Sheriff Ashley Paulk still wants a warrant before he turns anybody over to ICE. I agree with him that there’s no point in arresting people who are busy working in the fields. Georgia already tried that a few years ago, and crops rotted.
These are the LAKE videos from day 2 of 3. They’re back at it this morning, and Gretchen is there with the LAKE video camera.
The Board of Elections got the second-longest discussion at 44 minutes, partly because the Elections Supervisor kept using jargon it’s not clear the Commissioners understood. Longest discussion was with newly-elected Coroner Austin Fiveash, whose office has been kicked out of Remerton, which used to heavily subsidize it, and he apparently didn’t know the Coroner doesn’t get a car supplied, nor any office help. When asked why he picked an assistant coroner who already had a half-time job, he said nobody wanted this job. Well, apparently he did: he ran for it.
And still no agenda on the county’s website. Why doesn’t the county want the tax-paying public to know what they’re doing?
The Tax Assessors and Behavioral Health didn’t show up Monday on day 1; maybe they’ll show up today.
Here are links to each of the LAKE videos of this day 2 of 3 budget meeting, followed by a video playlist.
Sheriff Ashley Paulk Budget Request
Video. Average of 550 inmates in the jail, with intention to close the old jail soon. As the Sheriff remarked, Commissioner Clay Griner came in late after that. (That number is down from 620-630 six weeks ago.)
Work release is going well, said the Sheriff, mostly employed by South Georgia Pecan. Ankle monitoring is picking back up; he said it is a “workable program”. Law library is mandatory, and budget amount is the same every year.
Yes, the Sheriff is doing drug busts for revenue, including one for marijuana oil that come in from Colorado where it’s legal, but it’s not here. At the end of this video, you can hear one Commissioner say “our Illustrous Potentate” suggested shipping it back to Colorado and selling it for money. I don’t know which one said that nor which one is the Illustrous Potentate, but presumably that’s a reference to Shriner’s Convention by Ray Stevens, 1980.
They discussed jail commissary expenses: got to feed inmates.
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall asked: “Sheriff Paulk, I have one other question: have we made any arrests regarding any illegal immigrants or anything like that?”
“My position on that, you know: we’re going to look at people if they got a warrant. And in my 17 years we had one, one illegal immigrant that did a major crime. He did a murder in Mexico and he was employed by the City of Valdosta. He was a very good employee; he’d been here quite a while.
“But uh, you know people got to look at it, if you go out…. All right, just because somebody is hispanic, if you stop them, if you start arresting them, all right, you’re violating federal law; you’re profiling. And there’s a lot of hispanics here that are here legally. So you start doing that, and it’s just not a good use of your resources.
“I mean, these people are very, the hispanics in my history you know they’re hard working, they go home at night. Yes, the young guys will do like every other guy that’s 20 years old. They’ll get to drinking, drink some beers, get in a fight every now and then. All in all, you know the crime rate of hispanics is not there. And so if ICE comes in here and they got warrants, we’re going to look for them just like anybody else and we’ll arrest them, you know.
“But you just gotta prioritize what you you’re gonna do. And you know if they’re not a problem to us. But they’re such an asset to the farmers. I mean Echols County, and not just farmers. Go out to the new high school. Every mason out there seems to be hispanic. I mean they can’t find in the construction indsutry. You would shut down the economy if you did, if you just went out and wholesale locked them up.
“And then you gotta feed ’em. You’re going to keep them about three months and ICE is going to say, well, we’re not going to send a bus, turn them loose. So you sat there and you spent $150, $200,000 and you’ve got no results except feeding people you know for three months.
“I look at that as you’ve gotta prioritize. You know I want to cover the robberies, the rapes, and things like that. Which they’re not doing.”
Board of Elections Budget
Video. An extra T-SPLOST election would cost more.
- Magistrate Court Budget Request
- Family Services Budget Request
Sheriff Ashley Paulk – remove some contingency
Video. He would have no problem with cutting in half the contingency with South Georgia Medical Center because they’re identifying the prisoners costing medical money and “one way or another” keeping them out of jail.
- Clerk of Court and Board of Equalization
- Coroner Austin Fiveash Budget Requst
- EMS Budget Request
Here’s a LAKE video playlist:
Videos: Sheriff still wants warrants, elections, judges, EMS coroner, Budget Requests (2 of 3 days)
Budget, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, March 28, 2017.
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