The Commission’s designated first speaker confused order with good. Chairman Bill Slaughter required a sitting judge to go to the podium to speak, even though he had not required that for multiple Spectra pipeline reps the previous morning. Nottinghill is finally resolved, after yet more probing questions by Commissioners; more than they asked the Spectra reps. A VSU professor and a landowner asked very good questions about the pipeline, a KLVB board member gave a report, and Gretchen asked the Commission to post Planning Commission minutes online.
Two people were appointed; one spoke. The two beer licenses, a liquor license, the decorative special tax lighting district for Windstone, the contracts, the resolution to ask the legislature for an additional judge, and the bids were all approved with little discussion. The settlement for back pay it turns out didn’t actually involve employees having to sue to get paid.
LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2013, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2013, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
- Order 2. Invocation 3. Pledge
Video. The county’s sound feed was not working, so the sound is from the LAKE camera’s microphone.
Video. Rev. Commissioner Richard Raines for once eschewed his usual partisan politics “Republican form of government” and said “representative form of government” and even “the people’s business”. However, he seems to think order is the same as good:…thank you that we can have citizen involvement. Because this community is no different than others. We have people who want to do good and see good and we have people that just want to create chaos. Father I pray that you would thwart the efforts of those that just want to create chaos and that you would grant wisdom to those of us who want to do good.
He’s the same Richard Raines who moved to pass both the Solid Waste Ordinance and the trash Exclusive Franchise with ADS, creating not only the occasion for the chaos of Chairman Slaughter’s made-up rule of fifteen minutes on any citizen topic and the court case Lowndes County lost against a local company. Maybe order isn’t the same as good, and inappropriate order can cause chaos, not to mention expense. If the Commission is against chaos, maybe they can do more to stop the disruptive Sabal Trail pipeline. Meanwhile, Richard Raines is not running again, so District 2 is an open seat in the election this year.
- Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Not on the agenda:
- Santa Claus
- Items added to the agenda, 4. Minutes for Approval
- Minutes for Approval Video.
- Appointments to MPO Citizens Advisory Committee (2)
Video. County Manager Joe Pritchard once again said the Commissioners had a “dossier” each of two applicants for two positions, Todd Smoot and Michael E. Frost. He said Todd Smoot couldn’t attend due to a family emergency. Michael Frost spoke, giving a resume, and volunteering his services. It’s a bit hard to hear what he said, since the County’s sound system wasn’t working again. Commissioners had no questions, and unanimously approved the two appointments.
- Public Hearings
- REZ-2013-11 Nottinghill, Orr Rd R-A to R-21
Video. County Planner Jason Davenport said “staff has laid out for you background information”, etc. and staff recommended approval.
Commissioner John Page pointed out that there was still some question of the land being purchased by applicant, and not all the signatures were yet ready.
Davenport said some were word of mouth, others were power of attorney, etc.
The alleged County Attorney Walter G. Elliott said…. (see separate post).
- Decorative Special Tax Lighting District — Windstone Subdivision (Orr Rd)
Video. Commissioner John Page moved to approve with their now-traditional conditions, and they unanimously approved it.
- Beer and Wine License, Twin Lakes Ventures, LLC
Video. Nobody spoke for or against. Approved unanimously.
- Liquor License — Big Al’s — 4991 HWY 41 S. Lake Park
Video. Nobody spoke for or against. Approved unanimously.
- For Consideration
- Approval of the 2014 Commission Meeting Schedule
Video. Approved with no discussion.
- 2014 Public Defender Services Contract & 2014 Operating Contract
Video. Lowndes County Public Defender John Kent Edwards, Sr. stood and waited. Approved with no discussion. No mention of the more detail on costs requested the previous morning.
- Land Application Site (LAS) Bar Screen Replacement
- Budget Calendar FY 2014-2015
Video. Once again Finance Director Stephanie Black said it wasn’t a firm schedule, merely guidelines, but she reminded Commissioners they had to adopt a budget by June 30th.
