Importance of transparency, due diligence, and communication –Michael G. Noll @ LCC 2013-08-27

Received yesterday on VSU professors write to USAF consultant about Moody Family Housing @ LCC 2013-08-27. -jsq

Thanks for posting this John.

One should note that the VDT was absent at the LCBOC meeting on August 13, when the county commissioners approved the rezoning request. This approval came after we presented our concerns and before the period given by AFCEC for public comments in regard to the Environmental Assessment (EA) expired. No mention in the VDT on August 14 about any of it, since no VDT reporter was present.

In regard to the EA and the possibilities to submit comments, it should also be noted that the phone number listed in the public announcement was incorrect. Thus, any attempts to contact Mr. Allen Richmond, the AFCEC representative, with this published phone number were unsuccessful. We eventually received the correct phone number with the help of Moody AFB personnel. While we were able to speak once with Mr. Richmond and establish email contact, his ability (or willingness?) to communicate was limited.

Moreover, we asked Mr. Allen Richmond on August 12 if we could see a copy of the geotechnical report that seems to form the basis for the conclusions given in the EA. Thus far this request has been unsuccessful. The same is true for our request to receive a copy of that geotechnical report from the developer, Mr. Balfour Beatty. As Mr. Kurrie, the lawyer representing the developer, informed us, his client “is not subject to the Georgia Open Records Act” since he is with a private company. However, if time is indeed of the essence for this project and if this geotechnical report answers our questions and addresses our concerns, why not share it … unless you have something to hide?

One should also note that plans existed to visit the site for this proposed housing project with representatives from Mood AFB as well as ERDC. The first attempt was on August 14, and the second attempt would have been today (August 28). However, both times the land owner has denied Moody AFB permission to visit the site. Thus any attempts by our department to help Moody AFB in the assessment of the geotechnical/geohydrological situation have been unsuccessful.

Lastly, while the VDT was present at yesterday’s meeting and received a copy of our comments, you would not be able to tell it from this morning’s edition. The focus is on a proposed soccer complex near Hahira. However, the proposed housing project on Val Del Road, plus the concerns we have now made public, are not even mentioned.

The experience of the last couple of weeks has again highlighted the importance of transparency, due diligence, and communication (including reporting).

Michael G. Noll, PhD
Geosciences, VSU