Joe Adgie, VDT, 23 November 2014, Watchdogs use open government laws to the fullest,
Not everyone at the Open Government Symposium on Friday were affiliated with a government.
Some of them, like John and Gretchen Quarterman, serve as watchdogs for the government. These watchdogs attend the open, public meetings held by governing bodies, acquire the documents and records of these meetings and other governmental affairs, and serve to make sure our local governments behave like they should.
The Quartermans run the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), a repository of information about the governments of Valdosta and Lowndes County, video footage of meetings, as well as a number of other topics that pertain to the area, such as the Sabal Trail Pipeline.
They attended the Friday symposium, as well as the one held last month at Macon, recording both events for their LAKE site.
Videos of both the Macon and Valdosta Symposia are forthcoming. And I guess Carolyn escaped mention by being at work and thus unable to attend the symposium.
The article continues with an extensive quote from me, which is accurate. The VDT put this part last and as the pullquote:
“I think it’s a public service of Lowndes County that they cite [the open records law] right there on the open records request.”
I’m happy to participate in the VDT’s attempt to lead the Lowndes County government with honey to transparency. It’s hardly the first time that’s been tried, but hey, the VDT has a new broom.
And LAKE has a little list including the items from the earlier posting about the symposium.
So far, we don’t see much change after Friday’s Symposium. For example, we still had to get tonight’s Planning Commission agenda from the city of Valdosta and publish it on the LAKE blog, because the Lowndes County Commission still doesn’t.
The County Clerk announced a date for the new county website to be up. I believe it was December 14th; you’ll see when we post the videos of the symposium. Maybe that new website will publish agendas, minutes, and board packets for the Planning Commission, the County Commission, maybe even VLDA. We shall see.