April 13, 2013

Rec Director, Wes Chester, Terminated

Controversy 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 termination.

This action comes just as baseball and softball season has gotten underway with over 400 children participating.  It is unknown who will be the acting director.


The 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.  


This type 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.


Recreation 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.  


Wes Chester 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.


Mission Statement:
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed as to where and how their tax dollars are being spent.
** 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.

© 2007 Taxdogs.com. All right reserved.
Privacy Policy / Terms of Service