Videos: City of Valdosta Retreat at Lenox River Ranch 2017-03-17-18

Thanks to George Boston Rhynes for tracking the Valdosta City Council to the wilds of Lenox River Ranch where they meet every year in Colquitt County. Here are his videos.

The city did publish an agenda on their website.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist of George’s videos:

Continue reading

Videos: Sheriff still wants warrants, elections, judges, EMS coroner, Budget Requests (2 of 3 days) @ LCC 2017-03-28

Sheriff Ashley Paulk still wants a warrant before he turns anybody over to ICE. I agree with him that there’s no point in arresting people who are busy working in the fields. Georgia already tried that a few years ago, and crops rotted.

These are the LAKE videos from day 2 of 3. They’re back at it this morning, and Gretchen is there with the LAKE video camera.

The Board of Elections got the second-longest discussion at 44 minutes, partly because the Elections Supervisor kept using jargon it’s not clear the Commissioners understood. Longest discussion was with newly-elected Coroner Austin Fiveash, whose office has been kicked out of Remerton, which used to heavily subsidize it, and he apparently didn’t know the Coroner doesn’t get a car supplied, nor any office help. When asked why he picked an assistant coroner who already had a half-time job, he said nobody wanted this job. Well, apparently he did: he ran for it.

And still no agenda on the county’s website. Why doesn’t the county want the tax-paying public to know what they’re doing? Continue reading

Videos: Budget Requests (1 of 3 days) @ LCC 2017-03-27

Still no agenda on the county’s website, and it wasn’t posted on the front of the building, either, but a county employee (not the Clerk) did finally get Gretchen a copy, which you can see here, for the first of three county budget meetings. The Tax Assessors and Behavioral Health didn’t show up. All the Superior Court judges did show up, so if you want to see them and many other public officials and their budget requests, you can in these LAKE videos. Very few if any citizens other than Gretchen showed up to watch in person. They’re back at it today, so you can go see for yourself whoever they have asking for money today.

Agenda

That was the third public meeting yesterday morning, 10:30 AM to 4:50 PM, Monday, March 27, 2017, after the Work Session and the Goals meeting. After lunch, County Manager Joe Pritchard supplied a chair for Gretchen to sit in.

We can guess this is a followup to the Continue reading

Videos: Lowndes County Commission Goals @ LCC 2017-03-27

The Chairman confirmed that yesterday’s “Lowndes County Commission Goals” was a continuation of the rather testy goals discussion at their February planning session, in which they disagreed on things such as whether to hold Work Sessions at times when working people could attend. And ten days later held a three-minute Work Session. There’s still no agenda for that 9:30AM to 10:30AM Goals meeting on the county’s website, even though it appears they had one.

They declared Solid Waste Management accomplished, yet they spent even more time discussing Litter Control and Beautification and kept that on their short-term goals. Later they seemed to decide to make a special class of ongoing issues, including litter and Moody AFB.

The elephant in the room is that tax revenue is down and inconsistent.

Below are links to each LAKE video of that Goals meeting, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. Continue reading

Videos: Trash disposal renewals, regional T-SPLOST, another lift station pump, Dasher Streets @ LCC 2017-03-27

More than four minutes yesterday morning on Residential Solid Waste Franchise Renewal: maybe it’s still contentious because they still don’t have a good model. Maybe not everybody wants to have their trash picked up at the end of their driveway like they lived in town. They vote tonight at 5:30 PM, and they agreed add an agenda item amending the ordinance to change insurance requirement from $5 million to $1 million. As of this writing at 8AM, they have not yet changed their online agenda. We’ll see how it eventually changes from the agenda already blogged.

They spent more than three minutes on Regional T-SPLOST; follow the link for details. Another Lift Station Pump lift station pump needs replacing And Dasher wants the county to maintain a couple of dirt streets.

Below are links to each LAKE video, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. See also the agenda. Continue reading

First of three budget meetings @ LCC 2017-03-27

In the third public meeting this morning, after the Work Session and the Goals meeting, the Lowndes County Commission is holding the first of three daily budget meetings. This one is 10:30 AM to 4:50 PM, Monday, March 27, 2017. There’s no agenda, just this calendar notice.

We can guess this is a followup to the audit report and finance discussions from their February planning session.

Why they didn’t post an agenda is mysterious. They didn’t post one for the Goals meeting, either.

Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!

-jsq

Lowndes County Commission Goals @ LCC 2017-03-27

No agenda, but on their calendar for this morning 9:30-10:30 AM Monday March 27, 2017: “Lowndes County Commission Goals”.

We can guess this is a continuation of the rather testy goals discussion at their February planning session, in which they disagreed on things such as whether to hold Work Sessions at times when working people could attend. And ten days later held a three-minute Work Session.

-jsq

Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!

Regional T-SPLOST agenda 2017-02-28

Even though Lowndes County voted 2 to 1 against T-SPLOST in 2012, and Southern Georgia Region 11 voted it down by 38,731 no votes (58%) to 28,217 Yes (42%) votes, a few counties in the region voted for it (Clinch, Atkinson, Coffee, Bacon, and Irwin). Also, Lowndes County had lots of transportation items ready to trot in case it passed. So it shouldn’t be surprising that five years later local governments in the region are considering rolling their own. It’s on this morning’s Lowndes County Commission agenda for voting Tuesday evening.

No, except Clinch, Atkinson, Coffee, Bacon, and Irwin

After hearing of it in the videos Gretchen took of the Lowndes County Planning Session Day 2 back in February, I asked the South Georgia Regional Commission and got this email from Corey Hull: Continue reading

Trash disposal renewals, regional T-SPLOST, another lift station pump, Dasher Streets @ LCC 2017-03-27

Regional T-SPLOST is on the agenda this morning. Back in 2012 we all voted down a statewide T-SPLOST (Transportation Special Sales Tax).

As we learned at the February Lowndes County Commission Planning Session Day 2, on 28 February 2017 in Waycross there was a “public hearing” about a possible regional T-SPLOST. When I asked SGRC about that, they sent the Waycross agenda, saying “This is not a public meeting and was not advertised as such, however it is open to the public.” Apparently something happened at that meeting, since T-SPLOST is on the Lowndes County Commission agenda now, with this in the attached document:

HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: According to House Bill 170, counties within a Regional Commission District have the option to institute a Regional T-SPLOST. The Georgia Department of Transportation is requesting action to be taken by April 1, 2017, either in favor of or opposed to a Regional T-SPLOSI’. If ten (10) of the eighteen (18) regional counties fail to get support for a Regional T-SPLOST, then individual counties can initiate an independent T-SPLOST’.

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After Lowndes County spent unknown hundreds of thousands of dollars suing Continue reading