Why all those VLCIA special meetings?

Here’s the VlCIA board approving minutes for some of those recent meetings, although you can’t tell what they were for, since they were listed on the agenda like this:
  • Special Called Meeting, May 17, 2011
  • Executive Session, May 17, 2011
  • Regular Meeting, May 17, 2011
  • Special Called Meeting, May 20, 2011
  • Executive Session, May 20, 2011
  • Special Called Meeting, May 21, 2011
  • Executive Session, May 21, 2011
  • Special Called Meeting, June 7, 2011
  • Executive Session, June 7, 2011
That’s right: no indication of what the meetings were for.

I was told outside afterwards by one board member that the special meetings were for reviewing applications for executive director, by people who might get fired from their present jobs if it was known that they were looking for another one. Fair enough.

I was told by another board member that special sessions were for reviewing details of projects that the board didn’t want published because that would provide competitive information to competitors like Albany. Fair enough.

I had to point out to them that they were giving two different explanations.

And of course there’s their most recent special session that, according to David Rodock in the VDT, they used to approve a wide range of other matters, including extending the lease on their office, that have nothing to do with either of those explanations.

I reiterated my suggestion (in Citizens to Be Heard; video to come) that they publish the agendas, adding that for special sessions the agendas could just have date, time, and what it was for. One board member answered, “Why?”

I responded by saying (as I have in a previous board meeting) that I want the agendas and minutes so I can find out what are all these industries and jobs that they are bringing in for the $3 million a year in tax money they are getting, saying I had asked for a list from Brad Lofton, from Col. Ricketts, and from Roy Copeland, and had never gotten it.

Their response: they had just made up such a list recently, and they’d make sure I got a copy.

I told them that was progress.

The idea of transparency in local government may slowly be getting traction.


Here’s the video:

Why all those VLCIA special meetings?
Irregular 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, 14 June 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.