November 13, 2016
This week Gene Trammell was elected as District 3 Commissioner (and probably will be elected Chair once again), and will serve in that capacity for the next 4 years. He billed himself as a progressive.
In the next 4 years Jasper County citizens will be asked to spend more money on everything—starting with another SPLOST with some needs and mostly wants. Then there will be a push for TSPLOST another tax supposedly for roads, but not just for Jasper County. The TSPLOST promoted by Gene Trammell during his campaign was for a “regional TSPLOST”.
In 2017 the 10 year comprehensive plan for the county will take place. This is where Gene and his teammates can fundamentally transform Jasper County from the rural, peaceful living we have now to more growth, more debt, more traffic, more crime, more, more, more.
Let’s remember some things from the past 4 years to predict the next 4 years, and just what is a progressive?
Bernie Sanders has long billed himself as a progressive, also describing himself as a “democratic socialist.” Hillary Clinton liked to say, “I’m a progressive who likes to get things done.” Based on the last 4 years, Gene Trammell has many things in common with Sanders and Hillary—spending lots of taxpayers’ money and hiding things from the public seems to be something they have in common.
One of the first things Gene Trammell did when he was elected in 2012 was to write the Attorney General and try to keep the public (in particular the TWG) from getting a copy of the agenda packet before the meetings. Both county managers serving under him –Lorri Smith and Karen Degges, were directed to keep the detailed copy of the county attorney’s invoices from being made public. Another letter to the Attorney General stopped that nonsense. It has been his legacy over the past 4 years to work behind closed doors and out of the public eye.
Under his “leadership”, the county staff has been micromanaged on a daily basis. Trammell said at the forums that he had to be at the county office 3-4 hours a day. Why? No other chairman has ever been allowed to do that by the sitting BOC or by the Monticello News, which used to call out anyone that even questioned day to day operations, must less directed them on daily basis. Trammell was also the one that said he was too busy to come to the courthouse to sign checks. Go figure!
Gene Trammell blew off the theft of thousands of dollars by a county employee that converted cash to her own use and was paid if she showed up for work or not. His answer to the citizens that commented about this situation—“It’s covered by our bond.” He trivialized the theft.
When TWG reports on the Public Works department not working, doing one sorry job after another, or wasting time and materials, Trammell’s response is to write the County Manager an email and ask him how they can counteract TWG. He doesn’t seem to be interested in actually fixing the problems, just covering them up. Trammell then suggests buying more equipment, like a milling machine, when Public Works can’t even fix a pot hole or gravel a road properly.
Gene Trammell has said he works with his team. He and his team have raised taxes each year over the last 3 years and has more than doubled the county debt over the past 3 years. His team has a penchant for conducting business out of the public eye, and there is a stunning lack of improving roads or anything else in the county over the last 3 years. The citizens of Jasper County should expect more of the same over the next 4 years.
Now there are going to be some, our Jasper County elite group, that don’t like information like this being published by TWG. Since they haven’t been able to prove it is false, they just label it (and TWG and “some people”) as negative. What that really means is they were not able to set the narrative or keep certain issues a secret from the citizens.
We have many positive things about Jasper County; the best being a rural, small, quiet community. It is why people move here. Constant “economic development” and increasing debt threatens that way of life. Gene Trammell’s progressive agenda is something that will have to be watched closely for the next 4 years.
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.