December 15, 2009


The meeting today didn’t surprise anyone.  The same three that voted to hire the previous County Manager, voted together to hire Dennis Recker from Ohio as the next County Manager.  Comm. Pennamon made the motion to hire him at $72,500; Comm. Bernard amended the motion to increase that salary to $75,000.  The vote was 3 for and 2 abstain.  Comm. Cox said he didn’t have anything against Mr. Recker.  Comm. Cox and Comm. Patrick have previously voted for Keith Daniel on several other occasions saying he had the financial background the county needed.  TWG wishes Mr. Recker well and hopes he can work the miracles needed to help Jasper County. 

After the vote, four of the commissioners went to the law library to discuss the budget.  During the discussion the newspaper editor gave them some good input.  The discussion was to cut every department a percentage or a dollar amount to cut from the salary line.  If any department could find another place to cut besides salaries, they would be given the opportunity.  If not, there would be salary cuts and furloughs.  Here’s the discussion—


After some discussion the motion was made to cut the budget to $7.2 million by Comm. Hill.  That would be a $1,000,000 cut.  Comm. Pennamon changed the motion to make the budget $7.5 million for 2010 with $300,000 as contingency.  View the video clip below.  The current budget is $8.2 million.  Comm. Patrick did not attend the budget meeting.


At the Commissioner’s budget work session last Wednesday December 9,  Comm. Bernard let the BOC know that he is open to cut the budget enough anywhere necessary so he can have the health insurance brought back to the same level it was when he left office.   That was where employees had to pay no deductibles.   Here’s the discussion--


As the meeting Wednesday was ending Jack again brought up health care.  He said he would be tough on staff if that’s what it takes, and he doesn’t mind cutting what needs to be cut, but he wants to add more health insurance costs to the county. 


How much is the county paying for employee health insurance now and for the commissioner’s health insurance?



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