Tag Archives: Barbara Stratton

Hahira rezoning and annexation, W. Park St @ GLPC 2016-05-31

Update 2016-04-23: Fixed date of Hahira City Council Work Session to May 31st per comment from Barbara Stratton.

Josh Thomason wants to combine three parcels and annex one of them into Hahira. Parcels 0026 026, 027 & part of 029 Some people are rightly concerned about whether Hahira’s sewer system can handle it. Apparently Hahira Mayor and Council have already discussed these three related cases, and they come up for two Planning Commission meetings and a Hahira vote in the next few weeks, plus the annexation goes past the Lowndes County Commission. Oh, and Valdosta is indirectly involved.

Barbara Stratton, facebook, 17 May 2016: Continue reading

VALOR GIS and Tax Assessors Map don’t agree on Hahira annexation property @ LCC 2014-09-08

Looks like the 5720 S. Hagan Bridge address is in VALOR GIS map for the Hahira extraterritorial request in the board packet, which appears to have been received as an attachment to the request letter from Hahira. It’s easier to see if you go directly to VALOR GIS and zoom in. Which raises the question of why is the address in VALOR GIS different from the address in the Tax Assessors map.

See also this comment today by Barbara Stratton. -jsq

Mr. Allen said 5720 S Hagan Bridge Rd, which is the agenda address I was also given by one of the County Commissioners Tuesday afternoon. 5710 S Hagan Bridge Rd is the address in the Tax Assessors records and also the address that was approved by the Hahira City Council in previous meetings. So where did the 5720 address come from and I also agree that the correct address and owner name should have been published for public record. The 5710 property owned by John Bailey was purchased in February 2014 and almost immediately Continue reading

HA-2013-04 Bert Chancy parcel on north side of Claudia Drive @ GLPC 2013-10-28

Received yesterday. -jsq

Hahira re-zoning issue for land adjacent to Hahira Elementary School intended for apartment construction. Several citizens have expressed concerns for increased traffic in a school area and reduced property values. If you are for or against you need to be at the Planning Commission meeting Monday 10/28/13 and at the Hahira City Council meeting Thursday 11/07/13 to voice your opinion. You do not have to be a city resident to comment and parents of school children can express their traffic & safety concerns if desired.

-Barbara Stratton

Claudia Drive, Chancy Development Company LLC:

Continue reading

Dollar General, trash, a tobacco warehouse, and alcohol @ Hahira 2013-09-05

The Teramore Development items are for a Dollar General (like the one in Naylor), even though the agenda doesn’t say (see Planning Commission videos). Since City Council District 2 Allen Bruce Cain, Sr. resigned to run for Mayor the ever-contentious, ethically investigated garbage contract last voted on 2 August 2012 could go differently this time. Thanks to City Clerk Jonathan Sumner for providing the agenda upon request, even though it’s not on the web. Stay tuned for LAKE videos. -jsq

Hahira City Council
September 5, 2013
7:30 pm- Hahira Courthouse
  1. Call to order
  2. Establish quorum
  3. Pledge of allegiance
  4. Invocation
  5. Review/Correction of Minutes
    1. July 29, 2013 Work Session
    2. August 1, 2013 Council Meeting
    3. August 22, 2013 Special Called Meeting
  6. Public Hearing
    1. HA-2013-01: Rezoning Request by Teramore Development (Planning and Zoning Administrator)
    2. HA-2013-02: Variance Request by Teramore Development (Planning and Zoning Administrator)
    3. FY14 Budget Preliminary Adoption (City Manager)
  7. Citizens to Be Heard
  8. Review of Bills/Budget Overages
  9. Discussions Continue reading

Fair bidding practices and community public input —Barbara Stratton

Received today on County trash plan already failing. -jsq

Yet another example of government contracting not following the fair bidding practices or allowing community public input. Even if you attend government meetings no bid information is made public & even if bids are referred to the amounts are always in those elusive "packets before you" that only the members have access to.

In a recent Hahira City Council meeting the city attorney ruled that the city council did not have to put out the garbage service for bids & that it did not even have to have a contract. As of December 31, 2012 the city collection services will not be under contract at all so who knows what the rates may be or if a lower bid would have saved citizens money?

