Category Archives: Lowndes County Commission

Videos: regional T-SPLOST tabled, Trash disposal renewals, another lift station pump, Dasher Streets @ LCC 2017-03-28

They tabled T-SPLOST until their next meeting because they got a complaint from the Chamber about process, and also from others. Remember, even if it gets on the ballot, it can still be voted down again, like in 2012.

Meanwhile, John Stephen, VDT, 7 April 2017, T-SPLOST headed for referendum,

Even though the Lowndes County Commission delayed a vote on the regional T-SPLOST at its last meeting due to local confusion on the one-penny sales tax, enough counties in the area now support the tax (10 out of 18 were needed) to move it forward to a public vote even without the commission’s approval.

In the coming weeks, a regional roundtable of government representatives will determine Continue reading

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.

-jsq

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

Deep South Solid Waste Management Authority after privatized landfill

Local counties and cities sold off one landfill in Lowndes County in the late 1990s, and a second one in 2005 through the Deep South Solid Waste Management Authority. Yet in 2007 the Deep South Municipal Regional Solid Waste Management Authority (WMA), with the same county and city member governments, was still active, discussing a regional recycling station. And it is still active today, including some of the same board members the entire time since 2005, such as Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson. Hanson was not present last week when Valdosta Mayor John Gayle said Valdosta does not control the landfill, or perhaps he would have mentioned that Valdosta through its longterm seat on the WMA board does have some degree of control over the landfill’s operations.

I notice quite a few of the Valdosta City Council’s own minutes record discussions and votes related to that WMA including this item from their Regular meeting of 4 October 2014, which was called to order by Mayor Gayle:

  1. Boards, Commissions, Authorities, and Advisory Committees
    1. Consideration of an appointment to the Deep South Regional Municipal Solid Waste Management Authority. — Appointed Richard Hardy, Public Works Director (7-0 Vote).

There must be some advantage to the City of Valdosta to have two members (Hanson and Hardy) on the WMA board. Certainly the average citizen or organization does not have that.

Bill Roberts, VDT, 5 December 2005, Authority closes on landfill deal, Continue reading