project that is clearly more than what was approved in the SPLOST vote.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.