Fannin County residents first heard of the tractor lease when at recent Fannin County Commission Workshop, Post Commissioner, Earl Johnson, questioned why a Kubota Tractor
“is being held as a repossessed piece of equipment.”
For the second straight week the tractor has been made a big topic in the meetings. Watch the short clip below and leave a comment on who you think did the right thing.
Johnson stated that he became aware of the situation when the owner of the tractor company called and asked if he knew what was going on.
“This is embarrassing to me as a representative of Fannin County…I wasn't asked what we should do.”
Commissioner Johnson brought this to the public’s attention in order to illustrate that Commission Chairman, Bill Simonds, doesn't always keep post commissioners in the loop. Johnson expressed his desire to change the BOC composition through local legislation citing the tractor situation as an example.
According to the lease agreement, Simonds signed to lease Kubota tractor for 4 years on July 10th of 2012. The payment was set at roughly $1,800.00 a month.
When contacted by FYN, Simonds said,
"What was not mentioned at the meeting was that the tractor was a piece of junk. It stayed in the shop countless times. Each one of these times in the shop our men were without a tractor for up to 20 days."
Simonds went on to state that he had been in contact with Kubota to try and get a new tractor on many occasions when the tractor kept breaking down.
The lease states that a county may terminate the contract after one budget year without penalty. Since the tractor stayed in the shop it was easier just to send the tractor back since a new one was not an option from the manufacturer.
In the video below you can see a frustrated Johnson reading an agreement letter between the County Attorney Lynn Doss and the tractor retailer.