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Residents must protest nepotism
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Editor, On Tuesday, Sept. 14, there was a regular meeting of the Ludowici City Council. One item on the agenda was the hiring of another family member. Actually, she had been hired illegally on Aug. 19.
We, as the public, have the right to know what our government is doing. This hiring was done between the mayor and the city council members — in secret. All of this is done because the favors never end between the participants. It’s the “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” mentality. If you read the Sunday, Sept. 12 Coastal Courier, the mayor made the statement that the city couldn’t afford to hire help, although help was needed in city hall.
At the council’s September meeting, I presented an ethics complaint, which I had to do within 90 days. This is the legal way to object to a government action you take issue with. The open records and open meetings act (The Sunshine Law) provides instruction on the procedures and informs us on the legalities.
I took a poster board to the meeting with a family tree diagramed. In the same Sept. 12 newspaper article, the mayor was quoted as saying you couldn’t hire in a small city like Ludowici without hiring a relative, however there are 13 family members out of three families hired or elected in Ludowici. This is the way they keep control and don’t allow any non-family to be hired. I pointed out to them that the population of Long County is about 10,000.
I got no response to my legal ethics complaint from any city council member or the attorney. Instead, they allowed others to ridicule me. In fact, one “esteemed” official laughed out loud.
They did hire three employees for the water department. The budget allows $139,145. The total payout is $181,116 in wages. They are now over budget by $41,971. They also gave everyone a 5 percent raise. They hadn’t had one for more than a year. If they’re going to waste the taxpayers’ money on unnecessary personnel, I believe we need someone to investigate all of them. I feel this is an abuse of public funds.
I can understand if they don’t like what I say, but we all know these people and their families have always had control. It’s up to us to get together as citizens and try to outwit them at election time, because they do like to go out and get absentee ballots to overcompensate for the voting at the polls.                                              
— Janis M. Goode
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