Category Archives: Foxborough

When officials act like they are hiding something, they usually are. —VDT

Go VDT! There are so many potential applications of today’s editorial in the Valdosta Daily Times, from animals, to prisons, to zoning code enforcement, to biomass:
But there are still those who don’t understand the purpose of a newspaper, and it’s clearly not to be a marketing tool for the community. In addition to reporting the news of the day, a newspaper’s job as a member of the “fourth estate,” so deemed by Thomas Jefferson, is to hold public officials accountable for their actions.

“When officials act like they are hiding something, they usually are.”
To The Times and its editorial board, it’s far worse for the community’s image to have public officials knowingly lie, illegally withhold public documents and try to bully those who are only after the truth.

When officials act like they are hiding something, they usually are. You can’t be accused of lying if you don’t lie. You won’t receive an open-records request if you answer questions honestly and in accordance with the law.

Companies looking to settle in a community are understanding when it comes to crime, as it happens everywhere. But far more interesting to them is the honesty and integrity of the community’s officials.

If an entity will lie and withhold information from the local news media and the citizens, why would industry expect any different?

There was an old game show called Truth or Consequences. Too often, some entities ignore the truth and are surprised by the consequences. Sadly, the public too often feels the consequences when it could use a little truth.

Now let’s see them apply the same standard to CUEE, or can the VDT not see through the bogus claims of an organization it supports?


Lowndes County has transparency issues —John S. Quarterman @ LCC 28 June 2011

No unfinished drafts will be published while Ashley Paulk is chairman, or so he told us.

I asked him how he recommended citizens provide input to the budget process? He said at every meeting.

So I said I wondered why the county attorney seemed to be overbudget. No response.

Then I got to my main point, which was that the county seems to have a number of transparency issues, such as the missing ordinances he’d just heard about, or Vince Schneider’s Foxborough McDonald’s issues, or the animal shelter issues, or the T-SPLOST list that the Commission approved on the basis of a one page list of one-liner with no details that turns out to include things like $10 million to widen New Bethel Road to Lanier County.

I said I would like to compare the county’s submissions for T-SPLOST funding to the county’s Thoroughfare Plan and the Comprehensive Plan; if I could find those plans online. The Chairman said my five minutes were up. I said “Alrighty” and moseyed back to my seat. As you can see for yourself, it was actually 4 and a half minutes.


Here’s the video: Continue reading

Residential home owners of Lowndes County take notice —Vince Schneider @ LCC 14 June 2011

Vince Schneider warned county homeowners that it could happen to them, too:
To permit the establishment of the Foxborough Avenue McDonalds, the county has irreversibly established a most terrible precedence. You too can wake up one morning to find a Fast food store being built in your front yard.
Like many of us, he wondered what the county government is thinking:
I cannot comprehend how the county can possibly benefit from allowing such an establishment to be built in a quite county residential neighborhood. Is it because it provides unskilled low paying jobs? Will this McDonalds look good on a resume? It was my understanding that Valdosta and Lowndes County wanted to attract a more skilled, professional work force. The real estate on Foxborough Avenue the county permitted McDonalds to build on would have been, and is prime real estate for just such a professional enterprise….
Good questions.

Here’s the video:

Residential home owners of Lowndes County take notice —Vince Schneider @ LCC 14 June 2011
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 14 June 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

After Vince Schneider finished reading his letter, Chairman Ashley Paulk handed him a paper, which was apparently a communication from County Engineer Mike Fletcher.

Appended is the text of the letter Vince Schneider read to the Commission. Continue reading

Mr. Fletcher’s misrepresentation of the ingress and egress —Vince Schneider

Continuing the Foxborough McDonald’s story, Vince Schneider sent the appended to Commissioner Richard Raines Thursday. I have added some related material, including pictures of the 12 July 2010 Commission meeting to which he refers. -jsq
From: “Schneider, Vincent H”
Date: Thu, 26 May 2011 12:15:18
To: Schneider, Vincent H,
Subject: Schneider: County Engineer: Foxborough Subdivision Streets

Commissioner Raines,


I hope your day is going well. I’m spending half this afternoon with the dentist getting a permanent crown installed and the other half with my wife’s kidney doctor. Life must truck on regardless of the Foxborough McDonalds issue.

