June 27, 2007
Hearing on Proposed 2008 budget to be held
June 29, 2007 at 9:00 AM
month or two ago our Commissioners discussed and debated,
for about 45 minutes, mid-month meetings and when they should
be held. It was decided that IF there was a mid-month meeting,
then it should be held
at NIGHT so the public could attend.
Well, true to form, the Commissioners will be having an
“end of month meeting” (so that probably isn’t the same
thing as a “mid month meeting” and doesn’t qualify) to hold
a PUBLIC HEARING on one of the most if not the most important
meetings of the year—setting the budget and thereby setting
your property tax bill for the next year—at 9:00AM on a
See how this
will affect you and your tax bill: http://www.taxdogs.com/061907proptax.htm
June 21, last Thursday morning at 9:00AM, the BOC held a
in which public comment was not encouraged and allowed only
“at the discretion of the Board.” During that meeting Ed
Westbrook—Fire/EMS/911/EMA; Larry Thurman—Public Works;
Chris Anderson—P&Z/Code Enforcement/Animal Control;
and Sheriff Roper—Sheriff/Jail attended and “answered questions”
from the BOC.
common theme throughout the morning was “nothing in the
budget could be compared to last year’s budget” and there
were many, many errors in the budget.
(These comments were directed at the County Manager and
CFO.) Nevertheless, there is a Public Hearing (8 days later)
this Friday where the Commissioners are likely to be as
confused this Friday as they were last Thursday. Being confused
and not understanding is a good excuse to pass a budget
and then complain during the next year about how things
got in there. Two commissioners—Bernard and Pennamon—have
constantly complained this year about how they didn’t have
time to go over the budget last year and how they would
just HAVE to approve things that came up because they were
“already in the budget.” They have both repeatedly said
that there should be a line by line review of the budget
this year before it is passed. There is plenty of time
to do that, but our Commissioners already have a tentative
agenda for July 10th with both the budget being passed and
the millage being set. Event though our Commissioners take
no responsibility for anything, the budget is what THEY
approve and have supposedly reviewed. (Don’t count on the
from the June 21st meeting:
more staff to deal with sex offenders and illegal
aliens. He said he really needs a
full-time deputy to deal with just sex offenders.
$63,000 a year for courthouse security
deputies to take Spanish classes so
he doesn’t have to hire an interpreter.
complained about salaries being lumped so they couldn’t
compare, and this was common with all departments on the
a new truck to help with wildfires (TWG wonders is
this for Jasper County or so that Ed can travel out
of town and help other counties)
one fire truck has a busted tank and wants a new truck
(no one questioned if it could be repaired, why it
hadn’t been repaired, cost to repair compared to new
he lowered salaries by getting rid of Overtime and
hiring Part Time people.
was brought up that EMS had already spent $73,000
for OT this year to date and budget for entire year
was only $18,000 for OT. Ed was told to adjust
the budget or adjust his management
- Ed wants
a new ambulance at $87,000 but wants it now and take
out of 2008 budget
- Again complaints
by the Commissioners about couldn’t understand the budget
and how it was laid out.
He said he had 6 pieces of equipment down to do work—grading,
potholes, other PW dep’t work
they needed to purchase new equipment to do everyday
work—what they had was beyond repair—He needs equipment
now—would cost $75,000
brought up $478,000 sitting in 2007 budget for equipment
and commissioners immediately decided county
should purchase PAVING equipment—not the equipment
said the roads need to be fixed—Thurman assured him
he had the men capable to do the paving. In past meetings,
the BOC was urged to hire out paving of the roads
so there would be bonding in place.
then announced that a DOT person looking at Jasper
County roads said “Jasper County
had some of the best roads in Georgia.” TWG
wondered just which roads he was taken on!!!
Anderson—Animal Control/P&Z/Code Enforcement
Control –have hired part time person and want additional
$3000 raise for AC officer because she has to supervise
crematorium (even though commissioners nor AC committee
EVER received real cost figures—including costs to
run). AC officer now does euthanizing instead of Butts
part time help for Code Enforcement was being paid
by Curbside services. BOC wanted that verified.
Clerk will be retitled to Zoning Administrator and
get $3000 raise.
The BOC adjourned
and sat the next meeting—Public Hearing—for next Thursday,
but changed it to Friday because Comm. Hill and Comm. Yarbrough
(who was absent again) couldn’t make it the next Thursday.
encourage you to attend, but understand why you can’t. You
have to keep working to pay your ever increasing property
tax bill. After the public hearing, we will send you a copy
of the budget and some of the outrageous items in it…that
you’ll be paying for unless you call or email your commissioner.
Their telephone numbers and email addresses are on our website
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how
their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and
discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.