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Five fired in Worth County

SYLVESTER, Ga. -- The Worth County Commission voted Thursday to terminate five county employees and make drastic budget changes in several departments, said Billy McDonald, the county's District 4 commissioner and a former commission chairman.

Among those fired were Building and Zoning Manager Ann Jackson, Public Safety mechanic Henry Dixon, Code Enforcement officer Dan Miller; Public Works Director Clay Smith and Melba English, a secretary at Public Works. Smith has been reinstated, at least temporarily, according to McDonald.

"Nobody knew how to write a purchase order," McDonald said. "All he knows is that he has a job through Thursday night."

John Merritt, building inspector for the county, is compensated now on a "per inspection" basis rather than a regular salary, said Dan Miller, another past commission chairman. "He read about it in the newspaper. He didn't know about it till then."

Not all the changes are cuts. The Worth County Recreation Department, operated for some 40 years by the recently deceased Gerald Melton, will be staffed by a director and an assistant, said John Sumner, a Worth resident. According to Sumner, the department will receive a budget of $90,000 -- twice the previous recreation budget.

"It took two people to replace him. I wonder if they're expecting twice the work." Sumner said. "They seem to be dancing to their own tune. I've asked a lot of questions that haven't been answered."

Sumner said the commission has promised to answer his questions at its next meeting, which is set for Thursday evening. He and others have been told that the budget may be amended, thus soothing some citizen concerns. If last week's turnout is an indication, there will be a large audience. To accommodate attendees, that meeting was moved to a larger area, reports say.

Billy McDonald said there is dissatisfaction among residents that commission business is slow and uncertain. In particular, he expressed frustration that Chairman Matt Medders has been absent from the past five meetings. McDonald said Medders cites "personal reasons" for the absences.

Dan Miller was also concerned.

"If he's not going to attend meetings, he should go ahead and resign and let somebody come in to protect the taxpayers. They're the ones who pay all the bills," Miller said.

Medders could not be reached for comment.

"I've been on the board many many years and I've never seen anything like this. Some don't seem to have an interest in (the commission)," McDonald said. "I still operate a farm full-time and I'm able to do it."

According to McDonald, Worth County is "not in bad financial shape," and has a reserve fund, which the commission has declined to use.

Comments

frankndebois 2 years, 3 months ago

What the commission has done here is just a mirror of how they have already been in the past. i.e. I called on the Health Dept. for assistance in a rental property that had many health hazards such as exposed wiring of lights and switches without even wire nuts on them, sewage spilling under the house and most of the plumbing not even hooked up to the septic at all, etc., and the 3 women I talked to at the Health Dept. started asking me questions like, "Am I your landlord?", etc., as if I was some kind of drunk straight out of wine-o alley. Now when I was heading up the SouthWest 13 counties of GA for FEMA , I know that it is the Health Dept. that handles such things. So I went to the Building Code Enforcement Office and talked to Dan Miller, the only one who gave me any sort of help on this complaint and then they fire these people, along with Dan Miller, as they were trying to get something done about the property. When talking to Dan Miller, I found out that the Health Dept. still are the ones who are supposed to handle the problem at hand, which they refused to handle when called upon. What is up with our so-called 'leaders' that obviously know nothing of efficient leading or their jobs for the community, and seem not to have the time of day for anyone who needs them? They fire people that are qualified and will get things done in lieu of those who are not even qualified for the position they have gotten, who insult you when you simply talk to them, and deny the help needed for those in need, more than likely because they do not feel like doing the job they have filled. Something is bad wrong here and needs to be corrected... and soon. Talk about wasting of taxpayer monies...

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