Sir, twice I made statements to you in regards to County Engineer, Mr. Mike Fletcher. I now wish to present my position in writing. My first statement was during our first phone conversation on 18 May 2011. During that conversation I rather colorfully stated

Continue reading

Foxborough McDonalds will violate ordinance 97-0704. — Vince Schneider

Vince Schneider follows up from his previous correspondence. I have added links and a comment at the end. -jsq
From: “Schneider, Vincent H”
Date: Wed, 25 May 2011 16:16:07 -0400
Subject: Schneider Citizens Wishing To Be Heard Meeting 24 May 2011

Commissioner Raines,


Thank you for suggesting that I continue to address my concerns of the Foxborough McDonalds with the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners. I truly hope that with the Board’s help, the neighbors and the Foxborough McDonalds can come to some mutual agreement as to acceptable hours of operation.

Attached is an e-copy of what I presented to the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners at last night’s Citizen’s Wishing To Be Heard meeting.

I’m a little frustrated that I’m unable to obtain a copy of

Lowndes County Ordinances. I don’t fully understand why. Where are they? I understand that ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense in a court of law, however when one wants to know and is making an earnest effort to find out what the law is and the law is unavailable what is one to do?

The Lowndes County Ordinance thus far researched that shows most promise in helping to at least curtail the Foxborough McDonalds hours of operation is the ordinance on noise, Lowndes County Ordinance 97-0704. The Foxborough McDonalds will violate ordinance 97-0704. I believe a compromise can be reached whereby the Foxborough McDonalds will agree to stop all food preparation and selling operations at 10:00 pm on weeknights and at 12:00 am on Friday and Saturday nights. If McDonalds is permitted to operate 24hours a day it will establish a precedent for the area. We need not to allow this to happen. Currently there is no store as such in the area that operates 24hours a day. The closest store as such is the Burger King that is on the other side of I-75, well over a mile away. That store has no residential neighbors. Looking forward to hearing what Chief Guyton has to say on this issue.

Next question if I may. Last night I received some information through an open records request on the Foxborough McDonalds from Lowndes County Clerk, Paige Dukes. I have only briefly scanned a few of the documents and have already found some interesting and disturbing issues. I believe I’ve stated to you that I have a copy of the Lowndes County Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) and that I have spent considerable time in studying it. My question is who should I address these issues with? The paramount issue thus far concerns the road Foxborough Ave itself. I don’t believe that unless a variance was granted that the road Foxborough Ave is so designated to permit a commercial enterprise. Nearly a year ago I made this argument before the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and Commissioner Lee directed the County Engineer, Mr. Mike Fletcher to look into it. I never received an answer from Commissioner Lee or Mr. Fletcher.

If not sooner Commissioner Raines, I will see you at the next Citizens Wishing To Be Heard meeting on 14 June at 5:30pm.

Wishing you an enjoyable and restful vacation,

With Sincerest Respects,

Vince Schneider

Nine ordinances are listed on the Lowndes County website, but hundreds have been passed. Indeed, where are they?


I will look into any potential code violation —Richard Raines

Commissioner Raines is new to the job and he may not have been following the Foxborough saga last year, since Vince Schneider already did all that; I have added a few links and pictures for illustration. -jsq
From: Richard Raines
To: Vincent Schneider
Cc: Joe Pritchard
Cc: Ashley Paulk
Cc: Joyce Evans
Cc: Crawford Powell
Subject: Follow Up
Sent: May 23, 2011 3:20 PM

Mr. Schneider,

Thank you for meeting with me briefly this morning. As promised, I forwarded your letter along to the other members of the Board of Commissioners, the County Manager, and our County Fire Chief.

