May 31, 2016

Truth Prevail


This morning the following email message was received from Gene Trammell concerning the blog, “$9,967,090 BUDGET ADOPTED BY BOC ILLEGALLY.”




From: gtrammell []
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8:47 AM
To: Mary Patrick
Subject: budget
ust for the record, what we did was not illegal.  I do not understand why you persist in reporting half truth and pure lies.  We did not vote to advertise a budget, we voted on a millage rate that we could live with.  We working with a 16 mill, 16.25, and 16.64 mill all of which are more than a mill lower than last year.  The three two vote was based not on budget but on use of fund balance.

It doesn’t bother me what you write as long as you are truthful and do not insinuate things that are not true.

I’m not mad, just disappointed because I know you know, but purposely choose to make an issue where no issue lies.  If you remember, the question was not “who will make a motion to approve a budget, it was, who will propose a millage rate.


Here is the response to his email:

From: Mary Patrick
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 10:07 AM
To: ‘gtrammell’
Subject: RE: budget


I did not lie or choose to make an issue where no issue lies.  The issue is the public has been completely shut out of the budget process.

To help you recall what happened:
The motion was, “I’ll make one.  I make a motion for the millage rate to be set at 16.446 and the proposed FY 2017 budget to be $9,967,090.” –Craig Salmon

It doesn’t matter what you “called for”, this is what the motion was and what was approved, with you voting for it.

And you did intend to approve the budget because here’s what was said at the meeting and was videotaped.  Comm. Henry, “You said the reason for this meeting was to approve the budget.”  Comm. Trammell, “Yeah.”  Comm. Henry, “It’s to look at the budget, I don’t know if we are actually going to approve it but we’re going to look at it.”  Comm. Trammell, “Well, I hope we do.”

And with a vote of 3-2 you did approve it.

Mary Patrick


Comm. Trammell is correct, they did not vote to advertise a budget.  The exact point of our last blog.  Comm. Trammell then says the vote was about the use of “fund balance,” not on the budget. Sorry, Gene, but there was no mention of “fund balance” in the motion.

So what is true?  Was the FY17 budget passed on May 23, 2016 or not?

Here are some facts to consider:

  • An Open Records request asking for a copy of the FY 17 budget was received from Mike Benton stating, “Find attached a pdf of the FY 2017 budget book that was approved 5-23-16.”
  • This video shows Comm. Henry’s concern about Comm. Trammell saying they were at the meeting to pass the budget:  
  • This video shows Comm. Salmon making the motion, which includes approving the proposed budget of $9,967,090

We have also posted below a 10 minute long video of a conversation that the Sheriff and the BOC had AFTER the vote on the millage and the budget (one vote) was taken.  During this conversation, Sheriff Pope keeps asking about his budget—why would he even be asking about it if it had not already been approved??

Please note the following on the video at the times listed:

@ beginning—“I know you voted on a rate and an amount.”

@4:18—“We did the bottom line number and it isn’t going to change.” 

@4:40—“We just voted on…. and established that in the budget.”

@6:50—Mike Benton explains what was approved.

 The question is, “Did they approve the budget or not?”  The facts and the videos show they did, and despite what he says, Comm. Trammell certainly intended to do so at that meeting.  The problem is, he and the BOC just didn’t do it properly. 

Instead of just saying, “Hey, we failed to do it properly, but we’re going to advertise and hold a public hearing and approve it properly;”  Trammell has come up with the excuse it didn’t even happen.

You decide, was the budget approved or not?



This entry was posted in Budgets, County, Open Government, Sheriff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. What Say Ye, Commisioners Pennamon and Salmon? says:

    I would really like to hear Commissioners Pennamon and Salmon weigh in on this issue. Did they cast a vote to approve a budget or not? I think it would be decent show of respect towards the taxpayers of this county if these two commissioners would make the minimal effort to enlighten the readers of TWG by explaining what they thought they voted YEA on.

    Is a public statement addressing the readership of TWG by those we elect to lead Jasper County into the future too much to ask?

    • What Say Ye, Commisioners Pennamon and Salmon? says:

      Apparently, Messrs. Pennamon and Salmon both agree that explaining their millage rate vote in a public forum dedicated to keeping the taxpayers of Jasper County informed is not something they care to engage in.
      Their degree of responsibility displayed towards keeping their constituents informed reflects directly on the level of trust their district should place in these two political puppets. Follow whom they serve and you will learn what these two public debt pawns are really all about.

  2. David M. Sheppard says:

    Thanks for your excellent recap Ms. Patrick. I personally am amazed at how our County Government handles the peoples business. Not sure what it is going to take for the Citizens to get informed such that I now am to make actions at the voting booth to make the changes necessary it appears. Keep up the great job.

  3. Having a senior moment says:

    After seeing the video and reading the Monticello News on what transpired during that meeting, it sure sounds like the millage rate and budget was set and voted on.

    It doesn’t really matter. Even if the BOC were going to advertise and let the citizens comment on the budget, it would be for show only. Many citizens commented on the last couple of budgets. They pleaded with the commissioners to reduce spending in order to reduce the tax burden, to no avail. They are not going to sharpen the pencil and look at the budget.

    A precise and detailed agenda would not only help the citizens, but help the commissioners remember what they were going to discuss and approve. A good detailed agenda could benefit Mr. Trammell tremendously as he cannot easily recall what he said or promised. He promised us that our taxes would not go up and we might even be paying a little less than last year. With a budget increase of almost half a million dollars, that is not going to happen.

  4. Decisions Decisions says:

    What I am trying to decide is if Trammell is in the early stages of dementia or if he is just delusional. If not that is it that he has great trouble telling the truth?

  5. Just Sayin says:

    There are none so blind as those who will not see

  6. With Trammell, Same Old.... says:

    What is “approved?” Semantics, sophistry and exaggerated untruths. It is all Trammell brings to Jasper County. He cannot get gone soon enough.

    Thanks TWG for being there for Jasper County.

  7. cheryl nowetner says:

    sounds like you hit a sore spot with the Chairman. He hate’s it when someone reports on the back room votes and discussions which go on all the time. All you have to do is be on the square and watch just how often certain BOC members go in.

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