Responding to George Rhynes’ point, I said that while I had recommended moving Citizens to be Heard to the end of the agenda, it never occured to me that it might get moved after Council Comments, which did lead to an impression that Council did not want to hear and did not plan to respond. I noted that if Council videoed its own proceedings and put them on the web, that would help make the problem moot. I’m thinking videos distributed by the City Council itself would probably get more citizens viewing them than ones distributed by bloggers like me and George and by LAKE.
My main point was that, even though Brad Lofton and Col. Ricketts apparently never told Mayor Fretti, there was a larger solar array in Dalton, Georgia before the Wiregrass Solar plant was built, and there’s an even larger one now in Blairsville. So, as I already mentioned to the VLCIA board, it’s time to take up Mayor Fretti’s claim of competitiveness and come back and expand the Wiregrass Solar array. Alden Hathaway of Sterling Planet knows how and Pete Marte of Hannah Solar stands ready to add another megawatt. as phase 2. Chairman Sonny Murphy of Sterling Planet refers to that expansion as phase 2. So, Mayor Fretti and Commissioner Powell, over to you!
Mayor Fretti usually interacts a bit when I speak there, but this time he did not look up once except to check the timer. Maybe he didn’t like me calling them the Council of Hamlets in my post earlier that same day. When the only three citizens who stand up to be heard all ask for more transparency, I’m thinking the council has maybe not done enough to dispel the Hamlet monicker.
Here’s the video:
When will the Wiregrass Solar plant be expanded? —John S. Quarterman
Regular Meeting, Valdosta City Council (VCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 4 June 2011.
Videos by George B. Rhynes for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.