I’ve ased Chief Guyton to review your letter to see if any of your grievances warrant an inspection by Code Enforcement.

As you mentioned today, your desire is to see the McDonald’s Restaurant

Continue reading

Laws relevant to Foxborough McDonald’s —Vince Schneider

He’s back from Afghanistan and has a new plan to fight McDonald’s. Vince Schneider asked the County Commission for an ordinance about hours.

After quoting from the U.S. Tenth and Fourth Amendments and talking about privacy rights, he read similar passages from the Georgia Constitution, and this one, from Section II. Origin and Structure of Government:

All government, of right, originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole. Public officers are the trustees and servants of the people and are at all times amenable to them.
He then read a definition of ordinance, and noted that many ordinances deal with issues of safety, health, morals, etc.

His recommendation: for the Commission to pass an ordinance limiting hours of operation for such type of enterprises.

That’s the county attorney visible directly past Schneider (under the microphone). Of course it’s the commissioners who must propose and pass any ordinance. That will require Continue reading

Videos: McDonald’s vs. Foxborough Sign Variance

The corpulent corporate giant asked for a variance, and met with unexpected opposition, as well as unexpected results. The formal title of the item was VAR-2010-15 McDonald’s Corp. (4601 Foxborough Avenue), on the agenda of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA). McDonald’s was “Requesting a Variance to the maximum square footage allowed for drive-thru signage.” Lowndes County Zoning Administrator Carmella Braswell. introduced the case, and Chair Allan Strickland mentioned pictures of other fast food restaurants with signs within ordinance limits.

A McDonald’s employee and his lawyer presented their case, in which we learned that McDonald’s wants two signs for a large total variance and that McDonald’s doesn’t want to do custom signs.

Well-known local lawyer Gary Moser stepped up to speak for over 200 residents of the Foxborough neighorhood who don’t want a McDonald’s at their entrance. Continue reading

McDonalds Denied Sign Variance for Foxborough Store

Update: Videos are here.

Fast-food giant McDonalds applied for a sign variance so they could have signs the same size as everywhere else, so they wouldn’t have to do a custom job. The Technical Review Committee (TRC) recommended against. Attorney Gary Moser summed up the opinions of 200 Foxborough residents who don’t want the added light from the sign and headlights. He also mentioned Vince Schneider is being deployed to Afghanistan and doesn’t want the added lights when he gets back in six months.

Surprise speaker Gary Minchew, a well-known local developer, spoke against the variance, citing the arrogant behavior of McDonalds, which he said insisted on keeping a variance through his property he had granted First State Bank, even though he had not intended it to be used by a fast-food buyer of the bank property.

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to deny the variance. Pictures and videos to follow.


Corporate McDonalds Please Don’t Build A Store In My Front Yard While I’m Deployed To Afghanistan

Here’s a letter Vince Schneider sent on Thursday 9 September to Vivian Valdivia, Development Director, Atlanta Region, McDonalds, copied to Kay Harris of the VDT, Fox News, MSNBC on the Internet, and NBC News:
Vivian Valdivia, et al.

Corporate McDonalds=2C please don’t build a store in my front yard while I’m deployed to Afghanistan. And please continue this policy after my return. Since 30 June 2010 when I first learned of Corporate McDonalds’ plan to build a store in my front yard this Fall=2C I believe I’ve done everything that I could to stop it. My local and state governments refuse to help by simply saying that there is nothing they can do. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything else from an elected official. This is my last appeal to Corporate McDonalds to not build a store in my front yard this Fall.

I am deploying next Friday to Afghanistan to help secure the rights and liberties of the Afghan peoples. Because of this 6 month deployment I will not be able to prosecute any more actions in the attempt to dissuade Corporate McDonalds from building a store in my front yard. Now, because of Corporate McDonalds’ greed, it’s only a wish that I could enjoy some of the same rights and liberties that I am helping to secure for the Afghanis, at my home upon my return. Rights and liberties that Corporate McDonalds is effectively taking from me to name a few include the right to peace, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness.

Continue reading