December 1, 2016

An open letter to JDA in response to their DEMAND letter.

Dear JDA,

I didn’t realize YOU had already made the decision that the $1.1 Billion of bonds were NOT secret.  I guess I didn’t get that message, because I personally still believe they were secret.  I base my opinion on the following facts.

Why do I say the $1.1 BILLION of JDA bonds were secret?

  1. There were no reports mentioning the amount of the bonds in any local paper in any of the 4 counties from 2012 to 2015 that I could find.
  2. There were no reports mentioning the amount of the bonds in the Atlanta Journal -AJC (regional) from 2012 to 2015 that I could find.

  3. There were no reports mentioning the amount of the bonds in Atlanta Business Chronicle (business) from 2012 to 2015 that I could find.

  4. The bonds were never mentioned in any of the JDA’s own annual financial compilations from 2012 to 2015. That is until the 2015 financials were released after the January 2016 revelation; then suddenly the $1.1 Billion of bonds were mentioned in the financial notes.

  5. The amount of the bonds were hidden in layers of documents. There were four or five documents (some with 100 pages or more) that had to be read, each one mentioning another document, before the bond amount of $1,136,600,000 was mentioned.

Maybe all the other citizens in the 4 counties except me knew about these bonds.  However, if everyone else had known, it doesn’t seem likely the JDA would be so concerned that you had to send your lawyer to every BOC in the 4 counties to explain and assure them that the $1.1 Billion of bonds would never be the counties’ liability.  If everyone already knew about the bonds, why was the JDA so upset when questions started arising, and why did you react with such intensity? 

Andrea Gray, your lawyer, has contended that the bonds were revealed to the commissioners and school boards in 2012, but in reality only the tax incentives given to Baxter were openly revealed.  Even the documents signed by the School Boards (I have copies of Newton’s and Walton’s) only mentioned tax incentives, not bonds.  I was a commissioner at this time, and took very good notes at the Charlie Elliott meeting and every other meeting—no bonds were ever mentioned.

The JDA says the issue of the “secrecy” of the $1.1 Billion in bonds for Baxter was settled in January 2016 and DEMANDS a retraction of my statement that the bonds were secret and very, very few people knew about them.  My opinion is based on the above facts, and I stand by it. 

Mary Patrick, Chair
Taxpayer’s Watchdog Group, Inc.

This entry was posted in County, Economic Development, Open Government and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. We standy by you says:

    Thank you for standing up for the citizens of Jasper County.

    There is a saying: If you don’t stand up for something, you will fall for anything.

    Commissioners should think about that saying.

  2. Mary Patrick For Citizen Of The Year says:

    I think it deeply disturbing that any publicly financed organization such as JDA would use our hard-earned tax money to employ Gestapo strong arm tactics to silence a taxpayers’ advocate. How close to the truth must Mary Patrick be getting for Steve Jordan and his cronies on the JDA to send out their attack dog Andrea Gray to shush her up?

    Mary Patrick at the head of TWG, has earned more trust in Jasper County than all of JDA members combined. Mary Patrick was the first to take a stand against Jasper County getting involved in Newton County’s Bear Creek Reservoir project and all she got for her troubles where accusations of being “Negative “ and not moving “Forward “ from the same gang of self-serving opportunists that got us involved in JDA’s perpetual money pit.

    Well now, we know.Mary Patrick was right to speak out against Jasper County getting involved in Bear Creek Reservoir and Steve Jordan was wrong for trying to push the county into a 50 year contract with Newton County. Newton County has paid a high price for trusting Steve Jordan’s buddy and Adrea Gray’s former boss, Tommy Craig, the self- styled water consultant and the former attorney for Newton County and JDA. Tommy Craig has led Newton County down a path of fiscal ruin and if not for Mary Patrick , Jasper County would have been on that path too.

    So yeah, I will take the word of Mary Patrick over Steve Jordan, Andrea Gray or any other members of that crew of backroom dealing Tommy Craig associates any day of the week.

    Here is a prophetic quote for TWG readers.

    ” The taxpayers could be paying several millions of dollars for a reservoir that doesn’t exist and might not ever exist.”
    Mary Patrick

    Jasper County has their next Citizen of the Year now. It’s Mary Patrick. Who else (EVER) has saved Jasper County millions of dollars? Nobody that’s who. Make it happen. To do otherwise would be negative. No move FORWARD with it.

    Proverbs 13:20 s
    Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

  3. Ann Fisher says:

    Thank you, TWG for making sure there is transparency for the citizens of Jasper County!

  4. Thomas Raines says:

    keep up the good work keeping us informed. Thank you

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