When are you all going to quit making excuses for Tommie Jones?
Even though the Town Attorney and Tommie Jones state Jones is a consultant under Countyline Design Business Services, we do not know what kind of consultant he is. No license, no certification, no proposal. And why did we have to buy a file cabinet when all Jones would have needed would have been a strong magnet to turn the key and walla the key would sail into the magnet.
Initially, we asked why his first check was in his name if he was a consultant since there was no Company involved plus there was a payroll deduction for FICA. Shortly all checks were made to Countyline Design with no deductions whatsoever. In fact Jones did not receive a 1098 or W2 for his first month. Really Strange.
We asked Tommie ourselves whether he billed the Town for his services and he said “NO” so what was funny is that when I mentioned it to Mayor Miller at the meeting, she said “That’s wrong; he does bill the Town”. Now either she was calling Mr. Jones a liar or obviously Mr. Jones was telling the truth and Mayor Miller was covering for him; but low and behold, the Town now has bills from Tommie Jones under Countyline Design. It is just amazing!
You all elected not to review the laws pertaining to independent contractors/ consultants and those describing an employee/”interim town manager” (EXCEPT FOR COUNCIL WOMAN BROWN). Because of the control the Town has over Mr. Jones, there is no way he is a “Consultant” But you truly wish to be it so, therefore it is, right Helen?
Frankly as a Consultant Jones should not be supervising employees, have a town e-mail, not have use of the phones, but his own phone or the Admin would have to explain “White Springs, Countyline Design Business Services, how may I help you? Tommie Jones, please hold I will connect you with our consultant through Countyline Design….and it is a different line…By the way, maybe that is why Jones’ voice message box is so full, one can’t leave messages. So perhaps he is no longer answering the “Town Manager” phone and then, why would he expect Preuter to have left him a message because that box has been full for a long time. Perhaps our computer wizard can’t operate hard line phones?
Let’s face it, at the last meeting Helen Miller had to make a scene because she was upset that Joe had turned a complaint on her to the commission but what was said relative to Joe’s complaint on the town manager issue was “Why he was hired ” but it did not address the laws. But wait Mayor Miller, is this just like Rhett Bullard’ s or Spencer Lofton’s excuses for LOFT? Is it that anyone becoming mayor all of a sudden can’t read statutes?
If Tommie Jones almost has his MPA and Helen Miller has an MBA (plus a doctorate) and the Attorney has her masters, wouldn’t you think all of them would know how to address a consultant v employee situation. After all Miller’s husband I believe is a consultant. A consultant needs their own General Liability and professional liability insurance because Countyline Design is not an insured under the Town’s policy. It’s logic.
How can it be that Miller can read the LOFT statutes but does not realize what jeopardy she is placing the town in today with respect to this fiasco. Jones is not a businessman and obvious neither are the council members. I have owned my own business as did Joe and I am telling you, if you would have tried to pass that agreement off to either of us, it would have been a flat emphatic “No”.
If Jones does not pay the IRS the FICA (double amount since he is the company and the employee) and report the money since he also has said he does not get a W2 or a 1099, he can be in trouble with the IRS but more importantly when the IRS sniffs him out, the Town is in trouble because no matter how smart the council feels they are, they are wrong. Then there will be a payroll problem; a misclassification and a fine this time. A Town Manager is an employee and Jones uses Town supplies, computers, etc and does not bill the town for his equipment and supplies, just his time(and that is backdated and recent to appease our complaints) and Helen Miller has been supervising him. Good job Mayor Miller; next you have to help him get his voice mail messages of the phone. God knows how old they are.
Then if bad isn’t worse, Walter McKenzie states” We have given our Town Manager too much power”. And he whined that the council never knew what staff was doing. Obviously the council isn’t observant and even if the Griffins bring up complaints, selective hearing goes into play.
What did McKenzie do when warned about Townsend? Absolutely nothing!
When Marshall came in and explained the condition Kenny was in, did anyone ask Staff if he was on Social Security disability and Medicare?
We and several citizens complained about our not having a Fire Department for two years, did anyone bother to ask why we did not and do something about it? Finally at the end something was done after so many complaints. I am thankful for Kevin Pittman, Tom Brazil and the brotherhood of firefighters.
All the Council is supposed to do is make policy decisions. The Town manager is the CEO and unless the citizens vote in the strong mayor form of government, you cannot change what the Town Manager is supposed to do. But we need a better Town Manager contract since it does not address problems like drug use, and under what circumstances the Town Manager would be covered under the FMIT policy. That is why you do background checks, drug tests and have applications completed. What alternate world are you all in? I can’t wait until I have the time to write a book on White Springs and the Home Rule…what a laugh. All this stuff is in corporate law 101. Did somebody not understand their law books while securing an education?
Karin for the blog