Category Archives: LCC 2011-06-28

I tried following the chian of command —Susan Leavens

Many comments are on Animal shelter open records and Return cameras. Susan Leavens provides specific information in this one. -jsq
Concerned Citizen,

Please understand that there are state laws that people get arrested for each day also; the county ordiance mirrors the state law(s) however if you have not read the statements no one was arrested either. And do you think the bulldog was the first incident? Keep reading!! Below are some other things which have occured in the shelter.

Page 3 #15 Cruelty,
Page 5 #23 hoplesly disable animal,
page 5 #26 humane care,
page 7 #36 records,
Section 5 page 10 Emergencies involving animals,

to name a few of the Lowndes County Ordinance.

So when you say why didn’t I(Officer Leavens)end

Continue reading

Return cameras or I’m going to pursue it through the Sheriff’s office —Ashley Paulk @ LCC 28 June 2011

Chairman Paulk threatened the Humane Society with legal action last night:
…the Humane Society provided two county employees with undercover cameras as a gratuity.

I want those two undercover cameras returned by my two employees, or there will be some administrative action.

I’m making this a public record.

If I don’t get those cameras back and the gratuity I’m going to pursue it through the Sheriff’s office.

Needs to be public record in the VDT.
The picture shows Ashley Paulk (center) motioning to VDT reporter David Rodock (foreground) as he directs the VDT to publish what he just said. Mechelle Sullivan is on the right, and County Manager Joe Pritchard looks on from left. Voting Commissioners Evans, Raines, and Powell are just visible between Paulk and Sullivan.

The VDT did take dictation and publish that this morning, adding this quote from Chairman Paulk:

“It’s a gratuity. You can’t give a government employee something in order to get something in return. It’s not legal.”
Other things are also not legal, yet never seem to be pursued.

Speaking of pursued, Chairman Paulk encountered a group of Continue reading

Enforcement is still an issue —Mechelle Sullivan @ LCC 28 June 2011

Michelle Sullivan said she volunteered for the Humane Society for about 20 years, and she was speaking for herself. She worked with Linda Patelski and observed “many things that bothered me over the years.” She said:
However, the most frustrating to me was the lack of enforcement of animal…. You know, this went on for a long time time and we were all very frustrated. And so we finally decided that the only way to improve enforcement was to strengthen animal control laws…. So the Human Society was very interested in strenghtening those laws. And I think the animal control ordinances now are [better]. However, enforcement is still an issue.
She gave some examples.

Here’s the video:

Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 28 June 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Continued in next post.


How to bring a case to the Sheriff’s attention

Sheriff Prine was at last night’s budget hearing (his office accounts for more of the county budget than anything else). Afterwards I asked him how matters such as the complaints about the animal shelter could be brought to the attention of his office. He said that was a code enforcement matter, and if code enforcement thought it rose to a criminal matter, they would take it to Magistrate Court, which would issue a warrant, which would go to the Sheriff’s office, where it would be pursued.

Remember who code enforcement is in Lowndes County. Continue reading

Budget meeting and Lowndes County Commission meeting tonight

Remember there’s a second budget hearing today, 28 June 2011 at 5PM. The county didn’t publish the proposed budbget, but LAKE did. Maybe you’d like to come ask some questions, like these by Jessica Bryan Hughes.

Then there’s the regular session of the County Commission; agenda appended. They plan to vote tonight to approve the budget they never published.


WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2011, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
Continue reading

Why make it hard to obtain the budget? —Jessica Bryan Hughes

Why, indeed? -jsq
This is ridiculous.

-Jessica Bryan Hughes

This comment came in yesterday on Proposed Lowndes County Budget published by LAKE.

Proposed Lowndes County Budget published by LAKE —Gretchen Quarterman

Apparently there was a budget hearing last week that no one attended. I don’t see it on the county calendar.

We know it happened though because the paper reported on it.

The second budget hearing is scheduled for June 28 at 5:00pm and is on the Lowndes County web site calendar.

At the work session this morning, I asked Ms. Stephanie Black if she could e-mail me a copy of the budget and she said yes. Ms. Paige Dukes said that Ms. Black should not e-mail me the document, but I could look at a paper copy. A paper copy could be provided to me for $0.25 per page. I asked if there was an electronic copy and Ms. Dukes said that this document was not available in an electronic form.

Given that the document is neatly typed and clearly is generated from a spread sheet, I think that it is not true that this document is unavailable in an electronic format.

I asked if I could photograph it instead and Ms. Dukes said Continue reading

Lowndes County budget hearing today 5PM

That’s 5PM, before the usual 5:30 PM Lowndes County Commission regular session time, at 327 North Ashley Street. The county has published a public notice about this second hearing. It’s not clear they did that for the first budget hearing, which was last week. And the budget doesn’t include the T-SPLOST boondoggles Lowndes County is requesting.

VDT opined 23 June 2011, What We Think: Surviving, not thriving:

Lowndes County Commissioners held a budget hearing Tuesday to discuss the 2011-2012 fiscal year with citizens, only to have no citizens appear. The budget will be finalized at a public hearing Tuesday, June 28, prior to the regular commission meeting.

With all of the attention paid lately to officials and their expenses, you would think that the opportunity to learn how the county spends citizens’ tax dollars would have been an opportunity not to be missed. But missed it was.

After giving people in Valdosta a hard time for not showing up at their city’s budget hearing, I have to say: mea culpa. I wasn’t there.

However, I would ask: how were we supposed to know about it? Someone from LAKE has been at every regularly-scheduled Lowndes County Commission meeting in the recent past, videoing the whole meetings, and I must have missed the announcement of this recent budget hearing, which is also not on the county’s website calendar.

The VDT continues:

Maybe it’s because there’s nothing new about the county’s budget. It’s the same as it has been for several years — flat.

No increases in revenue are projected. No new positions, merit raises, cost of living increases, or significant purchases, again. Caps on assessments, the continuing lull in construction, and slow sales mean no new revenue is coming in. What is projected is enough to make ends meet, but there are no frills, no luxury items, not this year.

Oh, there are luxury items, they’re just not in the budget, because the county is asking we the taxpayers to pay through the proposed new T-SPLOST tax for That’s $24 million in new taxes they’re requesting for unnecessary road projects that will promote sprawl into far north Lowndes County and into Lanier County. Sprawl that will end up costing Lowndes County more than it can bring in in taxes from the sprawling developments.

And Lowndes County has tacked onto the end a request for $7.5 million for a bus system. Which would you rather have? A bus system that would promote the entire county’s economy, or five lanes on New Bethel to add to Lanier County sprawl?

Fortunately, T-SPLOST does publicize its hearings, the next of which will be 6 July 2011 in Nashville, Georgia.

The VDT concludes;

But for Lowndes to thrive, to make such a possibility come alive, it needs citizens willing to participate in the process. We need creative thinking and we need leaders willing to listen to the possibilities of new ideas.
Hear hear!

Stay tuned for what happens when a citizen tries to get involved in the Lowndes County budget process.