November 12, 2007
requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year
--Lloyd Gayton, Pike County Watchdog
Open Meetings, and Lack of Memory
The JCWSA will
hold its monthly meeting Tuesday night, November 13 at 6:00PM
in the Bank of Monticello Annex building. The agenda was
posted longer than the usual 25 hours before the meeting
this month. It was posted either Saturday evening or Sunday
morning preceding the Tuesday night meeting. With the Courthouse
being closed Monday, a weekend posting doesn’t let many
citizens know in advance, and the meeting date was not in
the Monticello News calendar.
The JCWSA agenda has been
consistent over the past—all that has ever changed was the
date at the top. TWG as well as other citizens
have encouraged the JCWSA to not only post the agenda several
days in advance, but to also put items on the agenda that
will be discussed under Old Business and New Business. The
November agenda does list a few items, including “Response
from Attorney General.”
There have been
at least 3 violations reported to the Attorney General’s
office—not posting Committee meetings, not taking minutes
at Committee meetings, and problems with the posting of
the agenda. Interestingly enough the Attorney General had
responded back in November 2005 about
complaints. Chairman Pound said, “They just didn’t know,”
when questioned again in September 2007 about posting and
taking minutes during Committee meetings.
and former member, Tom Brazil, brought it up at the October
JCWSA meeting that “The Watcher”
kept track of the agenda posting. There are several “Watchers”,
and unfortunately there has to be. With memories of Bear
Creek Reservoir and the secret meetings with Newton County
Commissioners in the past, every one should be “watching.”
Last month the JCWSA went into Executive Session to discuss
“Land Acquisition.” Could it be Bear Creek Reservoir again?
Newton County says they are applying for permits. Could
it be land in the Cedar Creek area? Even
if no one is “watching”, the Authority should have the integrity
to follow the law.
of integrity and ethics have been posed, Board member Jehan
El Jourbagy drafted a “Conflict of Interest” Policy for
the Authority to review. After some discussion, one member
said, “No one would serve
if we passed this.” Really? That certainly
brings into question what types of conflicts are being ignored
now by the Authority Board.
See link to
proposed policy here: http://www.taxdogs.com/111207JCWSADraft2.doc
See Link to State Ethics laws here: http://www.ethics.ga.gov/EthicsWeb/references/pdf/EthicsInGovernmentAct.pdf
comment at the October meeting was when Chairman Brack Pound
emphasized that the authority
had always been extremely open about any planned water lines
in open meetings. He said he
takes the plans to all the real estate agents in town and
shows them the plan. The implication
was he’s open and honest and has done his duty be telling
To see and hear
more, citizens should plan to attend the next JCWSA meeting
this coming Tuesday night at 6:00PM.
** 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.