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Residents claim nepotism in Ludowici
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At the Ludowici City Council’s August meeting, resident Janice Goode addressed the issue of perceived nepotism and job performance. Goode read aloud an excerpt from the cityethics.org website and also a passage from the Ludowici city charter.
In summary, Goode’s report said nepotism puts governing officials in awkward situations and is unethical. She also said officials need to be impartial when acting on behalf of the entity they represent.
The city charter’s code of ethics mandates that city government officials treat all employees and people fairly, provide a full day’s work and not show favoritism toward anyone.
After the meeting, Goode said, “That’s what I said (the passages she read), and I stand by it. In my opinion, they don’t do what they’re supposed to do as elected officials and it’s wrong.”
Ludowici Mayor Myrtice Warren did not agree with Goode. “We have a small city and county,” she said. “With us being as small as we are, you can’t help but be a relative to someone hired either by the city or the county or the school system. It’s just a fact due to our population being what it is.”
The mayor insisted officials are impartial. “But we do not show any favoritism or discriminate. We do everything we can to treat everyone fairly and do our jobs,” she said. “If I become aware of anything unethical, I make sure that the council looks into the claim and deals with the allegation.
“We also have good employees. If anything, we’re understaffed and need more workers, but just can’t afford to hire any more ,” she said.
Ludowici resident Rodney Ballance also went before the council. He claimed it’s illegal for Councilman Jim Fuller to also hold the position of judge pro-tem.
Warren said the allegation has been turned over to City Attorney Joe Kitchings for review.
In other business:
• The council approved a drug-sniffing dog for Ludowici Police Department Sgt. J.D. Campbell, who said the dog will be used by the whole department.
The sergeant said no cost will be passed onto the city. The dog will be donated. After the meeting, Campbell said donation to help care for the animal are appreciated. Call him at 545-9472.
• The council voted to keep it millage rate at the previous year’s 10 mills.
• Ludowici resident Darel Shatzer asked the city council to reimburse him $60 for medicine he bought because he said the city’s water made him sick. Kitchings said Shatzer had no proof the water caused his illness, so Ludowici is not obligated to repay him.

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