I was at the last LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MEETING when Chairman Ashley Paulk shared information about the Biomass Project extension being denied and the alleged secrecy surrounding keeping the general public ignorant.“Because certain people won’t share with you and I think it’s unfair. We were approached about three weeks ago, Mr. (Joe) Pritchard (County Manager) was, by the Industrial Authority, and we were tentatively asked to make a move to ask that they not extend the contract.” (Chairman Paulk!)Chairman Paulk words prove that there is an apparent pattern and practice
in our community to keep the general public deaf; dumb, and bind to what happens in our beloved community on several fronts. Therefore, citizen cannot make intelligent decision based on facts from public meetings due in part to our local television, newspaper and radio stations along with some elected officials that seems to be following the Old Valdosta City Charter of 1860 mentality.
This was a charter displayed in Valdosta City Hall in 2004. It was reluctantly removed from after I asked repeatedly that it be removed. http://123valdosta.blogspot.com/2010/05/valdosta-city-council-resonds-to.html
The Valdosta Daily Times asked a question if the council would remove the charter. However after it was removed the TIMES NEVER published where this DISGRACEFUL CHARTER was removed to. This Charter read:
In Article 100, Section XI,“THAT THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL SHALL PASS ALL PROPER AND NECESSARY LAWS AND ORDINANCES FOR THE CONTROL OF SLAVES AND FREE PERSONS OF COLOR IN SAID TOWN AND SUPPRESS AND ABATE ALL NUISANCES ARRIVING FROM HOGS, DOGS, HORSES, OR OTHER STOCK STRAYING AT LARGE IN SAID TOWN, OR FROM OTHER CAUSES.”So, I agree with Chairman Ashley Paulk “keeping this information away from Dr. Noll and the general public was unfair.” But I will go a step farther and say that withholding information from the tax paying public could very well bankrupt both levels of local government by lawsuits due to citizen eyes being opened even without a local free press that will do investigative reporting.
Moreover if this now proven pattern and practice of keeping citizens ignorant continues here in South Georgia it will eventually destroy our economy along with the news media outlets that fails to keep the general public fully informed on vital issues. It is obvious that little to no investigative reporting is being done except by the citizens that love this community too much to see it travel backwards.
I commend Dr. Noll, members of Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy along with Local Civil Rights Organizations for taking a strong stand on behalf of our children, elderly and the “Economically Oppressed” citizens to breathe clean air live healthy and productive lives here in Valdosta Georgia.
Moreover Pastor Manning of New Life Ministries also played an important role along with her congregations. As they took their ministries beyond the four walls of a material structure and comforts zone to show love outside of themselves by helping people that refused to help themselves.
Too often we complain about Whites not understanding the poor and “Economically Oppressed” people in our community. However the proposed Biomass Plant coming into the low income community united citizens across the spectrum to get involved to make a statement of life over death. http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/localappt.php
However, I was extremely disappointed in Blacks that live in the area, send their children to the schools and attend churches in the proposed area but just sat while others fought on their behalf.
It is my prayer and hope through work and dedication that the religious community will wake-up and break off the spell of the Leviathan. And realize that our ancestors gave every ounce of life and breath to preserve this great nation for all Americans. Therefore it is our duty to love and respect our neighbors as we would want them to love and respect us.
In addition, our local editor has refused to meet with citizens on behalf of the “Economically Oppressed” citizens in our community. But they still need money and jobs on the South Side of the railroad racks of economic and social divide. Just having public meetings and having them publicized will not put food on their table, provide pampers for their babies or provide money for the “Economically Oppressed” to pay their utility bills.
Therefore we cannot simply bury our heads in the sand like the legend concerning the Ostrich Bird and pretend there is no problem. Yes, we have many problems in our community but the “Economically Oppressed” also needs jobs, equal opportunity in acquiring and benefiting from local contracts and federal dollars that comes into our community and access to a news media that will hear their cries and not be pushed to the side. God bless everybody equally!
GEORGE BOSTON RHYNES
Retired United States Armed Forces Military Veteran
A concerned citizen and Co- Supporter of the Economically Oppressed