He said that Jerry Jennett took the biomass vote off the agenda at last Industrial Authority meeting (April 19) even though Mary Gooding and Roy Copeland wanted the vote to be taken ( a vote that was to oppose an extension of the biomass contract since the biomass incinerator had not met timeline benchmarks like having a buyer, etc). He said that Allan Ricketts, Industrial Authority attorney Steve Gupton, and Jerry Jennett went up to Atlanta to meet with Wiregrass officials and that’s when he (Chairman Paulk) got a call telling him all this and he said he wouldn’t keep quiet about it. He said the three men asked Wiregrass LLC officials to rescind their letter asking VLCIA for an extension on their contract and to substitute a new letter saying they were withdrawing their request for extension (or not going forward to ask for extension).This is in addition to what you can see him on video saying during the meeting. More after this picture of the cast of characters:
Allan Ricketts, Acting Executive Director, G. Norman Bennett, Roy Copeland, Tom Call, Jerry Jennett (Chairman), Mary Gooding, J. Stephen Gupton (Attorney)
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA), 19 April 2011
Picture by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange
Leigh Touchton also reports:
He said that Allan Ricketts has been the guy pushing this biomass incinerator even when “everyone else” was saying it needed to go away.So I called Ashley Paulk, who confirmed the parts of this that were in the newspaper, which is almost all of it except the part about a potential vote at the 19 April 2011 VLCIA board meeting. He didn’t deny it; he just asked not to be quoted directly about the rest. It’s not clear a vote was ever actually on the agenda for that VLCIA board meeting, but any board member could have made a motion, which if it got a second would have caused a vote. I can confirm it was not on the agenda that was handed out at the meeting. That’s a picture of it on the right. That’s only way I know of that you can get a copy of a VLCIA agenda for free: go to their board meeting, pick up a copy and photograph it. Does that seem right to you?
Let’s not forget the man in charge up in Atlanta at Sterling Planet, their Chairman Therrell “Sonny” Murphy. I wonder why he wouldn’t rather be known as the man who financed the Wiregrass Solar plant rather than the man who wouldn’t let VLCIA off the hook for the biomass plant. Not that that excuses the VLCIA board for its lack of transparency and inability to find a way to cancel a project that has no buyers for its product and is costing VLCIA huge amounts of political capital.
I have left messages with all five Industrial Authority board members asking them to call me back. Hm, I wonder if they’re ever going to put a picture of Tom Call on their own Staff and Board web page.