Sunday, May 31, 2009

Say, here's a thought:

Manic Mouse Kingsland, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #76 8 min ago ye heard wrote: Hes gonna force in a county police dept to ye heard?? I believe that Jay really thinks he could win a political spot in this County. Actually he's too smart to be a Commissioner. He should run for President, don't you think? Couldn't you just see him on the BOC, he would be one vote and there would always be three votes against him. Maybe that would be a good way to teach him that he cannot always have his way nor the last word. I think it would be a constant struggle between him and Howard, each trying to prove himself to be the most intelligent. Okay, why don't all of you critics go ahead and teach me a lesson. Elect me to the District 4 County Commission seat. That'll teach me. I dare y'all!

To borrow, or not to borrow: that is the question.

At the budget hearing of last week, the finance officer for the CCSO told the county commissioners that as nearly as she could figure it, based upon the commission's proposed FY-10 budget for her department, the CCSO will have expended all of the budgeted funds by possibly as early as mid-January and no later than early February. The fact is that when that happens, barring a near miraculous increase in sales tax revenues between now and then, the county will have to borrow money to keep the CCSO going for the remaining 5 months or so of FY-10. Given a choice between just waiting to see just how much we will have to borrow when the time comes and pay it back with interest or seeing the CCBOC vote now to raise the FY-10 millage rate just enough to cover the CCSO's projected costs (+/- another $2 million), which would you rather see the CCBOC do? Please give me your answer via the poll I'm about to put up.

Yes, it was my idea, but that's not me.

Going on two years ago, I suggested on TOPIX, Kingsland that the county would be well served by a county police department in addition to the CCSO. Now, someone else has brought the idea back up on TOPIX. http://www.topix.com/city/kingsland-ga/2009/05/camden-sheriff-wants-agency-back-in-drug-seizure-program/p5?threadid=BU0V5ARKB101CTAF#lastPost There is speculation that the latest comments on TOPIX are coming from me. They are not. I can not post on TOPIX from my ISP - and I would not go around the corner to post in that cesspool via another computer. However, the current poster, working from memory of my suggestion, has it not quite right. Ergo, let me restate the idea. As you all no doubt vividly remember, Big Thug Willie, in his capacity as a constitutional officer, answerable only to the governor, could tell the county commission to go piss up a rope - and did - repeatedly. By comparison, if we had a county police force, the HIRED - not elected - chief of the CCPD would answer directly to the county administrator who in turn does the bidding of the elected CCBOC who are in turn answerable to us, the voters. If a CCPD chief tried any of Smith's crap, he could be summarily fired. Note that we would have BOTH a CCSO and a CCPD. The CCSO would be tasked with running the jail, providing court house security, and serving warrants and legal service. All police functions in the county - traffic control, maintaining the peace, criminal investigations and arrests, etc., would be performed by the CCPD. State law - and the stipulations of the Shared Asset Program both allow for the transfer of cars and other equipment from the CCSO to the CCPD at the time of establishment of the CCPD. I've checked. Yes, technically, the CCSO could still perform all of those law enforcement services even after the establishment of the CCPD, but the law does not require the county to fund those activities in the CCSO budget request if they can show that they are being covered by the CCPD. Needless to say, many, if not all, patrol officers, detectives, and, perhaps, some administrative types from CCSO would transfer to CCPD at the time of establishment. However, another advantage is that you would hire the CCPD chief first, then let him review the records and interview all applicants - including current CCSO employees -to see which ones he wants. Now, having established a CCPD, you could transfer the control and operation of the 911 center over to them as well. Would the establishment of a CCPD necessarily mean the consolidation of all police services in the county? No, it would not. But, if the voters approved it in a referendum, it could. With a few changes in radio communication frequencies, repainting city police cars, and new uniforms for former city officers, you would be in business. Some, if not all, of the existing physical plants of the two city PDs could easily be used by the CCPD. The CCPD would of course cover Woodbine which currently has no P.D. and is covered - some say inadequately - by the CCSO. Oh, and by the way, given that the CCPD would be running drug interdiction on I-95, the federal seized asset revenue sharing would go to the CCPD for their use. With the guidance of the CCBOC, via the county administrator, after taking care of his own departmental need via the funds, the CCPD chief could then donate excess drug funds to the CCSO. Drug funds could still be used ONLY for the authorized law enforcement purposes allowed by the program guidelines and would NOT be available to the county's general fund. Should I decide to run for the District 4 seat and should I be elected I would definitely propose a CCPD and try to get it to a vote early on. Clearly, insofar as it would require some start up money, the implementation would have to wait until a combination of economic upturn and new drug money (once we get back into the program - and assuming Sheriff Gregory would turn loose of it - as I believe he would) would make it possible.

USDA-backed affordable housing coming to Brantley County.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-31/story/affordable_housing_coming_to_rural_brantley_county Didn't someone just recently do this in Camden? Was it W.H. Gross in Kingsland?

Sunday Funnies; Volume 66

A husband and wife go to a counselor after 15 years of marriage.The counselor asks them what the problem is and the wife goes into a tirade listing every problem they have ever had in the 15 years they've been married. She goes on and on and on. Finally, the counselor gets up, walks around the desk, embraces the wife and kisses her passionately. The woman shuts up and sits quietly in a daze. The counselor turns to the husband and says, "This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do this?" The husband thinks for a moment and replies, "Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I fish."

Friday, May 29, 2009

The latest lament of Kingfish Feller, Man-of-the-People.

