More Power...


Following is the Work Session Agenda.  Please note, the meeting will start at 5:00p.m.

The reason, we are told, for this early start is so the Commissioners can attend a Leadership graduation at 7:00 p.m.  It also makes it less convenient for the public to attend.

The agenda has some items of concern:
Commissioner's Compensation & Expense Reimbursement
  Establish authority for Commission Chairman
  Resolution establishing County Manager Authority


The citizens have made it rather clear that they are not interested in having the BOC receive raises at this time.  The TWG continues to advocate public hearings for any changes to be made to our County Charter (enabling legislation).  One of our biggest concerns is the expense reimbursement.  There has not been any public discussion as to what will be reimbursed, how it will be accounted for, what the limits will or will not be, etc.  In light of the recent telephone/fax line reimbursement to the BOC Chairman, the TWG thinks it would only be in the taxpayer’s best interest to know just what we might be footing the bill for.  Will this include the commissioner’s cell phone?  Will this include mileage in and out of the county?  How will the term “county business” be determined? Does this include “lunch dates” to discuss county business?  We could go on and on.  Inquiring minds want to know—what does this include and how much could it cost the taxpayers?


The thought of “establishing authority for the Commission Chairman” is a frightening one!  Being that the current chairman was elected by breaking a 2-2 tie with his own vote, and that he is already known as “King Jack”, doesn’t give us much confidence in the thoughts of him having more power.  Jasper County’s Chairman is not elected at large by the people.  He is elected from his district and should have NO more power than the commissioner’s elected from the other districts.  He is elected chairman to run the meetings, not to ride roughshod over the other commissioners and to have the only say about decisions and issues.  Until this county elects a chairman at large, the chairman doesn’t need any additional authority!  Why is it, this “special authority for the chairman” was never a problem over the past years?  Why is it something that should be done now? Remember, the Commissioners get their power from the CITIZENS!!


Since Jasper County has been operating as a “county manager type government” for the past 10 years or so, why do we need to “establish County Manager authority?”  By attending the meetings during 2006, there is no doubt that the County Manager already has more than enough authority.  In fact, there are several situations in which he has told the commissioners how things will be handled instead of the other way around.  As the TWG has said before, when the BOC passes a resolution, the County Manager is to carry it out.  That is all the power he needs. 


At the last work session, Comm. Bernard said citizens really didn’t have to come to the meetings, but instead they should CONTACT THEIR COMMISSIONERS DIRECTLY.

We are urging YOU to attend the meeting Monday night.  You will not know what kind of POWER the County Attorney will be advocating for the Chairman or the Manager.  The County Attorney works for the Board; even though he is called the COUNTY attorney and we pay for his services, his loyalty lies with the BOC, not the citizens.


 Voice your concerns before the meeting during the Agenda Comments.  Sign in to speak!  The current manager and chairman are doing their best to take away the “open government and transparency in government” we were promised during the last campaign. None of us will have any voice in our government if things continue the way they are going.  

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