Videos: Day 2, Planning, Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2018-02-20

These videos are for those of you who have jobs, or responsibilities, which prevent you from taking random days or hours off at a time. Commissioner Marshall was absent from the second day of the retreat because he has a job which does not allow him the flexibility of daytime hours off. (The first day of the retreat was on Presidents Day.)

The topics of discussion ranged from the ever popular litter and trash collection, to special tax districts, fire and emergency response, animal control and the animal shelter, and one of my favorites, electronic records. Most presentations were made either by the county manager or clerk but the current Deep South Solid Waste Authority Chairman Kevin Beals was first up to talk trash.

Below are links to each LAKE video of Day 2, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of Day 1 and Continue reading

Videos: Day 1, Planning, Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2018-02-19

The 2018 Lowndes County Commission Retreat was just about the exact opposite of a commission meeting, except that same group of people are present (almost). There was discussion, disagreement, laughing, sighing, interrupting, listening, inside jokes, outside jokes, and general exchange of views. Those things don’t happen in a commission meeting. This year’s retreat was particularly different because there was no time frame attached to any agenda item and they didn’t discuss topics in exact order, and some topics got covered repeatedly. Commissioner Evans said to me during a break that the previous format of having departments just give a report can “get boring” and she had suggested that they have a different format with more discussion about communications.

The agenda was available on-line but was hard to find and the link I followed to find it is gone now. I did manage to download it before it went away. Find it here: 2018 LCC Annual Planning Meeting Agenda (plus searchable text). There were paper copies available at the meeting after the first break.

I sometimes think that the commissioners may be getting used to me but then, no, don’t be silly.

At the lunch hour, the Commissioners stepped outside to take a group picture and as County Clerk Page Dukes suggested that they get closer and not have so much “space” between them, Commissioners Orenstein and Griner (I live in their districts) huddled together.

Commissioners Gather Group Photo Close Group Photo
  Commissioners Orenstein and Griner

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

Pastry, Hunting, Market Strategy @ VLCIA 2018-02-20

On their agenda for tomorrow are bonds for Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe.

Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc. logo

Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority
Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 5:30 PM
Development Authority Conference Room/103 Roosevelt Drive
Monthly Meeting Agenda

Continue reading

Agenda, 2018 Commission Annual Planning Meeting @ LCC 2018-02-19

Update 2018-02-19: And a picture of the participants.

Still no agenda posted on lowndescounty.com. Below is the paper agenda Gretchen got at the meeting this morning. It has no times of day and no speakers listed. I wonder if the Commissioners got something more detailed than this?

One page, Agenda

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
2018 Commission Annual Planning Meeting
6926 Simpson Road. Hahira. Georgia
Monday. February 19—Tuesday. February 20
8:30 am.

FINANCE
Audit Report Continue reading

No Agenda for Lowndes County Commission Retreat @ LCC 2018-02-19

Lowndes County’s annual two-day Planning Meeting, aka retreat, which begins today, a bank holiday, with no agenda posted. I hear it is at Chairman Bill Slaughter’s place south of Hahira. Gretchen is on her way with the LAKE video camera.

When: 8:30 AM, Monday 19 Feb 2018, Tuesday 20 Feb 2018

Where: 6926 Simpson Rd, Hahira GA 31632

Event: 2018 Annual Planning Meeting

6926 Simpson Road, Hahira
Parcel ID 0031 042, Lowndes County Tax Assessors

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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!

Videos: Rocky Ford Road, Sharp Family, C-G Bemiss Rd @ LCC 2018-02-13

Again like in the previous morning’s Work Session the lengthiest regular item was the rezoning on Rocky Ford Road for the church-proposed Camp Rock, mostly with attorney Jack Langdale speaking for, including that a “wilderness camp” for unfortunate children doesn’t need a buffer, and any future buyers of neighboring property beware.

The Sharp family said for seven years they have been trying to get somebody to do something about stray dogs, only to discover Animal Control doesn’t work weekends anymore, and the Sheriff’s office won’t do anything, even though one of their family had been killed by the dogs and another bitten, and the dogs are now into their second and third generations running loose.

Third longest was Continue reading

Videos: Building too close and trash disposal staging @ ZBOA 2018-02-06

They approved both contentious cases, but not unanimously.

Joshua Stevens of Wendover Road, according to pictures submitted by neighbor Franklin J. Richards II, built a building eight inches from another building. “Staff Recommendation: Find inconsistent with the Variance Fteview Criteria and deny the requests.”

Eight inches and ten inches

ZBOA Chairman Allan Strickland was not present, so Mac McCall chaired. However, for this first case he recused himself, and Gretchen Quarterman chaired. Staff Tracy Tolley suggested tabling to get more information. Nathaniel Brantley moved to approve citing Continue reading

Model Solar Ordinance Public Workshop, Tifton, GA 2018-03-12

A few years ago, a doctor in Valdosta applied for a variance for solar panels over his parking lot. The Zoning Board of Approvals (ZBOA) tabled it, because Valdosta’s Land Development Regulations (LDR) did not permit that. I think he then made the panels connected to his building, which put them a different and already-permitted category.

What if Valdosta and other local governments updated their codes to enable parking lot and other solar power?

When:

4-6PM Monday, March 12, 2018

Where: National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Library (NESPAL)
2356 Rainwater Road, Tifton, GA 31793

Event: eventbrite

What: “The Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and University of Georgia have come together to develop a model solar zoning ordinance to provide county and city officials and other decision-makers in Georgia access to best practices and a common baseline from which to work. We will produce a comprehensive document that addresses multiple scales and types of solar energy systems that counties and cities can adopt and adapt to their needs.”

Georgia 2017-01, Maps

More about the event: Continue reading

Solar Valdosta Schools 2018-02-13

Yesterday the Valdosta Board of Education voted for the sun.

No byline, WCTV, 14 Feb 2018, Valdosta City Schools votes to lease land to solar company,

The school system will begin leasing some of its extra property to the solar energy company Radiance Solar.

Solar Site Map by Radiance Solar, Maps

Radiance Solar will reportedly pay Continue reading

Videos: Resolutions and Railroad crossing @ Hahira 2018-01-30

The Hahira City Council passed two resolutions at its February 1, 2018 Regular Session, one supporting GA HR 158 to stop state fee diversions, and another supporting the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. Two days before I spoke about both and there was discussion at the Hahira Work Session of January 30, 2018.

Another item from that Work Session has unfortunately become big news: possibly closing the Lawson Street railroad crossing, where a man was killed February 5 when a Norfolk Southern train struck a dump truck, according to WTXL. WALB says, “The Georgia State Patrol identified the driver as Dexter Brown, 48, of Barnwell, S.C.”. Mayor Bruce Cain gave a statement to Hahira Today, which also included some discussion of that agenda item: Continue reading