May 29, 2016



Last Monday night 3 commissioners, Trammell, Pennamon, and Salmon, rammed through the FY17 budget without ever advertising, allowing any citizen input or even allowing the public to view the budget.

Despite the fact the agenda listed FY 17 Budget Discussion, Gene Trammell was intent on passing the budget.  Comm. Bruce Henry tried to make clear they were not at that meeting to pass the budget.  Listen to what was said during Commissioner Comments:

As the discussion progressed, including meeting on Thursday night to finalize the budget, Trammell wanted to have a motion to set the millage rate.  Salmon immediately jumped in and made the motion with Pennamon seconding, and the 3 voted to approve it.  If you were at the meeting, it was obvious Luke and Henry were not expecting this.  Watch this video:

Luke and Henry did not vote for the budget.  The 3 that did vote for this budget did it illegally!  That’s right, none of the State laws concerning the adoption of budgets were followed.

Since all these Commissioners are “certified” (at about $10,000 each of taxpayers’ money) and have attended numerous ACCG & CVIG classes, you would think they would know about the “Legal Requirements for Adopting a budget ordinance or resolution” put out by ACCG.  With their legal counsel sitting right there (at every meeting), you would think he would have known about the State Law–OCGA 36-81-5(f).

The budget voted on May 23, 2016 was adopted illegally due to:

  1. It was not advertised as required by law
  2. It was not put out for public view as required by law
  3. There was no public hearing as required by law
  4. It was not even on the agenda –what was on the agenda was budget discussion. (Old Business: 1. FY2017 Budget Discussion), not budget adoption.

In order to be a legal budget all these things must take place:

  1.  The board of commissioners must hold at least one public hearing on the budget. O.C.G.A. § 36-81-5(f).
  2. The public hearing must be held at least one week before the adoption of the budget. O.C.G.A. § 36-81-5(f).
  3. A notice of the public hearing must be prominently advertised at least one week in advance in a newspaper of general circulation.
  4. A prominent notice of the meeting to adopt the budget ordinance/resolution must be published in a newspaper of general circulation (in a location other than where the legal notices are published) at least one week before the meeting to adopt the budget. O.C.G.A. §§ 36-81-6(a) and 36-81-5(e).

This means a legal budget cannot possibly be voted on until June 16th because the BOC must advertise, hold a public hearing, and then hold an advertised meeting to approve the budget and to set the millage rate.

Hopefully during the next two weeks the BOC can find a way to cut the budget and not use “fund balance” of $488,520 and another $58,955 of curbside money to pay for the expenditures over the revenues This BOC has used “fund balance” every year they have ever set the budget instead of making expenditures the same as revenues.

 All commissioners need to be involved in setting the budget, not just two and the County Manager.  The 2 commissioners (Luke & Henry) that voted against this budget have another chance to make things right if they can find one other commissioner to do what is best for the taxpayers of Jasper County.


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.




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12 Responses to $9,967,090 BUDGET ADOPTED BY BOC ILLEGALLY

  1. A. Cox says:

    The people of this county seem to know the answers yet they continue to vote them right back in. I was amazed by an email sent by Doug Luke to a Jasper County taxpayer a few days ago. Doug tried to blame the landfill cost overruns on what he called the “Mary and Alan BOC” , (2008-2012) no Doug, want to know where the problems came from…check with Carl Pennamon. He was there when a landfill we did not need was set up for Georgia Pacific who could not sufficiently support it. Quit trying to pull an Obama and blame your predecessor. Also, the “Mary and Alan BOC” made Curbside exemptions possible for circumstances where they were warranted and I personally arranged this with Advance Disposal. It did not cost the county anything to do it. Before you blame someone’s loss of a Curbside exemption on landfill cost overruns, do some research the two (Curbside and Landfill) have nothing to do with each other at all.

    Very disappointed with your excuse for a failure to act.

