October 24, 2016
Tonight the BOC held public hearings about the 5-year plan for Jasper County, which according to Comm. Trammell, is a “wish list.” As things were discussed that were already on the list, Trammell asked if anyone had anything to add. This really meant, he had something to add or something else had already been discussed in the usual way—behind closed doors.
Sure enough, Comm. Trammell and Mike Benton teamed up and decided that Public Works needed a milling machine. That’s right, more “paving” equipment, since they are doing such a great job paving our county roads. Trammell said, “We have a good process now for paving if we could work the rough spots out.” Comm. Henry said they needed to have a demonstration, but he too seemed to be all for spending more money on paving equipment.
Charles Forsythe suggested a PLAN for road paving. He recalled how back in 2004-2005, $500,000 of road paving equipment was bought, used one or two times, and then abandoned. He also said this board has talked about triple surface and double surface “paving” of county roads, and is now talking about asphalt. He said, “You need to come up with a firm policy in this county about paving. You need a plan of what to do before you spend the money. A good plan aired to the public about what direction we are headed in.” Of course, this would be so much more complicated than just spending money; the favorite past time of this BOC.
Another item on this 5-year “wish list” (also called the Short Term Work Program) is a $1,200,000 new Senior Center. Mary Patrick asked how many people use the Sr. Center each day. Comm. Trammell said, “56 a day.” That figure was questioned by Mrs. Patrick, and Sharon Robinson said only 20-22 people a day use the Sr. Center. After questioning why the taxpayers should spend $1.2M on a new facility used by only 22 people, Comm. Trammell said “it was grant money”, as if that made it OK to spend/waste the money. Mrs. Patrick stated that that money could be used on something that more people in the county could benefit from. Comm. Trammell then cut off the public hearing.
Comm. Pennamon questioned the Sheriff about his new precinct at Larry’s 4 Way since he, nor any of the other commissioners, knew anything about it but read about it in the paper last week. Sheriff Pope said, “It was a gift,” and he assured the BOC that it would cost the county nothing. No utilities, no rent, nothing.
The Sheriff also pressed the BOC for another building for his increasing staff and need for more storage space, and wanted this added to the STWP and the next SPLOST. Comm. Pennamon asked what about the City building that he (the Sheriff) took over. Sheriff Pope said his “crime suppression unit was using that building.”
Gene Trammell explained at the candidate forum last Thursday evening about how the check process works since the BOC doesn’t sign the checks or see the invoices, but uses the autopen. The next blog will tell you how it is suppose to work, and how it actually works.
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.