Category Archives: LCC 2011-05-24

I kind of like transparent government —Ashley Paulk @ LCC 2012 02 28

It’s good to know County Commission Chairman Ashley Paulk supports transparency. However, if he considers certain details important enough for the public to know, how about if the Commission puts them in its own minutes? Or publishes its own videos of its own meetings? Or even publish a list of changes that it approves when it changes an ordinance?

At the 28 February 2012 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, Chairman Ashley Paulk said:

I kind of like transparent government.

He proceeded to tell VDT reporter David Rodock that

Not killing the messenger, but it was written in your paper the other day that the alcohol ordinance was kind of rushed and people were not aware of it. If you would go back to your story of May the 11th we discussed that in great depth.

Here’s the video:

I kind of like transparent government —Ashley Paulk @ LCC 2012-02-28
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC), Lowndes County Commission,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 28 February 2012.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

He recommended that the VDT editors research their own archives. Fair enough, but how about if we look at the Commissions own archives of its own minutes?

First let’s see what the reporter wrote that the Chairman was objecting to: Continue reading

There are problems at the animal shelter. They have not been resolved.

I think it’s time to ask: what did they know, and when did they know it?

Let’s construct a timeline:

  • 2011-05-20 euthanasia violation
  • 2011-05-20 statement from Heather Terry
  • 2011-05-23 County Manager Joe Pritchard tells the Commission and the public:
    “We were not able to substantiate … accusations other than that … castration of pig.”
    That was even though WCTV already reported there had been several euthanasia violations last year.

    Pritchard also said they (the county in its previous investigation, presumably the one of 2010) examined the character of those testifying for the complaints and he said they found biases.

  • 2011-05-24 County Commission Chairman Ashley Paulk tells the Commission and the public:
    “Whatever problems there are, they’re going to be resolved.”
  • 2011-05-24 The VDT quotes County Manager Joe Pritchard as saying:
    “It’s no longer a case of an individual making a claim, as it will be evident by the physical evidence provided by the security cameras.”
    “You take that policy, coupled with the updated standard operating procedures, added to the technical verification and I think that addresses the issues. My purpose is to eliminate any problem or potential problem.”
  • 2011-05-31 statement by Director Linda Patelski saying two people fired for euthanasia violation of 20 May 2011
Continue reading

Timing confusion —John S. Quarterman

Sent to all four Commissioners and the County Clerk Sunday evening:
Dear Commissioners,

There seems to be confusion as to how long citizens get to be heard. The policy says five minutes. Yet in at least a couple of recent examples, citizens were cut off at less than that,

4 and a half minutes for me on 28 June 2011

4 minutes 39 seconds for Jessica Bryan Hughes on 24 May 2011

You can see the times on the YouTube videos.

This timing confusion may be because

Continue reading

I am disappointed these matters are being swept under the rug —Susan Leavens

These comments came in yesterday and today on Find out the truth about allegations of animal cruelty and abuse. -jsq


Tomorrow will be a week and I have had no response! Very disappointing.

-Jane Osborn


Mrs. Osborn,

Thank you so much for your support. The County manager and several county employees interviewed all the workers after a drug screen was conducted on all employees back in late august of 2010. Several (4) employees advised the people conducting the investigation (Joe Prichard, Mickey Tillman, Page Dukes and Suzanne Pittman) of the charges brought to the Department of Agriculture. From the

Continue reading

I think that addresses the issues —Joe Pritchard

In David Rodock’s VDT story on the animal shelter tour Joe Pritchard made the case for cameras:
“It’s no longer a case of an individual making a claim, as it will be evident by the physical evidence provided by the security cameras,” said Pritchard. “The standard operating procedures such as frequency of inspection of the animals and how often an animal will be reviewed or examined, along with the veterinarian care, have been revised to the general procedures set by guidelines of the Department of Agriculture and the animal control ordinance we adopted several years ago.”

“You take that policy, coupled with the updated standard operating procedures, added to the technical verification and I think that addresses the issues,” said Pritchard. “My purpose is to eliminate any problem or potential problem.”

Sounds to me like he’s saying the issues are resolved. Remember, “resolved” is the word Chairman Paulk used a few hours before.

If anyone is interested in watching the watchers, the animal control ordinance is online.


VDT incorporates video into animal shelter tour report

Guess they thought a good time to start in-line YouTube video was when they could show kitties and puppies. Hey, if that gets the VDT doing video, I’m for it!

David Rodock wrote 26 May 2011, Tour of the Lowndes County Animal Shelter

As promised at Tuesday’s Lowndes County Board of Commissioners meeting, the Lowndes County Animal Shelter (LCAS) allowed the public the opportunity Wednesday afternoon to get a behind-the-scenes look at the facility that has recently come under fire.

Employees, both past and present, have accused several shelter employees of inhumane treatment of animals, the mishandling of tranquilizers and illegal operating procedures.

At least two of the speakers at the commission earlier in the day took the tour: Jessica Bryan Hughes and Judy Havercamp.

One of the visitors summed it up: 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?


Find out the truth about allegations of animal cruelty and abuse —Jane Osborn

This came in to the submission address Thursday. More in this topic and this VDT story. -jsq
From: “Jane Osborn”
Date: Thu, 26 May 2011 23:21:09 -0400
Subject: criminal issues

Here is what I just sent to the Sheriff’s office by email:

I wanted to ask if someone who witnessed the alleged abuse of animals at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter has to make a direct report to law enforcement for an investigation to be started or if second-hand information from the media would be good enough. I will include a link to a video of the testimony of a shelter officer at the Lowndes County Commission meeting this week. I am under the impression that animal abuse is a criminal offense and that just having these reports go to the Department of Agriculture will only result in a fine for the shelter, not resolution of possible criminal wrongdoing.

Here is the link:

Please let me know if it is possible for a criminal investigation can be started to find out the truth about allegations of animal cruelty and abuse.

Thank you. Jane Osborn

If the commissioners will not handle this, perhaps law enforcement will. Jane

Jane F. Osborn, MSSW
Valdosta, GA

Restudy that those are the right people

The last animal shelter speaker said she was looking at it from a business perspective. She called Commissioner Powell and they had a conversation. She got a copy of the animal control ordinance. She said she thought she had seen some things that others had not. She complimented the Commissioners:
I know you to be people of your word.
After all that she indicated:
I guess I’m just asking that you restudy… that those are the right people.
After she finished, Chairman Ashley Paulk said there would be a tour of the shelter and everyone was invited.

Here’s the video:

Restudy that those are the right people
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 24 May 2011.
Videos by Johh S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.