Unknown ordinance, numerous emergencies, small rezoning, and alcohol @ LCC 2015-08-10

How can we “Know the Laws” as the county’s front page says, if a county ordinance being revised isn’t there and isn’t distributed when the county is about to vote on it Tuesday evening after the Work Session this morning at 8:30 AM?

For the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance the packet agenda sheet says only:

HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: Lowndes County’s Nuisance Abatement Ordinance has not been updates since 1992. Due to changes in state law, a new ordinance has been drafted and is ready for consideration.

300x388 Nuisance Abatement Ordinance, in Noise Ordinance, by John S. Quarterman, 10 August 2015 What 1992 ordinance? Which state law? Where’s the new draft?

The county’s page on County Ordinances says;

An ordinance is a local law or regulation enacted by a city or county government. Listed below are county ordinances that are most requested by the citizens. If you do not see the ordinance you are looking for please call Paige Dukes, Lowndes County Clerk.

Yeah, Gretchen tried that, more than five years ago, saying at the time:

This body makes ordinances, and some of the ordinances are on the website. If you go to the state website, and find out where all the laws of the state are; go to the city of Valdosta’s website, and find out where all the laws of Valdosta are. Go to our website and only find out some of the ordinances.

Paige says she has been diligently working on this and I absolutely positively believe her. And I know it’s very complicated But I really encourage y’all as a body — I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job — but to keep the business of our county in order. Thank you.

It must be really very difficult and complicated, because even after more than four years of diligent work, still we don’t see a complete list of ordinances on the county’s website, and we do see the county passing updates to an ordinance without the affected public being able to see either the old or the new versions.

The county did find time to pass an illegal bill of attainder against those asking, and to make that even more obvious by not enforcing it against others less than a month later.

If the county government doesn’t bother to follow the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Clause 3), and doesn’t publish its own laws, how can it expect the citizens to follow the law? And how can the citizens know when the county tells them to do something whether the county’s action is legal?

One could begin to wonder, what is the Lowndes County government hiding?

Here’s the agenda for this morning and tomorrow evening. 300x203 REZ-2015-14 Parcel 0110B 041, in Noise Ordinance, by John S. Quarterman, 10 August 2015 See also the LAKE video of the rezoning when the Planning Commission considered it and recommended approval. Curiously, the GLPC agenda item said it was for Ron Borders, and the County Commission item says REZ-2015-14 K. V. Ward. Why the difference?

And while the agenda has several emergency management items, still nothing but crickets about the Sabal Trail pipeline. Quite a difference between Lowndes County’s silence and Hamilton County Florida declaring an emergency and spending 18 minutes interacting with a citizen on the topic. Even more contrast with Dougherty County and Albany passing multiple resolutions and jointly asking Governor Deal to oppose the pipeline.

WORK SESSION, MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2015  8:30 a.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

  1. Call to Order
  2. Invocation
  3. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
  4. Minutes for Approval
    1. Work Session Minutes – July 27, 2015
    2. Regular Session Minutes – July 28, 2015
  5. Public Hearings
    1. REZ-2015-14 K. V. Ward, 3314 Bemiss Rd, R-21 to O-I, Comm. Water and Septic, 0.423 acres
      TRC Recommendation: Approval
      GLPC Recommendation: Approval

      Documents:Rezoning Case REZ-2015-14.pdf

    2. Beer and Wine License – Cheer’s – 1016 Lakes Blvd.
      Approval of the Beer and Wine License

      Documents:Beer and Wine License-Cheers.pdf

  6. For Consideration
    1. Acceptance of Infrastructure for Nelson Hills Phase III
      Adopt the Resolution

      Documents:Resolution accepting Infrastructure for Nelson Hill Subdivision.pdf

    2. Accept Proposal for Traffic Signals on Old US 41
      Accept Proposal for Equipment and Labor for two Traffic Signals of Old US 41

      Documents:Accept Proposal for Traffic Signals.pdf

    3. FY 2015 Performance Partnership Agreement and EMPG Application
      Request authorization for Chairman and EMA Director to sign documentation related to the PPA and EMPG application.

      Documents:FY2015 Performance Partnership Agreement and EMPG Application.pdf

    4. 2016 Delinquency Prevention and Treatment Programs Grant
      Authorize the Chairman to sign the required documentation for staff to submit the proposal to the CJCC.

      Documents:2016 Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention and Treatment Programs Grant.pdf

    5. RFP for Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

      Recommend rejecting all proposals and enter into an agreement with the Southern Georgia Regional Commission to perform the plan update.

      Documents:RFP for Hazard Mitigation Plan Update.pdf

    6. Nuisance Abatement Ordinance
      Approve the updates to the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance as presented

      Documents:Nuisance Abatement Ordinance.pdf

    7. Purchase of Balotar Ballot Printing Sysem
      Authorize the purchase of the Balotar Ballot Printing System

      Documents:Purchase of Balotar Ballot Printing System.pdf

  7. Reports – County Manager
  8. Citizens Wishing to be Heard-Please State Your Name and Address
  9. Adjournment