Category Archives: VLCoC 2011-10-11

What qualifies you to come talk about education? —Kent Bishop @ VLCoC 11 October 2011

The first question Kent Bishop asked at the Chamber’s Candidates Forum, where he got eight minutes to speak for school consolidation while each of the candidates for Valdosta Mayor only got five, still hung in my mind at the end:
What qualifies you to come talk about education?
Like so many CUEE speakers, he isn’t an educator and he hadn’t done his homework.
You know, what I hear is that, from the other side, is that our taxes would go up because of consolidation. The facts just don’t point to that. Generally what you’d see is some blending of the costs. And if we do that and average it out, we’re gonna find the two millage rates will come out somewhere in the middle. It makes total sense.
Well, maybe it makes total sense if you like just making stuff up. Or you can see, hear, and read the extensive research by the Lowndes County Board of Education that demonstrates if consolidation passes taxes will go up and public school services will go down.

The speaker went on about ongoing white flight, without ever mentioning that consolidation would cause bright flight to head out of the county to Lanier and elsewhere.

He did come right out and admit something I’ve been saying: Continue reading

Videos of Candidates Forum by VLCoC last night

Videos of the Candidates Forum put on last night by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce (VLCoC) are starting to appear in this playlist. The three Valdosta Mayoral candidates are there already (in order of appearance): There’s one more candidate video to come.

Here are the videos so far:

Candidates Forum, Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce (VLCoC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 11 October 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


Chamber opposes hidden taxes while proposing taxation without representation

Chairman Tom Gooding of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce said that the Chamber was opposed to government adding hidden taxes, and Roy Taylor can be heard going “Amen!”. Yet both of them back the Chamber and CUEE’s school “unification” referendum, which would raise taxes for everyone in Valdosta and Lowndes County plus making conditions more difficult for business. None of the school consolidation proponents seem to see the irony.

Gooding’s talk about the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee spelled out the Chamber’s theory of local government, which is all about helping business, and apparently not about anything else. He didn’t say a word about government providing public benefits for the common good. Which is the tail and which is the dog?

Also, Gooding promised at least three times (1 2 3) that Continue reading

Candidates Forum by Chamber of Commerce

Today from 5 to 7 PM at the Rainwater Conference Center is the 2011 Meet the Candidates Forum organized by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber’s Meet the Candidates Reception provides an opportunity for Chamber members to meet and hear from candidates running in the Nov. 8 general election. All Chamber members and guests are invited to attend this event at the Rainwater Conference Center. There is no cost to Chamber members to attend.
Here’s the link to RSVP or if you need directions.

Here’s a list of who qualifed to run. As you can see, most local incumbents are running unopposed. Maybe they’ll show up anyway, and there are at least a few contested positions (Valdosta Mayor and Council At Large, Hahira Council 3, Dasher Post 3, and Lake Park Council At Large. This being an odd year, there are no county-wide posts up for election, but the municipal elections affect everyone around here, even people like me who do not live in any of the cities. Whether at this event or elsewhere, you may want to ask the candidates their platforms and positions on local issues.

Usually there’s also an AAUW Lowndes County Political Forum; I don’t know what’s up with that this year. Usually it’s immediately after the Chamber thing, and the AAUW Forum is open to all.