Parks and Rec. Appointment, Lowndes County, Georgia

Previously, the Valdosta City Council appointed City Council member Robert Yost to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA). The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners debated appointing a Commissioner to the VLPRA at their June 8 meeting:

They decided to appoint their chairman, Ashley Paulk, to the VLPRA. Chairman Paulk said he would serve, but as a private citizen. I wonder then what the point was of appointing him, rather than someone else.

When Valdosta appointed Yost, Ashley Paulk provided this statement to the VDT:

“I want to reassure the authority members, if the city does indeed appoint Yost as a member of the authority that when the county’s next appointment comes up, we will appoint whomever the authority feels is the best person for the job and who will act in the interests of everyone not just the county.”
Maybe I missed the part of the discussion on June 8 about the VLPRA requesting Chairman Paulk to be on its board.

Back on February 12, at the Valdosta City Council meeting:

James Wright, District 1, said the reason he voted for Yost was the experiences he and members of the district have had in regards to renting recreational spaces.

Many times members of his district have called saying they cannot get anyone on the phone to reserve a recreational space, he said.

When he calls, Wright said he is often confronted with the same problem.

He hopes with Yost’s appoint the citizens will get better service out of parks and recreation, Wright said.

Meanwhile, both the City Manager, Larry Hanson, and the County Manager, Joe Pritchard, are already on the VLPRA board as non-voting ex officio members. Why couldn’t they or the voting VLPRA board members deal with such a logistical issue?

The City of Hahira did not place its parks under the VLPRA because the smaller municipalities in the county do not have board seats on the VLPRA, not even a rotating board seat. It’s hard to tell who was appointed by whom by looking on the VLPRA board web page, because it doesn’t say. (Maybe these new VLPRA board members can get that fixed.)

The City of Valdosta has a web page that says:

The Authority consists of seven members, with three of the members appointed by a majority vote of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, one of whom may be a member of such governing authority; three members appointed by a majority vote of the Mayor and City Council of the City of Valdosta, one of whom may be a member of such governing authority; and one member appointed by the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and the Mayor and Council on an alternating basis, first by the Board of Commissioners and then by the Mayor and City Council. The County Manager for Lowndes County and the City Manager of the City of Valdosta shall be non-voting ex-officio members of the Authority.
Nothing in there about the smaller municipalities (Hahira, Remerton, Dasher, and Lake Park).

It’s not clear to me what good this kind of tit for tat by Valdosta and Lowndes County accomplishes.


Video by Gretchen Quarterman, 325 West Savannah Avenue Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 8 June 2010, for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.