Category Archives: Retirement

Farewell Chairman Ashley Paulk @ LCC 2012-12-14

At the county’s farewell reception for retiring Chairman Ashley Paulk Friday, Attorney General Sam Olens gave him something to hang on the wall, Paulk said a few words, County Manager Joe Pritchard read a letter from incoming Chairman Bill Slaughter, and Pritchard said a few words and gave Paulk a rocking chair, in which he declined to sit.

At some later date maybe I’ll post a retrospective about my neighbor Ashley Paulk, but for now I think the many posts in this blog will serve, and meanwhile I look forward to seeing what the new Commission will do with new Commissioners Demarcus Marshall (District 4), John Page (District 5), and new Chairman Bill Slaughter.

Here’s a video playlist:

Farewell Chairman Ashley Paulk, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 14 December 2012.


Sustainable public housing for Valdosta?

A group of Valdosta City Council members recently visited Sustainable Fellwood in Savannah, and may be considering it as a model for affordable fair housing in Valdosta. There’s also a model much closer than Savannah.

Here’s how one blog described Sustainable Fellwood, 17 November 2009:

Fellwood is a project which aims to demonstrate that highly efficient and healthy buildings can be built affordably. The project will include a four acre park and a community garden. Preserving the local oak tree canopy will be another important step. The development team is taking steps to reduce stormwater run off and utilize native landscaping. Energy Star appliances, reflective roofs, and high efficiency windows are all included in the plans. The project will be registered with the EarthCraft Coastal Communities certification, and it is a pilot LEED — ND neighborhood. It is developed using the principles of smart growth for walkable and diverse communities.

Jan Skutch wrote for SavannahNow 16 May 2012, Sustainable Fellwood celebrates final two phases,

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How Much Wind and Solar Capacity Would a Billion Dollars Buy?

Those cost overruns so far on the new nukes? How much solar and wind could that money buy?

John Hanger wrote on his Facts of the Day today, $913 Million Construction Overrun Hits Georgia New Nukes: How Much Gas, Wind, Solar Capacity Would That Buy?

Comparing the Vogtle initial $913 million cost overrun to the capital costs of gas, wind, and solar plants show just how big these cost overruns can be. The Vogtle $913 million cost overrun by itself could have paid for approximately 1,000 megawatts of natural gas generation; 450 megawatts of wind power; and 330 megawatts of solar power.

Don’t forget that’s just the first cost overruns on those nukes. When the current Plant Vogtle nukes were built, there were supposed to be four at a cost of $660 million; only two were built, at a cost of $8.87 billion. That’s a cost overrun of 1300%. How much solar and wind could $8 billion buy?

Moreover, gas, wind, and solar generation could be up and running in 3-years or less from the first day to the last day of development, as opposed to the 10 years or more needed to build a nuclear plant.

Austin Energy’s new 30 MW solar farm, for example, approved beginning of 2009, opened end of 2011, and cost less than originally projected.

Oh, and solar doesn’t leak radioactive tritium like Plant Hatch and won’t get shut down two days after an NRC clean bill of health like Plant Vogtle.



Cost overruns already starting for Georgia Power’s new nukes

Remember how Georgia Power customers get to pay for cost overruns on the new nukes? Well, the overruns have already started.

JoAnn Merrigan wrote for WSAV 15 May 2012, Environmental Groups: Plant Vogtle Reactors Almost One Billion Over Budget,

A group of nine national environmental groups says that the two new nuclear reactors being built at Plant Vogtle (near Waynesboro in eastern Georgia) are over budget by up to $1 billion dollars. The opponents say Georgia Power’s share of the cost overruns is currently $400 million and that may cost ratepayers as well as taxpayers who are guranteeing loans in the billions of dollars.

The nine environmental groups, Friends of the Earth, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Center for a Sustainable Coast, Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions, NC WARN, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, and Nuclear Watch South, are also suing:

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Underfunded ethics commission makes mistakes

Underfunding of Georgia’s ethics commission has led to numerous inappropriate fines, some of which are still being straightened out after many months. Maybe the legislature should fund the ethics commission to a working level and make it independent of the legislature.

David Rodock wrote for the VDT 29 September 2011, Transparency Confusion: New campaign contributions system leads to officials owing fines,

The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Commission posted a seven-page list online earlier this week of local government officials who have supposedly failed to submit their campaign contribution information this year.

According to the state organization’s website, each late filer owes fines of different amounts.

Various elected officials were quoted in that article saying the fines were inappropriate. Many of those fines had already been removed from the list by the time that article was written.

There have been calls to properly fund that agency and to make it independent of the legislature. The Columbus Ledger-Inquirer wrote 25 January 2012, Ethics panel needs funding and independence,

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Busy schedule at Lowndes County Commission 2012-03-12 2012-03-13

A retiree recognition, an appointment, 2 liquor licenses, 3 rezonings, 3 grant documents, and a beer license, discussed 8:30 AM Monday morning at the Work Session, to be voted on 5:30 PM Tuesday evening at the Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

Here’s the agenda.


WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2012, 8:30 a.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
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Prison and retirement? —Jane Osborn

Received Friday on Who are the “local leadership” who approved CCA’s private prison? -jsq
I wonder how the news of a private prison with its lowered expectations, minimal guarding procedures and its adding to the prison population we already have will sit with the folks being courted by the Chamber to move here when they retire?

-Jane Osborn