Category Archives: Government

Videos: Sheriff still wants warrants, elections, judges, EMS coroner, Budget Requests (2 of 3 days) @ LCC 2017-03-28

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? Continue reading

Videos: Budget Requests (1 of 3 days) @ LCC 2017-03-27

Still no agenda on the county’s website, and it wasn’t posted on the front of the building, either, but a county employee (not the Clerk) did finally get Gretchen a copy, which you can see here, for the first of three county budget meetings. The Tax Assessors and Behavioral Health didn’t show up. All the Superior Court judges did show up, so if you want to see them and many other public officials and their budget requests, you can in these LAKE videos. Very few if any citizens other than Gretchen showed up to watch in person. They’re back at it today, so you can go see for yourself whoever they have asking for money today.

Agenda

That was the third public meeting yesterday morning, 10:30 AM to 4:50 PM, Monday, March 27, 2017, after the Work Session and the Goals meeting. After lunch, County Manager Joe Pritchard supplied a chair for Gretchen to sit in.

We can guess this is a followup to the Continue reading

Videos: Lowndes County Commission Goals @ LCC 2017-03-27

The Chairman confirmed that yesterday’s “Lowndes County Commission Goals” was a continuation of the rather testy goals discussion at their February planning session, in which they disagreed on things such as whether to hold Work Sessions at times when working people could attend. And ten days later held a three-minute Work Session. There’s still no agenda for that 9:30AM to 10:30AM Goals meeting on the county’s website, even though it appears they had one.

They declared Solid Waste Management accomplished, yet they spent even more time discussing Litter Control and Beautification and kept that on their short-term goals. Later they seemed to decide to make a special class of ongoing issues, including litter and Moody AFB.

The elephant in the room is that tax revenue is down and inconsistent.

Below are links to each LAKE video of that Goals meeting, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. Continue reading

Videos: Trash disposal renewals, regional T-SPLOST, another lift station pump, Dasher Streets @ LCC 2017-03-27

More than four minutes yesterday morning on Residential Solid Waste Franchise Renewal: maybe it’s still contentious because they still don’t have a good model. Maybe not everybody wants to have their trash picked up at the end of their driveway like they lived in town. They vote tonight at 5:30 PM, and they agreed add an agenda item amending the ordinance to change insurance requirement from $5 million to $1 million. As of this writing at 8AM, they have not yet changed their online agenda. We’ll see how it eventually changes from the agenda already blogged.

They spent more than three minutes on Regional T-SPLOST; follow the link for details. Another Lift Station Pump lift station pump needs replacing And Dasher wants the county to maintain a couple of dirt streets.

Below are links to each LAKE video, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. See also the agenda. Continue reading

First of three budget meetings @ LCC 2017-03-27

In the third public meeting this morning, after the Work Session and the Goals meeting, the Lowndes County Commission is holding the first of three daily budget meetings. This one is 10:30 AM to 4:50 PM, Monday, March 27, 2017. There’s no agenda, just this calendar notice.

We can guess this is a followup to the audit report and finance discussions from their February planning session.

Why they didn’t post an agenda is mysterious. They didn’t post one for the Goals meeting, either.

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!

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Lowndes County Commission Goals @ LCC 2017-03-27

No agenda, but on their calendar for this morning 9:30-10:30 AM Monday March 27, 2017: “Lowndes County Commission Goals”.

We can guess this is a continuation of the rather testy goals discussion at their February planning session, in which they disagreed on things such as whether to hold Work Sessions at times when working people could attend. And ten days later held a three-minute Work Session.

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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!

Trash disposal renewals, regional T-SPLOST, another lift station pump, Dasher Streets @ LCC 2017-03-27

Regional T-SPLOST is on the agenda this morning. Back in 2012 we all voted down a statewide T-SPLOST (Transportation Special Sales Tax).

As we learned at the February Lowndes County Commission Planning Session Day 2, on 28 February 2017 in Waycross there was a “public hearing” about a possible regional T-SPLOST. When I asked SGRC about that, they sent the Waycross agenda, saying “This is not a public meeting and was not advertised as such, however it is open to the public.” Apparently something happened at that meeting, since T-SPLOST is on the Lowndes County Commission agenda now, with this in the attached document:

HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: According to House Bill 170, counties within a Regional Commission District have the option to institute a Regional T-SPLOST. The Georgia Department of Transportation is requesting action to be taken by April 1, 2017, either in favor of or opposed to a Regional T-SPLOSI’. If ten (10) of the eighteen (18) regional counties fail to get support for a Regional T-SPLOST, then individual counties can initiate an independent T-SPLOST’.

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After Lowndes County spent unknown hundreds of thousands of dollars suing Continue reading

Videos: Coal ash, Calles, Val North PD Water Sewer, Habitat CDBG, Sewage Valves, Stone Creek Antenna, Sheriff, Alcohol @ LCC 2017-03-14

Not on the agenda: Coal Ash and Y-Lead from Hahira Middle School and Teen Explosion. Also Stone Creek train quiet hours.

In a fifteen minute item, the Commission approved a split rezoning for REZ-2017-02 Calles, and they approved the removal of conditions from REZ-2017-03 Val North Dr, Stewart Circle. They approved the CDBG Grant preparation, but they didn’t mention they can’t actually apply until the resolve their feud with the local cities about tax allocation.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 14 March 2017 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. See also Continue reading

Videos: Sewage, Coal Ash, Historic Preservation, a dead cat, and turkeys @ VCC 2016-03-09

The Valdosta City Council heard from citizens about coal ash, wastewater, and toxic waste in the landfill. Mayor John Gayle offered to answer later in his office Eric Howard’s question about wastewater in his yard. The Mayor expressed his opinion that he and the council couldn’t do anything about the landfill, and read for yourself what he said about the Florida county resolutions about Valdosta wastewater. George Boston Rhynes told a droll tale about a dead cat and turkeys.

The Historic Preservation appeal was long and contentious, with the Mayor twice breaking a tie because only four City Council members were there: the appeal was approved. A citizen spoke about that afterwards, as did Council Tim Carroll.

Council Robert Yost recommended all the Hospital Authority Board should resign.

They unanimously approved both of the rezoning items; ditto the right of way maintenance bids.

And Firefighter Michael Penland is employee of the month.

Below are links to the LAKE video of each item, with a few notes (some drawn from Valdosta’s own SUMMARY OF ACTIONS), followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda.

Videos: Calles back again for Alexandria Street + another County + 2 Valdosta @ GLPC 2017-02-27

Here are the LAKE videos for the 27 February 2017 Greater Lowndes Planning Commission, with Wilmer Calles on behalf of Rosa Calles again about going “backwards” to agricultural zoning (the neighbors don’t like it). See the agenda. Plus another county rezoning (the county votes on those two tonight). There were also to Valdosta rezonings, but Gretchen had to leave with the LAKE camera before the first one was finished. The county or the city could video these Planning Commission meetings themselves. Continue reading