sandy feller Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #1 Yesterday i am told thatsaint marys is charging a local church 50,000.00 to hook up even though it is not a new installation. keep in mind that since the money must come from the congregation of that church it is taxing a small group of people. do you think that it is right for a small group of citizens should be singled out for such a tax increase? what are your thoughts?
Ah, yes, the Gospel according to Saint Sandy, versus the actual FACTS (what a concept) straight from the Building Department at St. Marys City Hall. As you can see from the documents posted above (click on images to enlarge), the TOTAL COST of the water/ sewer tap fee and ALL other building fees payable to the city comes to $49,728.00. Note that the total valuation of the new church is $1,894,948.00. The total due the city is 2.46% of the total value of the project and is totally consistent with the city's rate structure for any other similar structure. Moreover, on the hand-written sheet of lined paper, you will see that the church was given credits of $500. for water and $1,000 for sewer for the tap fees they paid for their current way smaller facility back in 1991. Kingfish seems to suggest that they should have gotten service to the hugely larger new building for the same $1,500 they paid for the much smaller structure in 1991. Methinks that Caesar is hardly being unreasonable in this case and that St. Sandy should advise his fellow parishioners to render unto Caesar with a smile that which is Caesar's and go on about their business. Is there no end to what Kingfish will do in a desperate attempt to ingratiate himself with the voters?
Obviously not!
sandy feller Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #11 8 hrs ago Politics wrote: Well...... If churches were NOT for profit I don't believe you would see so many of them manifesting. I am aware that they CLAIM "Not for Profit" to avoid taxation and other fees. Just my opinion.... (Feller responds) you are right, the word of god (Lest you think him impious, St. Sandy has not yet figured out how to type upper case letters, even though I e-mailed him precise instructions years ago), 10 commandments and do unto others as you would have done to yourself are very rewarding commodities. these are very big sale items, ask anyone whose has picked them up at the last visit to the church (store). point well taken.

A quantum leap forward from the old, 40mm, M-79 "blooper."

http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/05/21/21503-peo-soldier-unveils-lighter-more-lethal-weapons-systems/

Meth lab busted in Kingsland.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-29/story/police_shut_down_suspected_kingsland_meth_lab A guy named Billie Ann? http://www.news4jax.com/news/19594019/detail.html Just as I suspected.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another liar heard from.

bj mackay Kingsland, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #69 8 min ago Anon wrote: I see this was given to Rick so it would take everyone forever to get through it. Right off I see some increases in the commissioners office. Kathryn Bishop was $ 11.82 in 2006 and now is $ 19.27. INTERESTING. Staci Bowick was $ 1960.79 bi weekly which is $ 50,980.54 a year and now $31.157 hourly which is 64,806.56 yearly based on 2080 work hours an increase of $ 13,826.00 a year. So much for no pay increases.Thanks Rick for all your work! I have posted on Jays site and asked if he thought Katie being Steve Berrys daughter was just the same old good old boy crap. But Mr "I am smarter than thou" won't publish my comment. Why is he so guarded about Berry? I heard that Berry was his attorney in a case a few years back and that he was able to have some charges dropped, via the good old boy system. Does this figure into all of that? I work at the schol where one of his good friends husband works and they say that his dementia goes way back. Mr. McKay - if that is your name - I posted it as soon as I retrieved it. You, Sir, only posted the damned thing moments ago. Now, as to you hearing that Berry was my attorney, you either heard wrong or you are just one more TOPIX liar. Mr. Berry has never represented me. Mr. Berry and I have never spoken over ten words between us EVER. I don't have a good friend whose husband works at a school. Insofar as you aver that you have personal knowledge of such a friend and report what this non-existent friend said, you, Sir, are also a LIBELING, lying, son-of-a-bitch. If you are real, kindly send me your full name and your proper address for receiving legal service.

New item at Aunt B's.

I usually eat at Aunt B's only on Fridays and Sundays but I was out running errands today and found it more convenient to eat out than go home for lunch. Today, for the first time, according to the kid behind the serving line, they had, along with their usual extensive selection, low country boil. Nice medium sized shrimp that I'll bet you were fresh caught and local, smoked sausage, corn-on-the-cob, onions, potatoes, bell pepper, and - get this - whole boiled eggs still in the shell. That was a new one on me. Anyone? Of course, it was seasoned perfectly with either Zatarain's or Old Bay seasoning. Man, it was good.

Caution: miscreant TOPIX idiots at work.

Anon United States Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #66 8 min ago I see this was given to Rick so it would take everyone forever to get through it. Right off I see some increases in the commissioners office. Kathryn Bishop was $ 11.82 in 2006 and now is $ 19.27. INTERESTING. Staci Bowick was $ 1960.79 bi weekly which is $ 50,980.54 a year and now $31.157 hourly which is 64,806.56 yearly based on 2080 work hours an increase of $ 13,826.00 a year. So much for no pay increases.Thanks Rick for all your work! No, idiot. Staci did not get a pay increase for the same work. In the consolidation of departments, she got a promotion to a much heavier work load with much more responsibility. Her pay is nowhere near out of line for an experienced and capable employee with a huge responsibility and an MBA. Katie Bishop is now filling the post of County Clerk vacated by Jodi Gregory. Different job, different pay rate. Get over it and get to improving your own prospects. And no, idiot, it is not about my election prospects: it is about the fact that I have a visceral abhorrence for lying, libeling, anonymous, cowardly, miscreant scum - like you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I stand corrected: Here is THE REAL "Sunday Funny"

http://www.camdenganews.com/blog/ I guess if I were to aver that shit stinks, Sandy will now swear it is good to eat! I love it! Reminiscent of his post-screwing love affair with Bill Smith. That was always a mystery heretofore, but I think I'm getting the hang of his "any enemy of an enemy is a friend" mindset. If his populist pied piper routine gets much more absurd, I think I'll start calling him "the Kingfish" after Huey Long. By the way, don't be taken in by Kingfish's allusions to a "trip down memory lane." He arrived in St. Marys shortly after I did and I did not move here from Savannah until August 3rd, 1993. He arrived from upstate New York shortly afterwards - hence the congenital inability to recognize and appreciate AUTHENTIC southern cooking and hospitality. Update, Wednesday, 5/27: Have y'all seen Kingfish Feller's even more saccharine version of this shameless, suck-up, pandering-for-votes in today's T&G? Warning to diabetics: draw up some insulin before clicking on this link - http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/05/27/opinion/letters/03letter5.27.txt

FYI

In case y'all are wondering, the latest nut on TOPIX., "Morticia," is actually noneother than Barbara Moody, AKA the notorious "Shopgirl." She, of course, knows me very well. Did her own blog just die completely, or does it gasp on underground somewhere? Anyone know? Morticia “"In God I Trust"” Joined: Nov 28, 2008 Comments: 497 Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #1 33 min ago You are great!!!This is what I love about Camden...I feel safe here...and I can't thank you enough for your dedication.Click it and Ticket!!! Ah, yes: classic neofascistic suck -up Shop Girl. Not a scintilla of doubt.

Stopping dirt road washouts.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-24/story/brantley_aiming_to_stop_washouts_with_rocks_and_fabric Sounds like a good technique. Anyone know if we do that in Camden?

Mini-cows

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-miniature-cows24-2009may24,0,7037757.story Perhaps trusties could raise a few of these on county grounds so they will have something to eat after January.

