What do our commissioners have planned next?
What do our
commissioners have up their sleeves? A new charter, increases in
their pay (to double what they make now), an open ended expense
reimbursement resolution, giving their check signing authority to
office staff, having a work session and then a meeting where the
“actions” will be taken instead of 2 regular BOC meetings, and even
comments from the Chairman that “sealed bids are the worse way to go
about purchasing.” We are concerned and you should be too.
The TWG has a copy
of the County Charter from when the last BOC started talking
about changing it. Before anything is changed, the public
should know what changes are being considered and WHY.
There needs to be public hearings on the matter. You know, some of
that Open Government we were promised. The issue of having a County
Clerk should be clear after the fiasco with the BOA. Supposedly no
one signed the resolution appointing new BOA members, and no one
made sure it was taken to the Clerk of Courts office for filing. A
County Clerk would be responsible for that. Most all counties in
Georgia have a County Clerk. Jasper hasn’t had one since the last
BOC replaced Betty Moon with Phil Peevy.
increase for the BOC has
people on both sides of the issue. Working for $300 per month ($400
per month if you’re the Chairman) isn’t much. But on the other
side, people feel that “they knew this was the pay when they were
elected.” The TWG has an idea. Since the Commissioners voted to
double their pay (but would never say how much it was in the
meeting), then their pay should be “docked” when they don’t
show up for a meeting. Our suggestion--$100 per missed
meeting for each BOC member and $200 for the Chairman. If they want
a pay raise, then they should attend all the meetings.
reimbursement has been
an issue since January, 2005 when two of the new commissioners
immediately submitted reimbursement requests. With an “open ended
resolution”, the BOC will decide what will be reimbursed and what
won’t be. They could set it up to reimburse anything they want.
The charter states they get 10 cents a mile for OUT of the county
travel; however, back in March 2000, the BOC voted to pay themselves
30 cents a mile. What the BOC has been paid is a guess, but many of
the past commissioners have never submitted a mileage reimbursement
request over the past years. So, what will these commissioners
decide is “reimbursable” to themselves—cell phones, fax lines,
office in the home, magazines pertaining to “issues”, car usage,
what? We don’t know, but there has got to be some limit and
something that can’t change with the whim of the board when no one
Another issue that
has been brought up more than once is the check signing
authority. The BOC doesn’t know where they stand now (We
will send out an article on the 2004 Audit in our next email.), how
will they ever know if they don’t sign the checks? At least
they are “responsible” when they sign the checks—if they
decide to look at the invoice of not. By giving this duty
over to the office staff can cause serious problems—especially since
the auditor did NOT give glowing reports of the finances and the
staff in charge of the finances. We are concerned with the
way checks are being signed now in that they are being delivered to
commissioners when they can’t find time to come to the office. Will
a pay increase keep this from happening?
time we all started attending the meetings again and letting the BOC
know how we feel about these issues. If you don’t attend and/or
call them, they think that you agree with all they do or plan to do.
The next meeting is
Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 9:00am. Make plans to attend!