Category Archives: T-SPLOST

Regional T-SPLOST agenda 2017-02-28

Even though Lowndes County voted 2 to 1 against T-SPLOST in 2012, and Southern Georgia Region 11 voted it down by 38,731 no votes (58%) to 28,217 Yes (42%) votes, a few counties in the region voted for it (Clinch, Atkinson, Coffee, Bacon, and Irwin). Also, Lowndes County had lots of transportation items ready to trot in case it passed. So it shouldn’t be surprising that five years later local governments in the region are considering rolling their own. It’s on this morning’s Lowndes County Commission agenda for voting Tuesday evening.

No, except Clinch, Atkinson, Coffee, Bacon, and Irwin

After hearing of it in the videos Gretchen took of the Lowndes County Planning Session Day 2 back in February, I asked the South Georgia Regional Commission and got this email from Corey Hull: Continue reading

Traffic study? –John Page; Who pays? Richard Raines; Tax exemption –Demarcus Marshall @ LCC 2013-08-13

Traffic and taxes were discussed by Commissioners about REZ-2013-09 Moody Family Housing on Val Del Road, but none of them thought those topics important enough to make them conditions, and they didn’t even discuss use of local contractors or sinkholes like the one in the Phase II site, or the missing geotechnical study mentioned in the USAF Draft Environmental Assessment whose comment period wasn’t even ended when they voted at the 13 August 2013 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.

Traffic study? --John Page As he had at the previous morning’s Work Session, Commissioner John Page wanted to know if that traffic study was going to be required before the development could start. Planning Commissioner Tommy Willis had also asked about that back in July. This time Page didn’t ask about GA 122 or anywhere other than “Val Del and that area”.

Answer from County Engineer Mike Fletcher: Continue reading

No T-SPLOST means 30% match for LMIG, and what else? @ LCC 2012-12-10

To pave or not to pave? That is the question that was danced around by County Engineer Mike Fletcher and County Manager Joe Pritchard, with interest, at yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session, on agenda item 8.d. Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant.

County Engineer Mike Fletcher said Lowndes County was receiving from GDOT a Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) of $746,984.75 for FY “two thirteen”. Because T-SPLOST didn’t pass, the county has to come up with a 30% match, which is $224,095.43. He said there was a work sheet and project list in the board packet (which the rest of us don’t get to see).

County Manager Joe Pritchard said with change from LARP (Local Assistance Road Projects, primarily for resurfacing) to LMIG the county could now use these funds for any purpose, and had planned to use LMIG for Continue reading

Anti-sustainability astroturf talking points (aka “Agenda 21”)

For many months I have been resisting requests from various people (both pro- and anti-sustainability) to write about Agenda 21. Why resist? Because I considered the anti-Agenda 21 campaign a distraction from real issues. Now that ALEC’s “our state legislators” have made Georgia an international laughingstock over it, I suppose it’s a big enough distraction to write about. But the topic of this series is sustainability: you know, exactly what the astroturf talking points are meant to subvert. Sustainability is important, and we should talk about it.

Better Georgia: Agenda 21 Full Video from Bryan Long on Vimeo Jim Galloway’s 12 November 2012 AJC article, Georgia’s own 52-minute video on the ‘Agenda 21’ conspiracy, notes that the video some of ALEC’s “our state legislators” chose to play in the state capitol, like every other attack on sustainability that uses “Agenda 21” as a key talking point, also includes this:

”The Delphi technique was developed by the Rand Corporation during the Cold War as a mind-control technique. It’s also known as ‘consensive process.’ But basically the goal of the Delphi technique is to lead is to lead a targeted group of people to a pre-determined outcome…..”

The actual RAND Delphi study is RAND logo readily available on the web, and it doesn’t say what Agenda 21 conspiracy buffs say it says. Come on, conspiracy buffs: show me where the RAND study says its goal is “to lead a targeted group of people to a pre-determined outcome.” Nobody can show me that, because it doesn’t say that.

Galloway’s article says ALEC’s “our state legislators” were being taught that T-SPLOST was Continue reading

Two more charter school polls: Amendment 1 still losing support

Two more polls about the charter school amendment show conflicting results, but even the most optimistic still shows decreased support since September. Opponents of the Amendment 1 power grab are winning.

Charter school Amendment 1 polls through 25 October 2012

Wayne Washington wrote for the AJC 12 October 2012, Poll shows tight race for charter schools amendment,

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Support plummeting for charter school amendment

Support for the charter school amendment, previously falling, is now dropping like a rock. Saba Long wrote the Saporta Report 15 October 2012, Latest polls show the Charter School Amendment vote will be close, but the actual poll results, when compared to previous polls, including those before T-SPLOST lost by a landslide, say Amendment 1 is going down in flames.

