Expand the array, publish the minutes, private prison is a bad idea —John S. Quarterman @ VLCIA 17 May 2011

Here’s what I said to the VLCIA board on 17 May 2011. Notes are appended after the video:

Expand the array, publish the minutes, private prison is a bad idea —John S. Quarterman @ VLCIA 17 May 2011
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Norman Bennett, Roy Copeland, Tom Call, Mary Gooding, Jerry Jennett chairman,
J. Stephen Gupton attorney, Allan Ricketts Acting Executive Director,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 17 May 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Congratulations on the Wiregrass Solar commissioning. Since this was not ever the largest array in Georgia let’s encourage Mayor Fretti and Commissioner Powell to help VLCIA expand the local array.

Referring to Mary Gooding’s comments about people who wanted to see minutes probably going to be frustrated, I pointed out that the agendas don’t even include the names of the projects being considered, and as one of the people being satisfied, I wouldn’t be satisfied with minutes that didn’t have the names of the projects because I want to know which projects were considered and which of those actually happened.

I offered to find examples of economic development organizations elsewhere that post minutes; the example I had at the time was the one in Albany, New York.

I think it would be a lot less trouble all around if they’d just publish their minutes and be done with it.

More information is available about Project XL or Excel (I still don’t know how it’s spelled) than CCA has told VLCIA. For example, CCA expects to put a private prison in both Lowndes and Decatur Counties, so that stuff we’ve been hearing about Lowndes being the primary site is meaningless. I will boil down what I’ve previously written on that to a couple of page for the VLCIA board.

Thanks to each board member for talking to me. People who have read what I attempted to transcribe were quite appreciative. Looking forward to talking to the fifth member, Chairman Jerry Jennett. (He exited the building immediately after the meeting adjourned, so I do not yet have anything scheduled.)

Finally, I publicly apologized to Norman Bennett for forgetting about a scheduled meeting with him. That seemed to amuse the board members. Norman Bennett said he’d give me another chance. (He’d already said that on the telephone.) I’ll take him up on it.