More details on massive changes coming to Savannah-Chatham public school system.

http://savannahnow.com/node/727608

Sunday Funnies; Volume 65.

SERENITY Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the elderly widow and asked, 'How old was your husband?' '98,' she replied. 'Two years older than me' 'So you're 96,' the undertaker commented. 'Hardly worth going home, is it?' she responded. Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: 'And what do you think is the best thing About being 104?' the reporter asked. She simply replied, 'No peer pressure.' The nice thing about being senile is You can hide your own Easter eggs. I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, New knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes I'm half blind, Can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, Take 40 different medications that Make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia ... Have poor circulation; Hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license. I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, So I got my doctor's permission to Join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But..... By the time I got my leotards on, The class was over. My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out. It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker. These days about half the stuff In my shopping cart says, ' For fast relief.' THE SENILITY PRAYER : Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, The good fortune to run into the ones I do, and The eyesight to tell the difference.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

An open letter to Marion Wall:

Marion Kingsland, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #63 16 min ago To my knowledge Jay had been on the Gov dole all of his adult life. Mr. Wall, You, Sir, are a lying, libeling, son-of-a-bitch! Jay Moreno

Who is queering the health plan poll results?

Take a look at the poll results so far. Anyone believe those results? Who is the person or persons most likely to be voting multiple times to queer the results? Your thoughts.

It appears that once again, there is one sane voice in the TOPIX wilderness.

Dandy Don Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #62 13 min ago "it is jay. check his blog. there is a basic misunderstanding in the piece. i can understand why he makes the mistake, he has not held public office. in the piece he uses the expression "run like a business". you cannot run government like a business. if a need arises such as a flood, there is no choice you must respond whatever the cost. there is no such thing as "it's too expensive, you must respond immediately. if an emergency arises or if tax collections are slow in government you must go out and borrow money, to maintain basic services you don't have the option of delay or defer. as i said it is a common error. "(Feller) I will say it again, this is not Jay. I don't know the guy, nor have I ever met him. In response to the quote above by Sandy: Your comment is the mentality as to why we are where we are today. Business and Government CAN be run very similarly, although not exactly alike. The biggest difference is that business doesn't have the authority to force customers to pay (taxes). Both should operate on the assumption that if you don't have any money, you shouldn't spend any. Yes, I understand that emergencies happen, but that's why you have contingency funds or insurance. I also am not saying there shouldn't ever be exceptions, but we should not operate beyond our means on a regular basis. Individual families can't prosper very long while constantly running at a deficit. Why should government be allowed to do so when the very people who support it can't? Do as I say, not as I do. You are saying that gov't can't be run like a business. I am saying that maybe it should. ("Dandy Don")

At long last, it looks like the Paks have had enough of the Taliban.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,521357,00.html?test=latestnews

Newest cutter, CGC Sea Dog, to arrive at NSBKB on Monday.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-23/story/new_coast_guard_cutter_to_arrive

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hear, hear! Well said - well said, indeed!

Dandy Don Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #52 54 min ago You people seem to be forgetting that the county is not a jobs program. This place has not been run like a business in years, and finally a guy comes in and tries to do so and you go bananas. Point #1 :In regards to the healthcare costs, go take a look at what county employees are paying in comparison to any other health care plan, both government and private. I believe you will find that the current county premiums are laughably low. The other 50,000 people in that live here are funding the 400 county workers' plan. I believe its reasonable to expect the county workers to carry the cost of their own health care. Point #2:Are there people in the county management that could be let go? Sure. Are some people overpaid? Probably. But I'm willing to step over some pennies to pick up some dollars, and not vice versa. I would dare to guess that many of the folks that are up in arms about this are either county employees or a relative of one. I don't like anyone being in financial hardship any more than the next guy, but in case you haven't noticed, times are tough. And before you even say it, yes there are folks in the 'big building' making more than the average worker. You are absolutely correct, but please consider that unless you are a professional sports franchise, management/coaches usually makes more than the workers/players. Historically, people who use their mind are paid more than those who use their body. Feel free to scream and yell. I can take it. Addendum: Regrettably, the evidence is clear that my old friend's mental status has now deteriorated to the point that he is publishing obvious lies. On second thought, make that 'obvious untruths' (to the rest of us) because I'm not sure he is even fully cognizant that he is doing it. The sad evidence: ANON United States Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #55 4 hrs ago Dandy Don wrote: "You people seem to be forgetting that the county is not a jobs program. This place has not been run like a business in years, and finally a guy comes in and tries to do so and you go bananas. Point #1 :In regards to the healthcare costs, go take a look at what county employees are paying in comparison to any other health care plan, both government and private. I believe you will find that the current county premiums are laughably low. The other 50,000 people in that live here are funding the 400 county workers' plan. I believe its reasonable to expect the county workers to carry the cost of their own health care. Point #2:Are there people in the county management that could be let go? Sure. Are some people overpaid? Probably. But I'm willing to step over some pennies to pick up some dollars, and not vice versa. I would dare to guess that many of the folks that are up in arms about this are either county employees or a relative of one. I don't like anyone being in financial hardship any more than the next guy, but in case you haven't noticed, times are tough. And before you even say it, yes there are folks in the 'big building' making more than the average worker. You are absolutely correct, but please consider that unless you are a professional sports franchise, management/coaches usually makes more than the workers/players. Historically, people who use their mind are paid more than those who use their body.Feel free to scream and yell. I can take it. "you must be Jay, or Howard!
  1. sandy feller Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #56 4 hrs ago ANON wrote: you must be Jay, or Howard!
(Feller writing here) it is jay. check his blog. there is a basic misunderstanding in the piece. i can understand why he makes the mistake, he has not held public office. in the piece he uses the expression "run like a business". you cannot run government like a business. if a need arises such as a flood, there is no choice you must respond whatever the cost. there is no such thing as "it's too expensive, you must respond immediately. if an emergency arises or if tax collections are slow in government you must go out and borrow money, to maintain basic services you don't have the option of delay or defer. as i said it is a common error. I, Jay Moreno, of course write under my own name. Moreover, it is common knowledge that an immature young hot headed and terribly insecure redneck, Tripp Casey, had me banned from TOPIX. Mr. Feller is well aware that I can not post to TOPIX. I have no Earthly idea who "Dandy Don" is and I surely did not put him up to his excellent statement. I wish I could claim authorship of "But I'm willing to step over some pennies to pick up some dollars, and not vice versa," though. Mr. Feller's efforts to recruit the vile miscreants on TOPIX to his paranoic "cause" are sadly pathetic indeed.

