Tag Archives: 10 December 2013

Nottinghill resolved, Spectra profit sharing? Planning Commission transparency? @ LCC 2013-12-10

The Commission’s designated first speaker confused order with good. Chairman Bill Slaughter required a sitting judge to go to the podium to speak, even though he had not required that for multiple Spectra pipeline reps the previous morning. Nottinghill is finally resolved, after yet more probing questions by Commissioners; more than they asked the Spectra reps. A VSU professor and a landowner asked very good questions about the pipeline, a KLVB board member gave a report, and Gretchen asked the Commission to post Planning Commission minutes online.

Two people were appointed; one spoke. The two beer licenses, a liquor license, the decorative special tax lighting district for Windstone, the contracts, the resolution to ask the legislature for an additional judge, and the bids were all approved with little discussion. The settlement for back pay it turns out didn’t actually involve employees having to sue to get paid.

Here’s the amended agenda with the two added items, plus links to the videos and a few notes. See also the previous morning’s Work Session.

327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
Continue reading

Sabal Trail not a common carrier with open access in Georgia –Mindy Bland @ LCC 2013-12-10

A local landowner said that with no open access in Georgia, Sabal Trail Transmission should have no standing to use Georgia eminent domain law. And Sabal Trail must comply with local, state, and federal laws and ordinances, including ones that could be passed by the Lowndes County Commission, she said at their 10 December 2013 Regular Session.

For example, a depth ordinance, or an ordinance requiring a minimum distance from homes or schools. Or a tax on the pipeline easement. She recommended PipelineSafetyInfo.com. She asked for the Commissioners to use their voice.

As WCTV quoted her in their coverage, she said,

I don’t want to have to fear for my children as they sleep at night.

County Manager Joe Pritchard shuffled papers and alleged County Attorney Walter G. Elliott yawned during these citizen presentations.

Mindy Bland noted Commissioner Powell had asked for Continue reading

The supposed pipeline economic benefits –Thomas Hochschild @ LCC 2013-12-10

How about a profit-sharing venture the pipeline partners and the County? A VSU professor asked that at the 10 December 2013 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

Dr. Hochschild listed a few benefits Spectra rep. Brian Fahrenthold had claimed the previous morning.

Considering the vast profits Florida Power and Light and Sabal Trail stand to make from the use of our land, I know they can do a lot better than hotel stays, Big Macs, and temporary jobs. Mr. Fahrenthold claimed the pipeline would be economically beneficial because it will supposedly bring in $460 million in property taxes over the next sixty years.

First I’d like to know if an independent agency came up with that projection, or if Continue reading

Put Planning Commission agendas and minutes on web like for ZBOA? –Gretchen Quarterman @ LCC 2013-12-10

It’s curious how the City of Valdosta manages to put agendas and minutes for the Zoning Board of Appeals online, but Lowndes County doesn’t put agendas and minutes for the Planning Commission online. Gretchen Quarterman asked the County Commission to fix that, at the 10 December 2013 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

She noted that to get the minutes of the Planning Commission she had to file an open records request, and what she got was paper.

And I’ll show you one here. I’m relatively certain this wasn’t typed on a typewriter. It was typed on a computer. And I’d really like to get a computer copy of it; an electronic copy. I always just get a paper copy. So, my request would be: could I please get open records requests in electronic form when they’re available? And, even better, could the county put these minutes on the website somewhere?

Here’s the video: Continue reading

New Nottinghill subvivision finally resolved @ LCC 2013-12-10

The long-deferred rezoning for the Orr Road version of the Nottinghill subdivision was finally resolved at the 10 December 2013 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

6.a. REZ-2013-11 Nottinghill, Orr Rd R-A to R-21

County Planner Jason Davenport said “staff has laid out for you background information”, etc. and staff recommended approval.

Commissioner John Page pointed out that there was still some question of the land being purchased by applicant, and not all the signatures were yet ready.

Davenport said some were word of mouth, others were power of attorney, etc.

The alleged County Attorney Walter G. Elliott said Continue reading

I don’t want to have to fear for my children as they sleep at night –Mindy Bland on WCTV @ LCC 2013-12-10

The Commission didn’t let citizens speak after Spectra’s sales pitch for the Sabal Trail Pipeline Monday, but some citizens spoke up in Citizens to Be Heard Tuesday and WCTV covered that.

