Category Archives: Transparency

Mystery Simpson Road paving, taxes, alcohol, emergency, roads, and law @ LCC 2019-01-22

Due to Monday being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, both the Work Session and the Regular Session will be on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, at 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM. Last time they approved paying for right of way on Simpson Road. This time they’re approving Paving on Parker Road and Simpson Road. Why does Simpson Road get this exception to their decade-long custom of never paying for road right of way? Will Scruggs or Reames get the $2 million-plus contract for paving? (Hint: Reames is the low bidder.)

Qpublic-lowndes,
Simpson Road in Lowndes County Tax Assessor Maps.

Meanwhile, the county apparently borrowed money for paving, and is tinkering the Special Assessment Rate for 2019 from 6.5% to 7.5%.

Hm, the county “currently receives $32,770 annually” Continue reading

Videos: County paying for road right of way @ LCC 2019-01-08

They added two items to the agenda they didn’t even mention in the previous morning’s Work Session: purchase of some real estate on Davidson Road near Moody Air Force Base, and “just compensation” for right of way on Simpson Road.

Wait a minute! For ten years we’ve been told the county no longer buys rights of way: if you want your road paved, you have to donate the right of way. So why this exception? And why sneak it in like this?

Will Kamisha Martin get paid for right of way if the county paves Black Road? Will Rev. Berlinda Hart Love get paid for right of way if the county paves Williams School Road? They were the two citizens who were heard.

Not on the agenda were Continue reading

Videos: Retreat! Appointment to Development Authority, Abandon Reed Road, Ed Hay Lease, Forestry Speaks @ LCC 2019-01-07

Longest Monday morning was Chief Ranger Stephen Spradley’s Georgia Forestry report, a copy of which, scanned by Gretchen, is on the LAKE website.

Second longest was Chairman Bill Slaughter’s comments, in which he listed four upcoming events: Continue reading

Ex-military infiltrators of pipeline opposition

Be sure that if you are at all successful in opposing a pipeline you will get infiltrators, whether FBI or private security. Be prepared to deal with it, whether by checking backgrounds, or comparing lists, or by some other methods.

One of the most effective methods appears to be exposing what the pipeline company and their hired hands are up to, as The Intercept_ did about infiltrators at Standing Rock, using leaks from private security firm TigerSwan, which was hired by pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) to “protect” its Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). THE INFILTRATOR: How an Undercover Oil Industry Mercenary Tricked Pipeline Opponents Into Believing He Was One of Them, Alleen Brown, The Intercept_, 30 December 2018,

An infiltrator
Joel McCollough, far right, at a climate march launch event in Chicago hosted by Food and Water Watch in April 2017. Photo: Courtesy of Gloria Araya, in The Intercept_.

What he’s certain of is that the glimmer of opportunity he saw at the beginning of the pipeline fight was extinguished when The Intercept published more than 100 TigerSwan situation reports leaked by a former operative, revealing the security firm’s extensive surveillance efforts, coordination with law enforcement, and comparisons of water protectors to jihadi fighters. …

He remembers thinking at one time, “If they watch their p’s and q’s, they will be the standard. They’ll be the company that everybody’s gonna use.” The former contractor laughed. “That didn’t happen.”

DAPL is a petroleum products pipeline, but we heard some of the same Continue reading

Appointment to Development Authority, Abandon Reed Road, End Hay Lease, Forestry Speaks @ LCC 2019-01-07

It’s the end of an era at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA), excuse me, the Development Authority, now that Roy Copeland declined to be reappointed. To his joint-appointment position, Valdosta appointed Aneesha Johnson, and the Lowndes County Commission may confirm Tuesday.

Aneesha Johnson
DuPont Valdosta Plant Names Johnson New Plant Manager, Valdosta Today, 29 June 2015.

In Monday morning’s Work Session, they will also consider abandoning the end of Reed Road (presumably the part that runs down to the Withlacoochee River), and ending the hay lease (presumably on the county’s Land Application Site). Chief Ranger Stephen Spradley of Georgia Forestry will say a few words. They vote Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

Here’s the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2018, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2018, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos: slightly larger: The Settlement North on Val Del Road @ LCC 2018-12-11

In their one December 2018 Regular Session, they couldn’t bring themselves to reject a rezoning, but they did require still larger lot sizes, for the Val Del Road rezoning.

That was the most elaborate series of motions I’ve seen on anything in the dozen years I’ve been following the Lowndes County Commission. It even exceeds the time somebody tried to rezone next to my west field and they denied that one by not voting.

Nothing else took more than a few minutes. The County Manager asked for an emergency to Continue reading

Videos: The Settlement North on Val Del Road back again @ LCC 2018-12-10

Molly Stevenson, Engineering/Planning Technician, reminded Commissioners that the main reason for the Val Del Road rezoning is to be able to subdivide at a greater density. Then she recited the reasons to deny it.

Chairman Bill Slaughter reminded Commissioners they’d tabled it twice, and “I’d very much like to get this resolved at this meeting.” By which he meant the Regular Session this evening at 5:30 PM, not the Work Session yesterday morning at which he said that. At least one Commissioner had a question.

The second longest item was 6 m. Approval of the 2019 Commission Meeting Calendar, because of two questions by Commissioners.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also Continue reading

Videos: Val Del subdivision tabled second time @ LCC 2018-11-13

The same Val Del Road subdivision on today’s agenda for the third time was tabled at the applicant’s request the second time it came up, a month ago.

The longest item was 6 h/i/j Tyler Technology Repository/Processing/E-filing, in which Georgia is catching up to Florida.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 13 November 2018 Regular Session, with a few comments. See also the agenda, the LAKE videos of the 12 November 2018 Work Session, and the LAKE blog of the county’s own videos of its 9 October 2018 Regular Session.

Videos: Subdivisions, solar, and alcohol @ LCC 2018-11-12

The same Val Del Road subdivision on today’s agenda for the third time was tabled the second time it came up, a month ago. Here it is in the LAKE videos in the Work Session of November 12, 2018, when the applicant hadn’t even responded to the Commissioners’ previous request to consider 1.5 acre lots.

By far the longest thing that day, at half an hour, was 7. Reports – Special Presentation ABM Industries Inc..

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 12 November 2018 Work Session, with a few comments. See also Continue reading

Back again: The Settlement North on Val Del Road @ LCC 2018-12-10

The agenda sheet says “the applicant’s conceptual site plan is attached.” But of course we the taxpaying, traffic-affected, and water-drinking public don’t get to see it.

Why the Lowndes County Commission considering rezoning for a subdivision that its own staff says doesn’t fit the Comprehensive Plan Character Area, is outside the Urban Service Area, would add significant traffic, and many neighbors spoke against it, plus the Planning Commission recommended denial? The Commission tabled in October, and again in November, when Commissioners asked for an update, but now staff says, “There are no updates to the overall case status.”

If they can’t deny this one, what rezoning can they ever deny?

Current Zoning Map, REZ-2018-17
Photo: Still by LAKE from Lowndes County Commission video of its 9 Oct 2018 Regular Session.

Here is the agenda. See also Continue reading