No problem: they will not be old enough to vote in 2012.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Kindergarteners-Snubbed-for-Steelers.html

GTU coverage of the new Gilligan's Island sitcom.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-22/story/mistake_forces_gilligans_island_park_in_camden_county_to_close Interesting T&G poll: http://www.tribune-georgian.com/ So far, 80% of respondents favor closing it down permanently.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The jig is up!

ASTUTE Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #70 1 hr ago Yes ole Jay is being primed pretty well by Berry. This tells me the fix may already be in with the system to bring him on board. He sure likes to defend Berrys actions. Are you saying Jay had a conference call with everyone involved with the land fill. 7944 Okay, y'all caught us. What you don't know is that I actually ghost write all of Steve's books. Moreover, Steve and I are not only in Skull and Bones, but we are both not only Bildeburgers, but on the Trilateral Commission. It fact, it was our Trilateral pals who tasked us with taking over Camden County (think nuclear missiles.)

Debunking yet another egregious TOPIX lie.

Here's a link to the lie du jour: http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/TLLH3NO16OKKBMPQD I just moments ago got off of a conference call with County Administrator Steve Howard and County Finance Director Mike Fender. The county landfill operation is now and for many years has been a self-funding "enterprise fund" under the very competent management of Mr. Lannie Brant. It is entirely self supporting from tipping fees. They curently have over $1,000,000 in their operating budget plus another $4,000,000 in a CD for the express purpose of funding the eventual closing of the landfill. Mike Fender gets monthly reports on the funding of the landfill. Moreover, there is ongoing oversight by the Camden County Solid Waste Authority, comprised of appointed citizen members, Commissioner Rainer, and Mr. Howard. No one has dipped into anything, nor will they. Just more maligning lies from the miscreants on TOPIX. If anyone has firm info as to who is behind this campaign of lies, please let me know. Addendum: Now comes Sandy Feller on TOPIX at 4:01, no doubt after reading my post of some 30 minutes earlier, and posts this: sandy feller Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #3 31 min ago anon wrote: Rumor has it they took over the account and have spent the money. Anyone know anything about it? all monies gained as fees for using land fill are to go into an (Enterprise Fund)special account. this account is used to pay the costs of the land fill. under no circumstances is it permitted to be transferred into the general fund (used to pay day to day expenses of government). to do so is a felony. ask for access to land fill books. you might find it interesting Apparently, he's trolling for the crazy vote.

Why, thank you!

Smoke Screen Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #65 31 min ago Yep, I heard that Jay Moreno got everything him and Howard wanted when it came to changes in the insurance plan. Why, thank you! Far be it from me to point out that even some 18 months out from January of 2011, my actions are already helping save county taxpayers money. Thanks again.

Why not sell the county-owned "Gilligan's Island" property?

Do we really need it? What percentage of the county's populace has EVER used it or has any desire to EVER use it? It seems to be a hangout for drunken yahoos and folks who can't swim but don't have the sense to stay out of the deep water. We clearly can't afford to police it adequately. We could certainly use the money from the sale of it - not to mention getting shed of some major liability exposure. Let me know what y'all think via comments and the poll I'm going to put up.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The 59 minute budget hearing.

Click on image to enlarge.
That's right: started at 5:30, gaveled to a close at 6:29 with very little comment from commissioners. Literally, not one single word from Steve Berry. Most intelligent and germane comments from Chip Keene. Most of the speakers were there to speak in favor of full funding for the Bryan-Lang Historical Library. Jim Stein represented the library employees. Some other attorney about Jim's age (sorry, missed his name) spoke eloquently and at some length in favor of NOT dropping a $20,000 county supplement which apparently represents Camden's share of the support of a five-county co-op program for a team of full time attorneys to represent indigent defendants. He said that if Camden welshed, other counties likely would too, then program would collapse; judges would appoint private attorneys; and costs would increase by several hundred thousand dollars. Surprisingly, no expert input from Berry on that - or anything all night. It looks like with the end of this fiscal year fast approaching, total county FY-09 budget will wrap up at $27,540,457. The proposed FY-2010 budget is lower at $26,530,953. Goals for formulating FY-10 budget were to not use any of the fund balance (rainy day funds); maintain present millage rate of 11.70; maintain hiring freeze; no raises and no COLAs. Some cuts that are under consideration are: outsourcing of county EMS services; across the board pay cuts of 1-5% (as Commissioner Keene explained, only if the economy goes even further South and as a last ditch alternative to actually firing people); consolidation; reduction of county contribution to employee retirement plan; and "adding fees to property tax bills" (that was never elaborated upon). Some possible adjustments to final budget might be an increase (restoration) of $55,000 to the Bryan-Lang Library; $25,000 tot he Camden County Public Library (Gross Rd.) for new books; and $50,000 to the CCSO for two new cars. CCSO budget director made presentation saying that on what they have been budgeted in the proposed budget, the CCSO will likely run completely out of operating funds in late January or early February of 2010. This elicited no comments whatsoever from commissioners. There was, however, one little bit of good news for taxpayers. I'm guessing that they may have heard from a few folks as the result of my analysis of the health plan. All of them, including St. David, signed on to the following three changes to the health plan, effective just as soon as they can notify the employees of the changes. The premiums will change as per the scanned schedule above. Note that I did a cut and paste job on Staci Bowick's original which included some inside baseball figures on how the premiums are now and henceforward indexed to the plan's COBRA premiums. They are, as of tonight, indexed to 10 % of COBRA, where they were at only 7.82%. See why I cut and pasted? You can see the anticipated savings on the right hand side. The premium increases in absolute dollars per plan participant are quite minimal and still constitute a very generous, below market deal for county employees and a better shake for taxpayers. The commissioners agreed to two more cost saving adjustments suggested by Ms. Bowick. First, the emergency room co-pay went up from $100.00 t0 $250.00 to discourage what has historically been a huge and abusive over utilization of the ER after hours in lieu of loosing a day's work to go to a much less expensive doctor's office visit from 9 to 5.. The estimated annual savings to the plan is $25,000. Secondly, the co-pay for a visit to an out-of-network provider was raised from $20.00 per visit to $50.00. You will recall that I pointed out in my analysis that the status quo allowed visits to both in and out-of network providers for the same $20.00 co-pay, thereby providing no incentive/disincentive dynamic. That change is also estimated to save $25,00 annually. The $64,000 question is will the commissioners have the political courage to stick to their guns and face down the employees until they vote on the budget on June 2nd. Remember, commissioners: there are way more of US who vote than them!!
Addendum, 5/21: Link to today's relevant GTU coverage.
See the new poll on the health care plan changes.

