February 9, 2007
CURIOUS, PARDNER, MIGHTY CURIOUS
recent newsletter by the TWG, “Cattle Rustling or Code Enforcement”
seems to have hit some nerves—including some in the Commissioners
office as well as “Cowboy” Rogers, the Code Enforcement
For some reason,
it has taken this long to get answers to our open records
request. On January 31, 2007, the
following items were sent to the County Manager with a copy
to all Commissioners asking for documents and answers. We
got answers on 2/8/07:
did 911 and Mr. Rogers learn about the cows being out?
Documents indicate that 2 or 3 calls were placed to
2. Copies of any memos, letters,
reports that show how many 911 calls and/or calls to the
Sheriff about Citizen XX having cows out previously
and how these previous reports were handled and what was
done about any cows being out. No documents
3. Any memos, reports, etc. that
have been filed and/or written in daily logs about this
incident and any follow up memos, correspondence, etc.
about this incident. The County Manager states
there are no documents other than TWG requests for documents
and one email from Comm. Bernard questioning what the
policy says.. **It is hard to believe
Code Enforcement has no written documentation about this
following request was also sent through an open records
request on January 31.
is the pasture located that the cows were taken to for holding/storage?
Down Clay Rd. on Lane Rd. at “Rutledge Farms” per invoice
submitted to County for storage. Note: NO CONTRACT EXISTS
FOR THIS “STORAGE” FACILITY.
2. Who owns the pasture that the cows
were taken to for holding/storage? Per email
from County Manager, Mr. Rutledge owns the pasture and is
an acquaintance of the code enforcement officer.
3. What type trailer was used and
who owns the trailer? No type of trailer was
described, but County Manager indicated it was owned by
4. Was the trailer sanitized to ensure
no disease or infection was transmitted and/or transported?
No answer given.
5. How long were the cows held?
According to Storage Invoice from Mr. Rutledge to the
County,10 days, but charged for 8 days.
6. Was a vet called and asked to inspect
the cows as required by State law? No answer.
7. When was Citizen XX informed the
cows had been picked up and by whom? No answer.
8. What was the date and time that
the cows were picked up? According to 911 records
obtained, the call came in on 1/3/07early in the morning
but weren’t picked up until afternoon.
an article in the Monticello News on 1/25/2007, the Code
Enforcement officer had plenty of records concerning the
cows on Hwy 300 owned by Thomas Cotton who was recently
in Magistrate Court. His cows had been out numerous times,
with 32 reports over the last YEAR (1/3/06 –12/29/06), and
involved 56 man hours of getting cattle back in the pasture
over the last YEAR.
Why was this
case with cows out on Hwy 83 N so aggressively pursued?
Why were the cows picked up, put in a borrowed trailer,
and taken all the way across the county to a pasture
of an acquaintance of the Code Enforcement officer? Again,
how many times had these cows been out during the last month
or the last year? Our sources indicate that
this is the first time these cows were out, and the answers
to the open records do not indicate anything other than
one time. (However, it is possible we did not receive all
TWG had been
“corrected” earlier by a Commissioner who said the County
Trailer from the landfill was used to haul the cows that
were picked up. But after contacting the landfill, we were
told that was impossible as the “cattle trailer” is used
to hold tires, and it was full of old tires. (The purpose
for the trailer at the landfill is to keep water from getting
in the tires and thereby preventing mosquito infestations;
however, the Code Enforcement officer has continued to try
to get the cattle trailer for his use.)
need to answer some questions about this incident—hopefully
publicly. We have no knowledge of any public discussion
by the Commissioners about a contract, animal storage, or
anything similar to this issue. It seems the Code Enforcement
officer is his own boss, determines what the rules/laws
are, and is very aggressive in his pursuit of what he determines
to be the law. Common sense
never seems to enter into the equation.
The TWG has written, spoken, and continues to state that
one of the biggest problems in this county is SUPERVISION.
The BOC is the final authority and ultimately responsible
for what every employee does or doesn’t do while working
for the County.
This is an agricultural
county. Cows are a big part of that “agricultural”. The
County Manager and the Code Enforcement officer need to
use some Common Sense and remember they are not in a metropolitan
county. Is the only goal here to write tickets and to produce
** 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
discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.