Water talk dominated the town hall with DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester Oct. 6.
After several comments about the recent corruption report calling for Interim CEO Lee May to resign and support for police officers, she said she plans to tackle legislation for home-based business owners who are billed extra for sanitation.
Jester said the other commissioners weren’t as receptive to Jester’s push to rewrite the legislation or allow home-based business owners to sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury, waiving the fee when the business doesn’t generate excess waste.
“The other commissioners said, ‘It’s just $35 extra dollars,’” Jester said. “That’s not a culture of corruption, but a lack of respect.”
Finally, Jester turned her attention to the water department, which most people had questions and complaints about.
Residents in the audience questioned whether or not fraud could be the underlying issue. Jester assured everyone that she signed a resolution insisting department heads sign off on their work and contracts. She said every dollar spent by the county represents a dollar earned by a taxpayer and she would not tolerate “bad decision making.”
She announced a new watershed director and said she told him bluntly which staff members she didn’t trust.
Some people don’t like to start a new job and make a lot of changes, Jester said, but she told the watershed director in no uncertain terms, “You can’t fire enough people to make me happy.”
Jester blames the problems, such as a bill for using 50,000 gallons of water in one month and receiving bills twice for the same month, on incompetence. She said she’d be in favor of creating new cities and would vote for them herself.
“It’s no secret to me why people vote for cities,” Jester said. “I’d vote for one myself.”