Does the county really need to own & operate an "attractive nuisance?"

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/05/20/news/top_stories/1topstory5.20.txt If you are not familiar with the legal concept of "attractive nuisance" click on the following link: http://definitions.uslegal.com/a/attractive-nuisance/ Note that the county both maintains and invites people onto the property .

City hall fights back.

http://www.starbeacon.com/local/local_story_138230355.html

Last night's county commission meeting.

I missed it because I was not feeling well. Did anything interesting take place?

End of fatal, head-on collisions on F. J. Torras Causeway.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-20/story/st_simons_causeway_barrier_could_be_complete_by_october_2010_transport

GTU coverage of hiring of new JDA director.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-20/story/camden_development_authority_names_jacksonville_businessman_as_directo Well I'll be damned: all these years, when I thought that the JDA was being totally ineffective and wasting millions, they were actually just being "deliberate with (their) decisions." Me thinks perhaps they should just loosen up and go for it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Move over, Lucy?

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/05/19/human.ancestor/index.html

Public hearing - FY-2010 Camden County budget.

The hearing will be held at 5:30 PM, tomorrow, Wednesday, May 20th, in the commisioners' meeting room in Woodbine.

Camden County Board of Commissioners meeting tonight at 6:00 PM.

Link to agenda: http://www.co.camden.ga.us/archive.asp?AMID=&Type=&ADID=588

Geometry, statistics, and probability in elementary school?

http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/local_wpri_massachusetts_aspiring_school_teachers_fail_in_math20090519

Chinese national shipping line begins regular service from Far East to Savannah.

How, you might ask, does this relate to Camden? I try to keep y'all posted on port developments in Savannah, Brunswick, and Jax in the hope that some day, a light may go on in the heads of members of the JDA. http://savannahnow.com/node/724536

Cool, rainy weather to linger all week.

Well, at least I won't have to take out a loan to pay my St. Marys water bill next month. http://www.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-05-19/story/rain_wont_go_away_for_the_first_coast

Camden County Public Library facing possible $100,000 budget cut.

Bryan-Lang Historical Library may go to an "appointment only" basis of operation. Berry for it, ergo, St. David, the patron Saint of Good Ol' Boys, is ag'in' it. http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-19/story/camden_library_budget_might_be_cut_by_100_000

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dear Mr. JDA Director....

As you all know, the JDA, on last Friday, officially hired a new Joint Development Authority Director, Mr. David M. Keating (scroll down one page for full details and copy of resume). Mr. Keating will start on Monday, May 25, 2009 (yes, on the holiday). I have sent Mr. Keating a congratulatory e-mail with a link to this blog. Now is your opportunity, via the comments section of this post, to welcome Mr. Keating aboard and perhaps tell him of your frustrations with the lack of success of his predecessors and your hopes and best wishes for his success in bringing industry and high paying jobs to Camden Country - at long last.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Funnies; Volume 64

One year, a husband decided to buy his mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift.The next year, he didn't buy her a gift..When she asked him why, he replied, "Well, you still haven't used the gift I bought you last year!"And that's how the fight started.....************************************************************************My wife walked into the den & asked "Whats on the tv?"I replied "Dust".And that's how the fight started.....************************************************************************A woman is standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror.She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, 'I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's absolutely perfect.'And that's how the fight started.....************************************************************************My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 200 in about 3 seconds.I bought her a set of scales.And that's how the fight started.....************************************************************************I asked my wife, 'Where do you want to go for our anniversary?'It warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation.'Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!' she said.So I suggested, 'How about the kitchen?'And that's when the fight started....************************************************************************My wife and I are watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed. I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have sex?''No,' she answered.I then said, 'Is that your final answer?'She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying 'Yes.'So I said, 'Then I'd like to phone a friend.'And that's when the fight started....************************************************************************I tried to talk my wife into buying a case of beer for $19.95.Instead, she bought a jar of cold cream for $7.95. I told her the beer would make her look better at night than the cold cream.And that's when the fight started..... ********************************************************************************I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order first.'I'll have the strip steak, medium rare, please.'He said, 'Aren't you worried about the mad cow?''Nah, she can order for herself.' And that's when the fight started..... ********************************************************************************** Saturday morning I got up early, quietly dressed, made my lunch, grabbed the dog, and slipped quietly into the garage. I hooked up my fishing boat up to my 4x4 and proceeded to back out into a torrential downpour. The wind was blowing 50 mph, so I pulled back into the garage , turned on the radio, and discovered that the weather would be bad all day.I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. I cuddled up to my wife's back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, "The weather out there is terrible."My loving wife of 10 years replied, "Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that?"And that's how the fight started...---------------------------------------------------------------------------------I bumped into a car this morning. So, there we were alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his car. You know how sometimes you just get soooo stressed and little things just seem funny? Yeah, well I couldn't believe it.... He was a DWARF!!!He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted, "I AM NOT HAPPY!!!"So, I looked down at him and said, "Well then, which one are you?"And then the fight started.....------------------------------------------------------------------------------After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.The woman said, 'Unbutton your shirt'. So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, 'That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me' and she processed my Social Security applicationWhen I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office.She said, 'You should have dropped your trousers. You might have gotten disability, too.'And then the fight started...

Idiot V.P. outdoes himself - again!

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/17/oops-biden-reveals-location-secret-vp-bunker/

Can you imagine this attempt at school reorganization in Camden!?

The good news is that our system and our demographics are such that it is highly unlikely that we would ever see the need for such drastic measures. http://savannahnow.com/node/723778

Auditions for Miley Cyrus movie in Savannah.

http://savannahnow.com/node/723950

GOP state convention wraps up in Savannah.

http://savannahnow.com/node/723785

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The proverbial "missing link?"

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7603618&page=1

Will national school standards replace No Child Left Behind Act?

