An example of what difficulties our new Town Manager Vanessa George has been faced with stems from her in my opinion being sabotaged by the old guard.
Hamilton County provided a check which included the County Funds for 2001 A & B Bonds of $45,000. The county provided the check to the Town in the amount of $45,000 as has been the practice since 2001. The County instead of making two checks, included a small amount toward the Fire Department agreement within one check. Instead of Beverly Brazil either contacting the County to determine what the check was for, she made a copy and sent it to our attorney Meagan Logan. Now she may have believed it was for the fire department but she needed to contact the county to find out what the funds were for, or speak with Ms. George, who could have contacted the County. Meagan Logan only had contacted the County’s attorney and had done nothing to assist the fire department which she stated in a meeting advising everyone the county’s attorney does not get involved with the financing.
Instead the check was folded in the transmittal letter and left on Mrs. Brazil’s desk.
After it was found Ms. George brought it up in a meeting. She contacted the County and found that the $45,000 belonged in the Enterprise account because we must pay Debt Service with respect to the 2001 Bond A & B of $45,000. In other words this $45,000 comes in and $45,000 goes out and it is necessary that these checks be cashed and in our bank.
It was mentioned to Ms. George at the meeting that technically even the prior fire department including Jennings was to receive $2,500 whether or not calls were responded to. Furthermore, although all requirements were not complied with, the $2,500 should have been paid. And since our fire department has answered all calls to which they have been dispatched, Henry Land could have written directly to White Springs advising someone that the contract had not been complied with….but $2,500 should have been paid per quarter. Chief Pittman said Jennings doesn’t even have a fire department at this time and they are probably paid the $2,500. Ms. George said she definitely would investigate the matter which is more than anyone else has done up to this time.
This entire situation is a travesty and the Fire Department situation should have been taken care of starting in November of 2019 and management should have been assured that we complied in accordance with the contract. Yet our illustrious previous manager Tommie Jones said he was the “Manager” and as such, it was his duty and no one else in departments, in staff or on the council dare cross him by contacting the County. This should have been handled by our Council as well and our Fire Chief, although taking blame, really was not at fault totally because he did what he was told and was promised that the “Town” would take care of it and they did not.
COUNTY AGREES TO:
1 Provide funds quarterly not to exceed $7,500 (base rate of $2,500 and prorated $5,000 for percentage of answered calls) and $30,000 annually for the period as stated above, in consideration of Town’s performance of the terms and conditions of this agreement.
2. Disbursements hereunder shall be made by County upon Town presenting to County a request for payment in the form of NFIRS reports and all have been supplied in Paragraph 11 above. The County agrees to pay the same up to the limit of the amount of the appropriation as above shown, not to exceed $7,500.00 per quarter, with a quarterly base amount of $2,500.
3. Quarterly payments of the additional $5,000 shall be prorated to reflect the total answered versus total calls for service provided. (Example: 100 calls for service were requested for the Quarter, FD responds to 75 of the 100 calls, quarterly payment will be 75% of $5,000.)
You can decide yourself if this was sabotage against our new Town Manager but in my opinion not allowing her to know there was a sizeable check that came in and not contacting the county seems rather questionable.