Service delivery & the comprehensive plan

In very simple terms the Service Delivery Strategy details how services in our county are delivered and by whom and the Comprehensive Plan details how our county will grow.  It was on the 2/6/06 agenda to sign the SDS agreement with “no changes.” Before the meeting, a citizen went in to talk with the County Manager.  He told her that she was only one to object to this issue, and if she wanted something done about it she should get up a petition. We were shocked to hear that the County Manager, who is not from Jasper County and does not know the background of many of the issues, would tell a citizen something like that!  During the agenda comments the following problems with the SDS were brought up:


There were problems with the water service areas.  The SDS map needed to be corrected because ASWA and Turtle Cover were not on SDS map and both serve customers.  Other areas of the SDS that were incorrect included library funding, the number of EDA board members, garbage collection (SDS says we are served by dumpsters), and the fact that the SDS said that the JCWSA was not functioning at this time.  It was also brought to the BOC’s attention that the Comprehensive Plan was 242 pages long.  The draft dated 9/05 shows Jasper County still connected with Bear Creek Reservoir and had Jasper County as a partner in the Bear Creek Reservoir project.  This revelation opened some eyes!  The BOC was asked by at least 4 people not to sign the SDS recertification.  Work needed to be done because there had been changes in the county since the SDS was signed in June, 1999. 


During the meeting the County Manager said he was bringing the SDS Update to be signed—certifying there are no changes.  (Maybe he wasn’t listening to all the comments!)  Comm. Johnson motioned to defer it until the BOC had time to go over it.  Comm. Hill—we need to look at and update it.  We need to see what’s going on.  Comm. Pennamon—we need some public hearings and with all parties involved.  Comm. Bernard—we need the City of Monticello to share in some of the burden.  Comm. Yarbrough—no one believes that the City is going to negotiate.  Comm. Pennamon—it’s about changing the certificate—about what is happening today—including the maps.  Comm. Hill—we need to update with current changes.   The vote was to defer signing the SDS with ALL commissioners in favor. 


We hope what the BOC said during this meeting will be what will happen.  All parties involved will sit down and change the SDS to reflect what is really going on in our county.   AND THERE WILL BE PUBLIC HEARINGS ABOUT IT.  We plan to keep an eye on this issue.  We also hope ALL the Commissioners will read the Comprehensive Plan and SDS for themselves.  They need to know what they are voting on, but it was obvious that none of them had read it.  If it hadn’t been for a few citizens doing all the work and “reporting” their findings to the BOC, the SDS would have most likely been signed with “no changes.”

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