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March 4, 2009
 

REC DEP’T DIRECTOR SUSPENDED, INVESTIGATED, RESIGNS

 

 

Rumor has it that Mr. Shipp has been investigated for starting and running an umpire association while he was the Director of the Recreation Dept.   That umpire association was the only umpire services used by the Rec Dept.  Why were there no bids for other umpire services?  Mr. Shipp also umpired while serving as Director.  The buzz is that Mr. Shipp was making additional money from this umpire association by billing the county for services.

 

The recreation department has had numerous complaints for years without any action being taken to correct the problems. It appears that the “old” recreation board did not control or they did not care what went on and did nothing about the lack of work being done at the Rec Dept fields or about complaints.   TWG questions just who supervises the Rec Dept employees?   The answer is nobody!

 

The Rec Board came before the BOC at the 2/16/2009 meeting and acted like they had never had any complaints (said they had only had one) and that no one had ever volunteered to help out with all the work that needs to be done. Talk circulated during the BOC meeting that  there was a meeting of the “old” Rec Board before the BOC meeting to” get their story straight.” When asked if there was such a meeting, two Rec Board members acted very surprised and said they had not had a meeting.   The BOC should have disbanded the Rec board then, and appointed new members. Instead they gave them another chance.  The BOC did ask a Rec Dept employee to step down off the Rec Board and appointed Karla Tuggle to take her place.

 

A few days later the Rec Board reorganized itself by electing a new chairman.  During the meeting the old chairman Lamar Crawley was called out of the meeting by County Manager Greg Williams.  After talking in whispers, Chairman Crawley left and showed up at the Washington Park Gym to talk to Don Shipp.  The next morning both men were seen at the County Manager’s office and not long after it was reported that Mr. Shipp was on suspension pending an investigation.  By Monday March 2, rumors circulated that Mr. Shipp had resigned from his position as Recreation Director.

 

Criticism and controversy surrounded Mr. Shipp for years.  People complained about nothing being done, the Recreation facilities in need of maintenance, grass not mowed, uniforms not available until 2 or 3 games into the season, no accounting for any receipts, and more.

 

The BOC will appoint another member to the board at its next meeting.  Would it be better to disband the board completely and start over?  Who will oversee the employees or will it continue with no oversight?  Now is the time to contact the commissioners and let them know how you feel about the future of Jasper County’s Recreation Department.


TWG
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