Winnie Anne Wright wrote for WCTV yesterday, Citizens Address Lowndes County Commission About Sabal Trail Pipeline,

Residents covered topics such as the lack of economic impact on Lowndes County, the legality of the pipeline, and also the safety.

“As a mother of three, I don’t want to have to fear for my children as they sleep at night. And you hear a lot of people say that natural gas line explosions don’t happen, and for those that feel that they don’t, I really encourage them to go on the internet and google gas line explosions and then tell me that they don’t happen. As a mother, I feel like I have to step up and do what I can to protect my children”, says Mindy Bland, an impacted homeowner.

Continue reading

About that flyer

Sent Wednesday. -jsq

Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2013 19:43:49 -0500

Dear Mr. Pritchard,

Thank you for your message of 1 February.

Yes, the binders of the documents for the closings of the various bonds are the sort of financial instruments I requested in my message of 28 January, and that Chairman Slaughter listed in his letter dated 18 January (that I received 28 January). Monday 11 Feb 2013 after the Work Session will be a good time for me to inspect and copy those binders. I will bring a camera and a photocopier. If that time will not work, please advise me of times that would.

Yes, there are other documents I would like to inspect. Please provide

Continue reading

I have obtained the binder of the documents —Joe Pritchard

The County Manager has found the legal documents on issuance of the the bonds Chairman Slaughter listed in his letter of 18 January.

Received yesterday (as a *.docx file, and still to the wrong email address, but this time including both residence and postal addresses), County Manager Joe Pritchard followed up on his email of 29 January, in which he had seemed puzzled about the term "financial instruments" (it's a standard term in business and investing) such as I asked for 28 January. I thank Mr. Pritchard once again for responding. (I thanked Chairman Bill Slaughter in person the other day.) The relevant correspondance about the flyer that Mr. Pritchard previously wrote was created by the VDT is still missing. I will ask for that Monday, when I respond to Mr. Pritchard's most courteous offer to inspect the financial instruments.

Here's Mr. Pritchard's letter. -jsq

Joe Pritchard February 1, 2013

John Quarterman
6565 Quarterman Road
3338 Country Club Road #L336
Valdosta, GA 31605

Dear Mr. Quarterman:

To follow up my email of yesterday, I have obtained the binder of the documents executed at the closing of the $15,500,000 CVDA

Continue reading

Created by the newspaper, not the county —Joe Pritchard

Thanks to County Manager Joe Pritchard for responding to my letter of Monday. He partly (but not completely) answered my question by saying the VDT did it. More on that later.

He included a PDF copy of Bill Slaughter’s letter of January 18th. Perhaps Mr. Pritchard was unaware that letter didn’t reach me until after my letter of Monday, because the county sent it to the wrong address. Mr. Pritchard’s email response was also sent to the wrong address, although fortunately email to that business address does reach me. He also copied the Chairman at his business address instead of at his Lowndes County address. In any case, electronic copy is almost always more useful than paper, so I thank Mr. Pritchard for sending that PDF copy.

Here’s Mr. Pritchard’s letter. -jsq

Continue reading

Regarding the recently refinanced bonds —Bill Slaughter

Many thanks to Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter for taking the time to respond to a citizen's question in Citizens Wishing to Be Heard! The response didn't actually answer my question, but that may be because the question wasn't clear enough without a copy of the flyer that claimed the county's new judicial and administrative complex was "100% Paid by SPLOST" and "$0 Balance Owed"; see next post.

An hour or two after I sent a letter to County Manager Joe Pritchard Monday, someone from the county called to say Chairman Bill Slaughter had sent me a letter in response to my question to the Commission about bonds, but it had been returned by the Post Office. As you can see by the image of the envelope, they sent it to my residence address, where I don't get mail. That's why I always include my postal address on Citizens Wishing to Be Heard forms, open records requests, etc. Anyway, they made it available for pickup at the county palace. Ten days after the PO sent it back to them is better than never.

Here's Chairman Slaughter's letter. -jsq

Continue reading