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August 4, 2009

CITIZENS’ ISSUES AT TOWN HALL MEETING

Comm. Payne and Comm. Patrick held a town hall meeting on July 30th.  Members of TWG attended and this is our report on what went on. 

The first issue to be brought up was the County Manager and the “default judgment” in Magistrate Court that was on the front page of the paper.  The question was, “Just how much longer are you all going to tolerate a County Manager that is this inept and incompetent?”  Both Commissioners agreed there were huge problems, and Comm. Payne indicated there would be a new County Manager and the current County Manager most likely would not be back.  During the meeting other issues were brought up concerning the role of the County Manager and the BOC needing to take back some of their authority.  Comm. Patrick said the entire County Manager Ordinance needed to be re-written before a new County Manager was hired.  Everyone attending agreed and the commissioners were reminded that “the buck stopped with them” and they needed to do what was necessary to be able to remove a County Manager for non-performance.

Several people discussed the curbside pick up.  There were new ideas presented as to how to recycle, questions about customer service or the lack thereof, and the ability to opt out.   Both commissioners thought Comm. Cox’s new curbside proposal was a good solution to many problems.

Jackson Lake Rd. and the need for paving was brought up.  Comm. Patrick said she had put the first mile of Jackson Lake Rd. from Hwy 212 toward Hwy 16 on the LARP list, and Comm. Payne added that he put the next mile on his LARP list.  Both commissioners said they knew how bad it was, but there was just no money to do it with county funds and they had applied for stimulus money and grants with no word about receiving any money.

The commissioners were then questioned on Pitts Chapel Rd.  One citizen asked just how much time and money the county had spent with Public Works doing work on Pitts Chapel Rd.  Comm. Patrick answered, “A lot!”  “You’re right, A LOT, and now is the time for Public Works to be fixing and grading dirt roads, not continuing to work on Pitts Chapel Rd.,” the citizen continued.  Comm. Payne agreed and said dirt roads can’t be maintained in the winter and when it is wet because all that does is destroy them.

Scott Cummings of Cummings Grading then got up to talk about Pitts Chapel and the work the BOC approved on it.  He said, “We had the low bid.”  Both commissioners stated he did not have the low bid for the scope that was finally presented by the engineer, Larry Kaiser.  Comm. Patrick said she had read the ad in the paper and that the $465,000 quoted in that ad was for a 4” base that would never hold up under school buses and garbage trucks as well as all the traffic.  Mr. Cummings then said, “That’s what Larry Kaiser told us to bid on.”  Comm. Payne said that Mr. Cummings would need to check with Mr. Kaiser about the bids because the BOC voted to approve the lowest bid.  After more discussion, Comm. Patrick said the scope kept changing every time Mr. Kaiser brought the bids in to the BOC and agreed Mr. Cummings needed to discuss it with the county engineer.

TWG has asked for information on the bids and has received the following information:

Changing Scopes

Final bid results

Please click these links to see the information for yourselves.

Other issues brought up for the commissioners comments were borrowing money to operate on, lack of cooperation by some departments and officials, investigation into the former Rec director and the golf cart at his house, 200 foot road frontage for properties, the code enforcement officer doing building inspections and not being qualified, the building inspector not holding all the certifications required to do inspections, putting people on probation for a garbage violation, and things money was being wasted on.

TWG wants to thank these two commissioners for holding a town hall meeting and listening to the public.  We now hope these issues will be acted on and not just talked about.

TWG
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