August 9, 2009


The Monticello Downtown Development Authority appears to be in trouble.  After reading on at least 3 different occasions that the DDA was behind on its bills, the TWG sent an open records request asking for information.  We have copied our request and the responses at the end of this email.  As of today, Sage Edwards, nor anyone else from the DDA has ever provided a cash flow statement that the City of Monticello requested some time before TWG requested it.

When the DDA decided to get into private business, a/k/a The Red Clay Café and Gallery, TWG wrote about it and called members of the DDA.  They assured TWG that this would be a money-making venture and the City taxpayers would not have to help out with the bills.

Based on the information TWG has obtained, that is not the case.  The City has backed this venture with its involvement in the RFL (Revolving Fund Loan) which is now owed approximately $117,000.  Total amounts owed to all vendors as of 6/12/09 were listed at $188,258.85.

Click here to see who is owed and how much is owed by the DDA or go to this link:  http://www.taxdogs.com/DDA amts due 6.1.09.pdf

The City Council seems to have realized that the DDA was in trouble and starting asking questions.  Rod Perry, Chairman of the DDA, was asked for information and he sent a letter to the City telling them DDA needed help.

See that letter here: http://www.taxdogs.com/DDA help Perry letter 6.4.09.pdf

DDA’s solution is to borrow MORE money, $15,500 from each bank or $31,000 in additional debt, and increase the loans to 15 years.  This will help them catch up what they owe to vendors and on the loans.  This sounds like the government thing to do.  Borrow more money, go deeper in debt, and hope everything works out and if it doesn’t the taxpayers will have to pay the bills.

See proposal here:  http://www.taxdogs.com/DDA proposal on debt 6.15.09.pdf

The City taxpayers need to keep a close watch on what is happening.  Nothing has been said or written in the local paper about what is going on 2 months later.  City taxpayers just had their property taxes raised as well as a big increase in sewer charges and another increase in the water charges.  Get ready for more as you help bail out the DDA.


Date: Saturday, June 20, 2009, 4:45 PM

Dear Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem,

After reading in the Monticello News on at least 3 occasions that the Downtown Development Authority is behind on its bills, we are requesting the following information under the open records act. 

A list of the vendors owed by the DDA and the amounts of the past due bills.

A list of vendors owing the DDA and the amounts due to the DDA by those vendors.

A copy of the record of DDA’s cash flow as requested by the City from DDA.

The amount of the 2 loans being refinanced by the DDA and which banks they will
be financed and the rate of interest charged.

Date: Wedneday, June 24, 2009, 2:25 PM

This is the official City of Monticello response to your request for information (attached) dated June 20, 2009.  Most of the records you have requested have not yet been submitted to the city.  Please request those directly from Ms. Sage Edwards (betterhometown@bellsouth.net).  We have attached the pdfs for two letters we have received from Mr. Rod Perry, chairman of the DDA, which contain some of the information you have requested, and are the only documents we have that relate to your request. 

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. 

Thank you.
Bob Schwartz
City Manager
City of Monticello


Open Records Request

Monday, June 29, 2009 1:51 PM


To: "Taxpayer Watchdog" <taxpayerwatchdogs@yahoo.com>

Mrs. Nowenter & Gazaway,

 I am just now able to read your email request, my computer has been down with no internet access in addition to a nonfunctiong printer.  Once I am working with a fully operating computer I will honor your request as soon as possible.  Thank you.

Sage Edwards


Mission Statement:
** 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 laws being discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending, and lower property taxes.

© 2007 Taxdogs.com. All right reserved.
Privacy Policy / Terms of Service