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Ella Smith posted a comment about Ron Ramsey, head of DCSS Internal Affairs, stating that she had met several people, judges included, who had good things to say about Ramsey. (He has been critiqued here at this blog many times.) She also stated that she asked Ramsey point blank if he took a leave from DCSS while serving at the Capitol for 40 days per year as a state senator. He answered, "yes". Sandy Spruill wrote the following rebuttal to Ella's comments:
Let’s set the record straight with documented research. Here are some facts about Ron Ramsey:
·Ramsey’s “full bio”, dated January 2009, states: “Sen. Ramsey has a successful career as a federal government investigator and attorney.” Notice the current tense of the sentence phrasing. Still, no mention of employment by the DeKalb County School System. http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/senate/ramseyprintbio.pdf
·Ramsey’s “full bio” also claims that he “serves on a number of “influential” [his words] committees, including his position as secretary of the Urban Affairs Committee and as a member of the Education and Youth, Insurance and Labor, Special Judiciary and State and Local Government committees.” However, a page earlier on his Senate website, he says he serves on these committees: Insurance and Labor, Judiciary, Special Judiciary, State and Local Governmental Operations and Urban Affairs – Secretary. What happened to Judiciary? What happened to Education and Youth? Ramsey’s attention to detail for his State Senate job seems to mirror that reflected in his DCSS job.
Respected By Whom?
In this blog, Ella, you say that “[Ramsey] is really respected by the legislative body …” What is your source for this claim? Is this what Ramsey told you? If there are sources for that claim besides Ramsey, it will be interesting to cross-check those sources with the many self-serving recognitions and commendations that Ramsey brings before the Georgia General Assembly.
What Kind of Leave Is Ramsey Taking?
In this blog, you say that Ramsey claims he “takes a leave of absence” when he is gone during the 40 days the Georgia General Assembly meets each year. How is that leave defined? Does that mean a “leave without pay”? Or does that mean an “approved leave,” but Ramsey continues to be paid by DCSS though not present to do his job? Or is that “annual leave” (vacation days)?
It is not possible for Ramsey to accrue enough annual leave (vacation) to cover 40 days each year in the Georgia General Assembly. After 10 years of service, the most annual leave a state employee can accrue is 21 days per year. Since Georgia does not operate on a PTO (paid time off) basis – i.e., combining annual leave with sick leave to use as needed – it would be highly inappropriate if Ramsey was also taking sick leave to cover his Georgia General Assembly days.
Ella, did Ramsey provide you with documentation regarding his leave of absence? If so, please share. It is not a good idea to just take Ramsey’s word for it.
Regardless, DCSS is paying retiree Robert Tucker more $$$ to warm Ramsey’s seat while he is away.
Ramsey Is Being Paid How Much?
If, in fact, Ramsey is taking leave without pay, then the salary shown for him in www.open.georgia.gov is considerably less than his actual annual salary. There are an average of 260 workdays in a year. If Ramsey’s actual payment is $112,120 for only 220 days, he is earning approximately $509 per day. Multiply that daily rate by 260 (40 legislative days + 220 work days) and you see his actual salary is $132,340.
But, wait! There’s more! Add in his $17,341 salary as a state senator and Ramsey is actually being paid $149,681 per year.
Does Ramsey have a DCSS car? If so, does he use it while he is attending the Georgia General Assembly sessions and for other legislative work? This question has been asked several times on this blog, but it has never been answered. Why? It is either Yes/Yes or Yes/No or No. Pretty simple, really, but no answer has been forthcoming from Ramsey. No transparency!
Ramsey’s Legislative “Contributions”
Now, let’s take a look at Ramsey’s actual legislative “contributions” during the recent 2010 Georgia General Assembly session:
·In 2010, he was involved with 22 pieces of legislation – most were pretty much forgettable. Only four were signed by the Governor. One – the only one that related to education – was vetoed. Fortunately. It was an apparently unfunded, complicated mandate to register children for school within 30 days of moving to DeKalb County that would have required an incredible – and generally useless – amount of information to be obtained from unspecified sources and tracked.
Hey, Ramsey! How about doing your DCSS job for a change and make sure that all students in DCSS schools are, in fact, residents of DeKalb County eligible to attend DeKalb County Schools because they live with their custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s) within their assigned attendance area. Even magnet students and AYP transfers must meet eligibility requirements to attend a DCSS school. I’m just sayin’ …
·In 2010, Ramsey also wasted valuable Senate time – keep in mind we have serious problems facing us in Georgia and a 40-day limit on the legislature each year – by presenting 85 separate instances of recognitions, condolences, commendations and congratulations. These included: recognitions of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta social sororities, as well as Kappa Alpha Psi social fraternity (DCSS Friends-and-Family connections); Georgia’s African American Horse Council Community Advocates; multiple Christian church recognitions; multiple high school sports recognitions (but no high school academic recognitions); and Liberty Tire Recycling, LLC, among others.
·In 2010, Ramsey also took legislative time to urge the U.S Department of the Treasury to shred all old $100 bills when new bills are brought into circulation. I’m sure they were grateful for that reminder.
·In 2010, Race-baiting-Ramsey urged recognition of the importance of providing equal access, opportunity, and treatment of African Americans and minorities for State Awarded Contracts. Ramsey also urged the Georgia Transportation Department to provide equal access, opportunity, and treatment of African Americans.
I am happy to provide anyone with the Excel spreadsheet I created that documents Ramsey’s legislative activity. E-mail me at email@example.com.
Ella – You seem like a well-meaning, good-hearted person, though somewhat credulous. If you are elected to the DCSS BOE, I hope you are ready for the demands of openness, transparency and documentation that will be required of the DCSS BOE – indeed, all of DCSS – from November 2 onward.