Director, Wes Chester, Terminated
has been brewing for some time over Recreation and it came to a head Thursday
morning when County Manager Lorri Smith terminated Mr. Chester. Sources tell TWG Ms. Smith was directed to do
so by the BOC giving willful neglect and insubordination as the reasons for
comes just as baseball and softball season has gotten underway with
over 400 children participating. It is
unknown who will be the acting director.
BOC has a called meeting this coming Monday, April 15, at 7:00PM. The agenda shows that they will first go into
Executive Session to discuss Recreation and Personnel.
Discussing personnel in Executive Session is acceptable, but discussion
of Recreation and how it is handled is a violation of open meetings. After their discussion behind closed doors,
Recreation will be discussed under New Business according to the agenda.
of handling business has been common with this BOC. They discuss the details in private and what
they will and won’t say in public, then come out and make a few comments and
vote. If you
are interested in Recreation and how it will be handled in the future, you need
to attend this BOC meeting. Even though, there is not time set
aside for Citizen Comments on the agenda, the BOC may be persuaded to do so.
has long had problems. Until 2009, there
were complaints of how vending money was used and who got it, as well as county
money going to an Umpire business set up by the Recreation director and a Rec
board member. Before 2010 Recreation was
over budget by $100,000 or more each year with money unaccounted for.
was hired in 2010 and the county funded recreation at $12,000 per year plus the
director’s salary, health insurance, and fringe benefits. All fees and vending money were used to
support the department, thereby making the Rec director accountable for the
funds. After the first year, fees
started going up and participation went down.
After BOC members meet with the Rec Board illegally on 2/8/13 and
“informally” agreed to fund Recreation at a higher rate, the new fee was set at
$25 per child and participation is over 400 for this baseball season.
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia
informed as to where and how their tax dollars are
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies
and laws being discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government
spending, and lower property taxes.