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/on-education/2009/05/11/should-all-states-meet-the-same-education-standards.html Nota Bene to all school board members and educators: I just finished watching the video of the congressional hearing on this subject held by the Committee of Education and Labor. It is must viewing for you folks and highly recommended for parents who care about education. It runs 1:31. Click on the link, then on the "Archived Webcast" link. http://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/2009/04/strengthening-americas-competi.shtml

Attention, K-Mart shoppers: blue light special in the men's room!

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/local_news/Gunman_Injured_Inside_Canton_K_Mart_051609

Friday, May 15, 2009

A little sobering science for green eco-weenies.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/05/13/mackay.energy/index.html

How's that for "change you can believe in?"

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/14/obama-restart-terror-tribunals-guantanamo-bay-detainees/

St. Marys seniors need volunteers tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 16th, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, volunteers are needed to clean the interior of the new St. Marys Senior Citizens' Center, located behind the Heritage Bank Building on Spur 40 in St. Marys. I would, but I would just be in the way.

Interesting e-mail from Charles Davis.

Hello:Over the past week I have seen the FEMA people all over Camden County, Georgia. What is going on? Why are they here.Recently we had a some flooding in the surrounding Counties along the banks of the Satilla River.When the Road bed was raised on Hwy 40 west of Kingsland by DOT was this a plan to have this happen (the Flooding) because anyone that has lived here for any length of time knows that the Satilla River will flood and go over to the St. Marys River this has been a natural pop off value to keep from flooding these counties to the west. When the DOT did this they should have used a series of Bridges with plenty of room for the water to get over to the St. Marys River.No they built it out of earth and sand and clay 12 feet high to prevent it from flowing they way it has for a very long time. Now I am not saying that he DOT thinking was this way, but; it sure fits into the pattern to put a big straw into our water and ship it over to the west of us and down into Florida allowing Atlanta to keep all the water in Atlanta and give ours to Florida ! That is what the lawsuit was about who gets the water !They are attempting to change the laws on water rights in this State is this what we want to have happen to us ?I think it is time we put our heads together and make a move on them before we become thirsty.C. R. Davis, Sr. Camden Commentary: Yes, the JDA meeting had to be moved over to the library this morning because the FEMA / Georgia Disaster Relief team has there humongo operations center bus parked between the library and the annex and they are using the annex meeting room to handle claims. Only one problem: no Camdenians are showing up. Oh, by the way, Charles, Camden was just recently declared a disaster area as well. It was on the news a few days ago.

Camden teacher in the running for state's best.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/19469415/detail.html I've seen this fellow teach. The kids just eat him up.

JDA hires new executive director.

Click on image to enlarge.
This morning, at their regularly scheduled meeting, the Camden County Joint Development Authority hired a new executive director. When the T&G ran the resumes of the three finalists on 29 April, here is what I posted:I'm encouraged by the fact that they are not considering any of the local applicants. Most were just tossing in their resumes in a proverbial hail Mary pass. The one local in a tangential current occupation had nowhere near the qualifications of at least a dozen from elsewhere. It looks like the first two in the article are well qualified. I'm not so sure about the third guy, from Jax. I suspect they are just using him as a place filler to say they had three finalists. You guessed it - they hired the guy from Jacksonville! I understand from the executive secretary that they actually did have face-to-face interviews with all three finalists. Based on the resumes of the other two, I'm hoping this was not a case of "settling" for the guy who would work for the smallest salary. I will have his salary and his resume just as soon as I hear from the executive secretary. At any rate, I wish him every success in his new job. The guy's name is David Michael Keating. Check back later today for further details.
Update: Now that I've seen and read his entire resume, he looks way better than he did in the T&G. Hopefully, at long, long, last, we have a winner here. Starting salary: $85,000 (plus benefits & expenses).
Adddendum @ 1848 HRS. This morning, I sent Mr. Keating a congratulatory e-mail and a link to this blog. I know he got it because he e-mailed me back. Ergo, via the comments on this post, you folks have an opportunity to convey to him your deep disappointment with the so far total failure of his predecessors to bring industry to Camden and your very high hopes that he will.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Very interesting reading.

Here's the link to the proposed FY 2010 county budget. http://www.co.camden.ga.us/DocumentView.asp?DID=1171 Be patient: this long PDF will take 4 to 5 minutes to download.

Rebutting lying, libeling, lunatics.

Click on image to enlarge
As most of you know, TOPIX is now the haunt of liars and lunatics for the most part. Lately, our county administrator, Steve Howard, and his professional staff, have been the target of their vicious lies. Here are links to their cowardly and entirely baseless attacks. http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/TK3SVHH3DNR23LD64
Yesterday, I e-mailed Mr. Howard and offered him an opportunity to set the record straight on my blog. Here is his response. You will note that it put the lie to each and every one of the baseless canards perpetrated by the human garbage on TOPIX.

Camden Watchdogs' president to address Camden Libertarians Saturday.

Winston Barlow, President of the Camden Watchdog Committee, will speak to the Camden Libertarians on Saturday, May 16 at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Silver Star Steakhouse at 219 Osborne Street in St. Marys. While the Watchdog Committee is non-partisan, it shares many common interests with the Libertarians, especially exactly where our tax dollars are going, and is the destination a proper function of county government . Looking forward to seeing you there, Anne Orr Timothy Orr anneorr@mindspring.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Next JDA meeting this Friday.

The next JDA meeting will be held this Friday, May 15th, at 9:30 AM, at the Camden County Annex (next to the Camden County Public Library). This is the meeting where they are scheduled to choose the new JDA director.

Where do my readers reside?

If you don't mind, please go to my new "poll" and tell me where you live. Thank you. Link to voting district map: http://www.co.camden.ga.us/index.asp?NID=436

Smithsonian's traveling history-of-food-in-America exhibit.

Earlier today, I stopped by the Camden County Public Library (Gross Rd at Hwy 40) to check this exhibit out. If you can find a spare 20 minutes, it is interesting. It will bring back a lot of memories to boomers and older. Lots of great photos. This would be great for grandparents to take grand kids to see. It goes through the history of food, food preservation, the transition from ice boxes to refrigerators, from cooking on the hearth to cook stoves to modern ranges and microwaves, etc. Covers various regional preferences. Worth the trip. The quality you would expect from Smithsonian.

More of Coulter on "torture."

http://www.anncoulter.com/

Georgia Regional Hospital, the state psychiatric hospital in Savannah, to remain open.

http://savannahnow.com/node/721281 Update: http://savannahnow.com/node/721974

Gee, ya think?

