March 5, 2009


After reading letters to the editor recently, one would think that Jasper County is the only place in the entire State or Country  that isn’t being affected by the continuing economic crisis.   TWG has followed the budget process, the commissioner’s comments, and the articles written in the paper for the past several years.  We’ve compiled a time line of how things have progressed.

·         2006 tax bills go out in October. 

·         Taxes are paid in November & December 2006. 

·         Tax Commissioner turns taxes over to county to be used for next year’s (2007) operations.

·         In 2006, financial staff uses money for final 2006 expenditures, cutting 2007 funds.

·         2007—same scenario, except in October 2007, CFO asks Tax Commissioner to turn over funds as soon as possible. 

·         Taxes paid in 2007 for 2008 operations again are used for 2007, cutting funds for 2008.  

·         After 2 years of this, the County was short at least $750,000 in September 2008.  ($500,000 loan authorized and $250,000 CD cashed in to operate.)

·         No cut backs made, instead County Manager is given 7.79% raise and 4 staff members are “reclassified,” given a new title, and given additional raises on top of their 3% raise

·       $500,000 worth of paving equipment purchased with borrowed money. 

·         Employee takes trip to Las Vegas for a week. 

·         Consultants are hired and studies are to be made.

·         County Attorney paid over $80,000 a year (his rate is $3 per minute and the County Manager calls him about every detail for any decision to be made. The county has even been charged for the attorney to review meeting agendas!!)

The only thing that will get us through these tough economic times is for the BOC to have a backbone and make the tough decisions.  Stop spending.  Demand the County Manager have a plan that will cut expenses.  All other counties have cut back, and not just one time, but they continue to cut.

The County Manager will look into it just like he has so many other things, but nothing gets done. The County Manager appears to be a burden to BOC. The ineffective management of this county has been disastrous.  We elected a new board to do something, and we hope they will follow through.


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** We advocate more open government, less government spending, and lower property taxes.

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