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wondered if they could get the millage adoption closer to the budget adoption this coming year. Chairman Bill Slaughter said he thought they had to get information from the tax office first.
Commissioner Joyce Evans moved to approve the calendar; unanimous approval.
- Beer and Wine License, Parnish Corporation
Video. Finance Director Stephanie Black read the boilerplate about change of ownership. Unanimous approval.
- Beer and Wine License — Jay Brahamani, LLC — 2601 Madison HWY
Video. Finance Director Stephanie Black read the boilerplate about change of ownership. Standard liquor joke. Unanimous approval.
- Back Pay for 9-1-1 Center Employees
Video. Commissioner John Page asked County Manager to explain why they were doing this, “so the people will know as well”. Pritchard said there had been a discrepency between the time the employees had had to come to work during a certain time period, and the county had worked with the Department of Labor for a settlement. So no, the employees did not exactly sue. Unanimous approval.
- Second State Court Judge — Resolution & Act
Video. It’s a resolution to request the Georgia General Assembly to pass a law. Remember that next time the Commission tries to claim it’s powerless because something is a state or federal matter.
Commissioner Richard Raines asked Judge John Edwards whether he would work with the local delegation to the legislature or would the county do that.
Chairman asked the Judge to come to the podium to speak; funny how he didn’t ask the Spectra reps to do that the previous morning. The judge said the county attorney had already reviewed the legislation, which would go to the legislative delegation, and whichever of them decided to shepard the bill would be responsible.
Commissioner John Page asked the Judge if he could express the case load to the legislative delegation. The Judge said he could and would share with them a study that substantiates the need. John Page said he’d kept the information from the judge’s previous appearance (26 August 2013) and wanted to be sure the judge could speak to the legislature. The judge said he could and elaborated further.
John Page moved, Demarcus Marshall seconded; unanimously approved.
- Trust Deed for Raisin Cane
Video. GA EPD will require a public drinking water facility and since Raisin’ Cane uses a private well, the county is required to have a trust deed. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wanted clarification. County Engineer Mike Fletcher said because the agritourism facility would be bringing in school children the water must be chlorinated. Marshall asked if that was a state requirement. Answer: yes. Marshall moved to approve; unanimous approval.
- Boring Pond Road Condemnation
Video. County Manager Joe Pritchard said something about a settlement with a Mr. Kelly. Unanimous approval.
- Repair of Damaged F150- LCSO
Video. Once again, Finance Director Stephanie Black read a bunch of bids, which is good: at least she did that much. But why can’t the county be bothered to publish that information on its website? Unanimous approval of the low bid.
- Repair of Damaged Fire Tanker- LCFR
Video. Finance Director Stephanie Black read only one bid, and this time said they received only that one bid. Unanimous approval.
- Reports-County Manager
- Citizens Wishing to be Heard Please State Name And Address
- KLVB report –Carl James Onyeka
Video. Presumably the same person who applied to the Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB) board at the 8 August 2013 Valdosta City Council Regular Meeting. He talked about trash cleanups and other activities, and passed out a report.
- Put Planning Commission agendas and minutes on web like for ZBOA? –Gretchen Quarterman
Video. She noted that to get the minutes of the Planning Commission she had to file an open records request, and what she got was paper.And I’ll show you one here.
See separate post.
- The supposed pipeline economic benefits –Thomas Hochschild
Considering the vast profits Florida Power and Light and Sabal Trail stand to make from the use of our land….
See separate post.
- Sabal Trail not a common carrier with open access in Georgia –Mindy Bland
Video. So Sabal Trail apparently can’t use Georgia law for eminent domain. And Sabal Trail must comply with local, state, and federal laws and ordinances, including ones that could be passed by the Lowndes County Commission. See separate post.
Here’s a video playlist:
Nottinghill resolved, Spectra profit sharing? Planning Commission transparency?
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 10 December 2013.