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-12/story/sheriff_officers_lucky_to_be_alive What are the chances that these clowns did not once work for BTW?

Perdue vetoes Chapman bill, as I predicted he would - and should - after governor's own freeze.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-05-12/story/gov_sonny_perdue_vetoes_proposed_camden_county_tax_legislation

Monday, May 11, 2009

A second opinion on The Mill.

If you care to go back about 7 pages, you will find my original review of The Mill. Here is a belated comment on that post which just came in today: Anonymous said... Ok, so we went to The Mill and were completely thrilled! There was a small wait (less than 5 minutes) when we arrived but that wasn't annoying at all. Our waitress was quick to take our drink orders and told us about the specials. Seeing as it was Saturday night, the special was Surf and Turf, but I was there strictly for the seafood. The calamari appetizer was delivered hot and fresh, and was a perfect consistency...not too mushy and not too tough. The only surprise was when I dipped the first piece into the sauce that came with it and completely expected to taste cocktail sauce. However, what I got was Marinara! Still yummy, but definitely one of those crazy "tongue surprises"! Considering how crowded the restaurant was, the 14 minutes it took to get our food didn't seem very long. (That was from the time of initial order, not after the appetizer arrived.) My husband and I both got the fried oysters, french fries, and side salads. While I knew my limits and only ordered the 1/2 pound serving, he briefly considered the 1 pound. After he saw how much food he got, he was so glad he went with the smaller size! The oysters and the fries were fixed to perfection! I very much liked the cocktail sauce but didn't try to tartar sauce. Hubby said that it was good (but didn't rave about it). The hushpuppies seemed small compared to those at other seafood restaurants, but at least they weren't overcooked as seems to happen too often regardless of the caliber of the eatery. (Am I just too picky?) I was glad to see that our drinks were refilled often and quickly, which is another true sign of how much attention the staff is paying to the customers. The decor is DEFINITELY better than the previous owner's tastes, so much so that you can hardly believe it's the same place inside! The idea of covering the tables in a layer of "brown package paper" is a brilliant idea that we haven't seen since we were stationed in New Jersey. The staff seems to work well together as everyone was bustling around but was able to stay out of each others' ways, and I didn't see one table sit empty or in need of being bussed at any time. The owner did stop by our table twice to see how things were and if we were pleased. I have to say that after reading your review, I think I was actually LOOKING for an attitude or any sign of snottiness. However, I didn't see anything. While we were waiting to pay after our meal, I did see the owner bring a fresh plate of food out to a customer who was not pleased with the first one. The customer was pleasant, and the owner didn't seem disgruntled or peeved at the temporary disapproval. The only thing that was less than expected about the entire visit was that the waitress forgot to bring our salads before the meal. However, once she sat down the plates and noticed we were missing "a side" each, she quickly consulted her order pad and corrected the mistake. It made the meal seem a little "lopsided" for the order I like to eat in, but it was really not a big deal. A big plus was that the balsamic vinagrette dressing I ordered must have been homemade! I've never tasted anything quite like it and it was thicker than the common vinagrette! All in all, I went in a little more skeptical than I would usually have when approaching a new restaurant, but I left happy and full! (And, just in case anyone wonders...the only "common factor" as far as the wait staff of Steffens and that at The Mill was the presence of the owner. Hubby and I both wondered if they "shared" waitresses, but it doesn't appear that they do!) To answer your question about where I hail from, I'm a Southern girl. However, I married a Navy man, so I've had the wonderful benefit of living in many different places and experiencing lots of different cuisines. Some things are just done better in the North, and some are done better in the South....and seafood is one that belongs to the South!In closing, while we both have offered different reviews, and obviously had different experiences, one thing remains the same...it's better now as The Mill than it was as St. Marys Seafood, even if you don't eat anything! May 11, 2009 8:09 PM Jay Moreno said... Oaky, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you are not actually the owner pretending to be a bona fide customer (the recipient of one of my bad reviews has pulled that stunt before).But were you reared in the south near the sea coast or the gulf? Trust me - folks hereabouts and in my hometowmn of Savannah, and Charleston to name a few, prefer our fried seafood battered with a mix of plain flour and fine ground white corn meal, not just wheat flour. As I said in my review, the shrimp and oysters I had were perfectly fried. My service was also good. Where your hushpuppies were described as not overcooked, mine were more raw than cooked. Moreover,they were utterly bland. Southerners reared on the ocen eat hushpuppies with onions in them. The slaw absolutely sucked. A good cole slaw is absolutely essential to the enjoyment of a good seafood dinner for most coastal reared southerners. The tarter sauce sucked, and the attempt at cocktail sauce needed easily twice as much horseraddish as what it had. Saying it was better than St. Marys Seafood is faint praise indeed. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I still say they will do much better if they fix the problems I encountered as I suggested.P.S.,Calamari is an Italian dish: it is always served with marinara sauce. If you are used to having it served with cocktail sauce, the folks who served it to you did not have a clue. May 11, 2009 8:36 PM

Taking a hard look at Camden County's employee health insurance plan.