  2. Aiwa says:

    I would take bets that Gene Trammell has no clue what the details of the budget are. His only interest is to pass it as soon as possible so he can spend more money. His fondness of debt and financing everything anybody dreams up has put and will continue to put Jasper County residents in the position for higher taxes for years to come. I agree with the other comments. Trammell has to go!

  3. Majority Rule Captured By Special Interests says:

    This illegal meeting was just one on many Trammell engaged in with co-conspirators Craig and Pennamon to push special interest agendas in Jasper County. Obviously, Luke and Henry were not privy to their latest scheme to rig the Jasper County budget process. Their votes were not needed. Majority rules again.

    Jasper County can survive two backstabbing conspirators on the BOC, but overcoming the devious machinations of three is insurmountable .And, this is why Trammell must go.

  4. David M. Sheppard says:

    Amazing that we as Jasper County Tax Payers have to put up with excuse after excuse when it comes to the poor conditions we experience with our roads in this county. Appears we need a re-vamping of the entire Public Works Department. If County Manager would just drive Fullerton Phillips and Goolsby Roads he can see for himself just how quickly we are loosing these two roads. We pay our tax dollars and we should expect to be able to have roads that don’t include excessive and massive pot holes and terrible conditions such that we have now regardless of the excuses I myself have been involved with phone calls – letters- and even attending BOC meeting and now a year later nothing has been accomplished. Just amazing in my opinion.

  5. Ann Stone Fisher says:

    In my grandfather’s day this BOC would have been tarred and feathered, so to speak. Legal battles would not have been necessary. The taxpayers of our county have allowed this to happen over a period of time by being too busy to pay attention. Let’s try to stop it from getting any worse.
    Thanks Watchdog Group! for all you do that the ordinary citizens can’t.

  6. Just Sayin says:

    Chairman Trammel, we get you’re in a hurry to get what you want at BOC meetings, but this budget fiasco should serve to slow you down. O yeah, Mr. county attorney, looks like you should send whatever monies you charged us taxpayers for attendance at this meeting to Mrs. Patrick, as she has done the job you should have done. Commissioners Bruce and Luke thanks for paying attention and attempting to look after your constituents. Commissioners Salmon and Pennamon vote the way Chairman Trammel has instructed them in an earlier “private” meeting.

  7. Deja vu says:

    You would think the county attorney would have enough moral conscience to prevent commissioners from violating the laws commissioners are supposed to adhere to. But no—-both lawyers who sit in at meetings blatantly allow the commissioners to do as they #%&^ well please. CP has been on the board for decades yet allows this to happen. The man is either intellectually deficient, or does not care, or both, and I am inclined to think it is a combination of the two. The same conclusion could be said for the other board members and the county attorney. Tax dollars spent on schooling the board is a total waste. It is a true miracle that my commissioner Luke suddenly is concerned with high taxes right before his election, yet has previously gone along with the spending and taxing spree. I do thank him and Henry for voting against this budget. Maybe there is a glimmer of hope for them yet. What needs to happen is for enough commissioners to get a set of gonads and stand up to the bullyTrammell. He is leading the BOC around as if they have a ring in their nose and from many outside observations they are perfectly fine with that. He is the most incompetent and narcissistic one of the whole bunch and that is saying a lot.

  8. Scrap Recovery says:

    Can we say Law suit!

  9. Are you surprised? says:

    Of course, the budget approval was illegal. What else do you expect from this board? They have gotten away with illegal meetings; approve spending that was obviously discussed prior to a public meeting, etc. They are so emboldened by now that they think they can get away with anything.

    Mr. Osborn’s forte is Employment litigation, personal injury, family law and property disputes. It is clear that he is not well versed in government.

    Our county attorney’s strength is assuring that public comments do not last more than 3 minutes. My 6 year old could probably handle that job adequately.

    Unit we get an Attorney General that will enforce the law, these infractions will continue to go unpunished.

    Our hands are tied. The only recourse we have is at the voting booth. If you don’t like what is going on, vote for change.

  10. Isn’t there some oversight for commissioners who flaunt the law?

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