Georgia Charter School Polls 2012-10

That poll conducted 4 and 5 October showed 34.2% saying they would definitely vote no and 18.06% saying probably no. That’s 52.26% No, which is far higher than 26.2% only a month before.

The pollsters, HEG-GPS, say, Re: October 4-5 Charter School Amendment Survey, 15.35% responded Probably Yes and only 9.30% said Definitely Yes. That’s 24.62% Yes, far down from the 48.3% Yes of a month before.

Yet only 23.12% responded Unsure, which is hardly changed from 25.5% a month before. It sure looks to me like this is not just undecideds switching to No. It looks like a lot of formerly Yes votes are switching to No.

It looks even worse compared to T-SPLOST. Two weeks before the 31 July Primary election, Continue reading

Video of 6 minute meeting @ LCC 2012-10-22

Here’s a single video of this morning’s entire Lowndes County Commission Work Session. The railroad item was neither of the ones on which I was speculating. The animal shelter wants a 24 hour “cooling-off period” with a submitted animal kept at home before “evaluation” by the shelter. The Tax Commissioner wants to refund some taxes they apparently accidentally overcharged. The Fire Chief has bids for equipment for the new fire truck. And there’s going to be an animal health fair. They vote tomorrow evening at 5PM.

Here’s the video, followed by the agenda, with links to the relevant parts of the video, and a few notes.

Video of 6 minute meeting
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 22 October 2012.
Thanks to Dexter Sharper for use of his video camera.

Here’s the annotated agenda:

Continue reading

Rairoad, animals, taxes, and a fire truck @ LCC 2012-10-22

Five minutes? Or will they discuss any of the four items on the agenda for Monday morning’s Work Session?

What’s the CSX project? CSX in Lowndes County Is it this item from the T-SPLOST constrained project list?

RC11-000071 Construction of St Augustine Road Overpass

That overpass went from $12,000,000 to $14,627,933.04 during the T-SPLOST selection process. On the ground down there on St. Augustine Road it sure looks like people are preparing for an overpass. Has the county found some non-T-SPLOST way to fund that railroad overpass?

Since it’s CSX, I’d guess it’s not this other T-SPLOST project:

RC11-000077 Georgia and Florida Railway (GFRR) — Valdosta to Willacoochee Rehabilitation

The Commission could just post the proposed agreement along with the agenda, and then we’d all know.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2012, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2012, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
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GA State attorney general tries to order private citizens not to oppose charter school amendment

Pushers of the charter school amendment must be desperate! Blurring the line between public officials and private citizens, state Attorney General Sam Olens wrote:

Local school boards do not have the legal authority to expend funds or other resources to advocate or oppose the ratification of a constitutional amendment by the voters. They may not do this directly or indirectly through associations to which they may belong….

As Jim Galloway wrote yesterday for the AJC in Sam Olens orders local school boards to stay out of charter school fight,

That means organizations like the Georgia School Boards Association, and perhaps, the Georgia School Superintendents Association, would be barred from speaking out against the proposed constitutional amendment.

And would that include organizations like PAGE, which produced the slides that a local middle school teacher used last week? What about that teacher, or Dr. Troy Davis, speaking a few weeks earlier, both on their own time?

Olens’ letter would apply to what the VDT said was in the VBOE and LCBOE joint resolution, at least the part about “The resolution explicitly states that the boards are asking voters to not support the Constitutional Amendment relative to state charter schools.”

But what does Olens mean, duly elected local school boards don’t have authority to express opinions about educational matters that would directly affect the people who elected them?

Why has Sam Olens suddenly gotten religion about this now, after he was silent last year when both VBOE and LCBOE adopted resolutions against the school “unification” referendum? Where was he when both boards of education hosted numerous forums opposing consolidation?

Will he next be telling the Valdosta City Council it can’t pass a resolution opposing a referendum? What exactly is the difference between that elected body and an elected school board as far as expressing such an opinion? And all of those resolutions were non-binding opinions.

Will Sam Olens next be telling the VDT it can’t editorialize against the charter school amendment?

How desperate are the pushers of the charter school amendment?

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Q: Why are so many states pushing charter schools now? A: ALEC

Michigan, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, plus Georgia. Why are so many states attempting pro or con charter school referendums this year? Because many states have a push for charter schools, especially Louisiana. Where’s that coming from, at the same time in so many states? ALEC, that’s where.

Ed Anderson wrote for The Times-Picayune 12 January 2011, Gov. Bobby Jindal says charter school proposal is based on Florida initiative,

Jindal said his proposal will be fashioned on a Florida law known as “Charter-Schools-in-the-Workplace Initiative” which also has been introduced in 14 other states.

Excuse me? Which “also has been introduced in 14 other states”? Then it’s not just a Florida law, is it? And who introduced it?

Mattreichel wrote for FireDogLake 5 April 2012, Jindal Puts Louisiana’s Schools Up for Sale: ALEC’s Education Reforms Rammed Through

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