Apparently there was no legal public notice and no recording of the April teleconference meeting with the dial-in code changed less than three hours before, with $6,913,575.06 in taxpayers’ money being decided.
For that Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, at which everything was approved unanimously except the one split vote on the single-source no-bid stream monitoring contract, LAKE sent an open records request for “the teleconference audio recording and the log of teleconference attendees (who dialed in, by name, or, if name is not known, by telephone number) for the April 28, 2020, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.”
The response from the County Clerk was:
The April 28th telephone meeting was not recorded other than the minutes that were taken. Further, the program used does not record a phone log for the option utilized for this meeting. This being case, there are no records responsive to your request. I do expect the next meeting to be held in the Commission Chambers with social distancing requirements observed. This being the case, citizens will have an opportunity to attend in person which is a much better format for everyone.
Well, that’s a matter of opinion. Do you think it’s better to have to wear a mask to the Commission Chambers and risk getting infected, than to listen on the phone?
The Valdosta City Council had their meeting this Thursday on facebook live. The Madison, Florida, BOCC has been doing theirs on gotomeeting. It’s curious how the most populous county in the region can’t manage a teleconference or video meeting.
LAKE received the full board packet two days after the meeting, at 5:07 PM on Thursday, April 30, 2020, in response to an open records request. It’s on the LAKE website. We look forward to Lowndes County putting its full packet on its website along with the agenda and one-page agenda sheets per item. Many other counties in Georgia and Florida have been doing this for years.
When will the Lowndes County Commission catch up with the 21st century?
By far the biggest item was the $6,545,729.00 Coleman Road Force Main Replacement. The county apparently saved a bunch of money by removing many amounts from the bid for the county to do directly.
Curious how they didn’t do that for the sole-source no-bid $45,120.00 Professional Services for Sampling, Monitoring and Reporting of Impaired Streams. More on that in another blog post.
- Amberly Trail
- Bridle Ridge Drive
- Calumet Drive
- Claybourne Lane
- Ridgemere Drive
- Saddlebred Lane
- Trotters Ridge Circle
- Joseph Road
- Lloyd Jackson Road
- Sandbridge Road
- Copeland Road
- Studstill Road
- Knights Ferry Road
- Pikes Pond Road
- Carriage Drive
- Covan Circle
- Ivandale Circle
- Woodsdale Drive
As previously noted, the total cost for the Clyattstone Clyattstone Road – Simpson Lane Paving Project is far more than the $20,000 for wetland credits approved at this meeting. More like $77,696.50 so far, and that’s before clearing, grading, base, and paving.
The two Solid Waste Franchises are in the agenda as having no BUDGET IMPACT. This is the other Advanced Disposal Services (ADS) collection center:
Since the franchisee is supposed to pay the county $3.00 per ton monthly, the actual effect on the budget should be positive, not zero.
Of course, that’s not counting the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars the county spent suing about waste management. Yet the franchises now specify that there can so be more than one: “The County may issue such number of nonexclusive franchises pursuant to the Solid Waste Ordinance, and may limit such number of nonexclusive franchises it issues pursuant to the Solid Waste Ordinance, as it determines from time to time for reasons and purposes reasonably related to the public health, safety, and general welfare, including but not limited to the availability of residential solid waste collection service to residents of each residential premise, the adequate provision of such service, the quality of customer service provided, the reasonableness of price therefor, and the effect of solid waste service vehicles on county roads and the public.”
This is the one collection center by Deep South Sanitation (DSS):
Another item that’s not supposed to cost the county anything is the quit claim deeds for Gay Road, and this one may actuall not.
Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!