As I mentioned previously (under comments), I attended the workshop on the county health plan last Tuesday at 5:00 before the regular county commission meeting. I have an insurance background. The county manager, Steve Howard and his risk manager, Staci Bowick, are trying to get a handle on out-of-control costs by making some minor adjustments to coverage and instituting employee wellness programs. Their efforts are being met by stiff resistance from the employees. The employees have largely succeeded in thwarting the plans to bring costs under control by getting to the commissioners, who, unfortunately, on the whole, do not have the political courage to stand up to the implicit threats of loss of employee and employee influenced votes the next time they are up for election. Several weeks ago, the commissioners rejected the original cost reduction plans submitted to them. My guess is that even the highly watered-down plans submitted Tuesday will be rejected. The only apparent solution is for us, the taxpayers, to bring more political pressure than that which can be mustered by the 347 employees who are covered by the plan. To that end, and to the end of educating the employees, who, I fear, really do not understand what a deal they are getting and how very reasonable the requests to help control costs truly are, here are my observations. Let's start off with the bottom line, then fill in the details. The plan runs concurrent with the county's fiscal year from the first of July to the last of June. Ms. Bowick was able to give me all of the data I requested for the 10 months of the plan end the last day of April of 2009. For those 10 months, the total cost of the plan, net of what claims were paid by the re-insurance, was $4,241,272.00. The total amount of premiums paid by the participating employees was just $300, 646.05. Put another way, the employees paid 7.08% of the cost of their health care; the taxpayers paid 92.92%. In the private sector, even the most generous fully insured plans require their employees to pick up at least 25% of the premiums. Well, the employees argue that they are not paid nearly so well as they would be for comparable work in the private sector and that the generous (although they certainly do not see it that way) health plan offsets low pay. Their low pay is a legitimate, but separate issue - and one that should be looked at. Let's now look at the actual premiums charged employees for the coverage. Note that because of the threats, political cowardice, and rampant GOB cronyism as the modus operandi of St. David and E.B., there have only been two rate increases to employees in 12 YEARS! The last was in January of 04, more than 5 YEARS AGO! Here are the current health only rates, charged bi-weekly: employee only - $24.50; employee and spouse - $44.48; employee and child - $38.86; employee and family -$52.60. So, an employee with a wife and 10 kids covered pays $52.60 every two weeks. That's the equivalent of a monthly premium of $113.96. Tell me, folks, how does that compare to what you are paying for full family coverage on your job? Note that if my hypothetical worker is at the bottom of the county pay scale, at, say, $11.00 per hour, that is still just 6% of annual income. For most county workers, it is way less than 6%. I know what you are thinking: for that low a premium , it must be really crappy coverage. Guess again. It is quite likely just as good as - if not better - than what you pay 4 or 5 times as much for at your place of employment. Let's take a look at our employee with a wife and ten kids covered. His annual family deductible for going to in network providers (the plan is a self-insured PPO, or preferred provider organization) is $600.00. The deductible for using out-of-network providers( I.e., those physicians and hospitals who have NOT agreed to give the PPO deep discounts for services), the disincentivizing deductible is $1,200 for the whole family. So, suppose his family burns through the $600.00 deductible. Now he's up to $163.96 per month (the $113.96. per month for premiums plus 1/12th of the $600.00 deductible). Three members of the family had claims. The out-of-pocket max for each member is $1,200. That's another $3,000, or $250.00 per month, for a total monthly cost for health expenses for that year of $403.96 per month. That is his maximum total cost, including premiums, deductibles, and co-pays for three members of the family to be sick assuming they use in-network providers. Note that many people in the private sector pay more than that for family PREMIUMS alone. Just a few more details. The "stop loss" thresh hold is $60,000. In other words, once the employee and taxpayers have forked over $60,000 on an episode of illness, the re-insurance, or "stop loss" policy purchased by the county pays all remaining costs of that episode of illness. In most plans, there are two different co-pay amounts for visits to a doctor's office. It might be $20.00 for a visit to an-in network provider and a disincentivizing $40.00 for a visit to an out-of-network doctor. In Camden County's plan, there is no disincentive to discourage visits to out-of network doctors who charge the plan higher fees. Employees pay the same $20.00 co-pay regardless of who they see. That should be corrected immediately, if only the commissioners can muster up the courage to accede to the risk manager's request. By the way, if an employee needs to see a specialist, and there is not one listed in the list of approved "in network" providers, permission is given to go to an out of network specialist at the same deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pockets as if they had been an in network doctor. Therefor, there is no reason not to disincentivize going to an out-of-network provider with higher fees when an in-network provider is readily available. As I understand it, Ms. Bowick is also recommending that for certain particularly expensive procedures, there should be established a "super preferred" (if you will - my term, not hers) group of named providers who have a good record of good outcomes matched with a willingness to give exceptionally good fees structures to the PPO. This too, seems reasonable. I was also struck by the fact that all claims processing is done in-house. Ms. Bowick tells me that the 10 month administrative costs and the cost of the re-insurance premiums comes to a non-segregated (I'll ask her when I'm done here to break those apart) of $891,099. What you shuld know is that many self-insured plans employ what are called "TPA's" (third party administrators) to handle all of the claims processing. They offer an efficiency of scale such that their services are often less costly (even with a profit motive) than doing claims in-house. Jax, just down the road, has several TPA firms. If I were on the commission, I would insist on some bids to see if we might save money by using a TPA for claims. There would still be plenty for Ms. Bowick to do. Her brief includes not only health, but property insurance and liability issues as well. I would be most interested in hearing y'alls thoughts on the county health plan. As you ponder whether or not it is worth an e-mail to the county commissioners expressing your concerns - if you have them - bear in mind these data: year-to-date (10 months ending April) the cost per participating employee has been $11,880.32 - of which the employees have paid an average of $842.15 per employee. You and I have picked up the tab for the remaining $11,038.15 PER EMPLOYEE. And y'all thought BTW was the only one buying votes. COLAS, which are voted on in open session and the public immediately gets wind of, provide commissioners with grandstanding "holding the line on spending" opportunities while the overly generous health plan has slipped under the radar - up until now.

Wrong again.

I C U Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #17 2 hrs ago Smoke Screen wrote: Yep, he's doing a great job! He even has J. Moreno doing his dirty work for him now. I guess the "harem" could not do the job, so he called in Moreno. What a joke! Since Moreno finally got a college degree at the ripe old age of 62, He thinks anyone who dosen't have one is an idiot. Now he feels equal to Howard and the Harem. He is now on their level and whatever Howard says is the gospel. Moreno is not fit to be a dog catcher. Moreno should never be elected for anything. Why you ask???? He is all for self and will NOT listen to anyone's opinion. So why should he be on any level of government to represent only himself?? Moreno is a goat headed nut and is now an educated goat head. The facts: I'm 61. I earned my Bachelor of General Studies (since renamed "Bachelor of Liberal Studies") degree with a minor in political science from Armstrong Atlantic State University in June of 1997 at the age of 49. What I just completed last week was the AASU post-baccalaureate teacher certification program of studies with state teacher certifications to teach Middle Grades Social Science, Middle Grades Language Arts, and Political Science at the high school level. Trust me - with a tested IQ of 136, I have been at or above the "level" of Mr. Howard, the "harem", and statistically, 98% of the American population, for several decades. Opinions are interesting and, on rare occasions, superior to my well thought out, fact based conclusions - but only very, very rarely. As to my goat-headedness, I can only say that it is in the eyes of the beholder. Now, with an 8 & 7/8th hat size, I do have a much larger head than most. However, irrespective of what animal one likens it to, it has been a highly intelligent and reasonably well educated head for many years now.