Barbara Stratton I've been involved in government contracting for years & I can tell you that the recent path government bodies have endorsed is leading further & further away from the bidding procedures that were enacted to prevent good old boy politics & kick backs & is opening the door wide for public/private partnerships that never answer to the citizens.

The state attorney general's office which should regulate bidding practices will not interfere with county or municipal issues unless a citizen is willing to pay $500 to a lawyer to present the case to them. They justify this as catering to "home rule" but in actuality they are turning a blind eye because it is within their jurisdiction to rule on non-adherence to proper bidding practices.

If the state believes in "home rule" why is Governor Deal pushing a state charter school board amendment that will take away local rule? The state seems to pick & choose its standards.

-Barbara Stratton


The socialized costs and privatized profits of waste disposal

In her response to my post about Commissioners panic about trash at undisclosed location, Barbara Stratton seems unfamiliar (like most people) with economic externalities. Here’s a definition:

A negative externality occurs when an individual or firm making a decision does not have to pay the full cost of the decision. If a good has a negative externality, then the cost to society is greater than the cost consumer is paying for it. Since consumers make a decision based on where their marginal cost equals their marginal benefit, and since they don’t take into account the cost of the negative externality, negative externalities result in market inefficiencies unless proper action is taken.

When a negative externality exists in an unregulated market, producers don’t take responsibility for external costs that exist—these are passed on to society.

Which is socializing the losses. A famous ongoing case of this is BP making record corporate profits while dumping huge amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, continuing to destroy shrimping, wetlands, wildlife, and local people’s health.

And that’s what the County Commission is doing: privatizing the profits of trash pickup and socializing the losses onto landowners (who have to pay for fences and gates), onto the general public (who have to pay for law enforcement to catch dumpers), and onto those who can’t afford to pay for private dump fees (who will get stuck with fines instead). That is indeed, as Barbara says, “redistribution of wealth”: redistribution from the rest of us to the private waste pickup companies.

The Commission is ducking its responsibility to find an equitable solution that everyone can afford. Funny how they can deal with special tax lighting districts for subdivisions but they claim they can’t come up with a way to publicly fund waste collection. Could it be because all the voting Commissioners are town-dwellers who don’t understand that rural people don’t have exactly the same needs or resources as city people?

Barbara advocates,

Continue reading

Why private prison employees might not want to work too close to home —Barbara Stratton

Received yesterday on Video: Drive Away CCA radio. -jsq
Great interview John. The comment about employees not wanting to work at a facility in the same county they live in was an interesting thought relative to the proposed local employment benefits. When I worked for CCA in the inmate Mental Health unit at the Valdosta Correctional Institute we were always warned that keeping pictures of our families or anything personal on our desks was possibly dangerous and therefore not recommended. I loved my job there because being inside the prison meant we had to form close working relationships with each other and I love teamwork on the job and it was never boring. We had almost constant training hours warning us about the dangers of being in close contact with inmates and all the rules about interacting. Forheight=”1 instance we had one inmate who was a brilliant artist. He like to gift us with his artwork, which we were allowed to accept as a non-personal gift to be placed on the office walls. He was a very well behaved prisoner especially to females, but his beautiful artwork always consisted of some form of predator watching prey such as a cat watching a bird. We loved the artwork, but took note of the inuendos.

Prisoners were always given strict instructions that

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About the audio, and thanks to Aaron Kostyu

Answering part of Barbara Stratton’s questions, the audio access was part of the award the Commission gave LAKE for blogging questions like yours. You may know it as a bill of attainder. When the commission moved to the palace, we tried sitting in several locations and found that the front couple of rows, near the edges have the best sound. When we were banished to the back corner, we found the audio on the recordings was nearly inaudible. Perhaps our readers and listeners noticed that too.

When we mentioned the poor audio quality to Aaron Kostyu, Director of Technology, he informed us of the possibility of a direct microphone feed in the “media nook” (to the right of the door as you go in) to a properly equipped camera. He even showed Gretchen a camera that had the proper features. A bit of shopping later, we purchased a Canon HFR21 that appears to have many of the features needed for effective recording of these meetings.

Because the “media nook” speaker output had never been used before Monday, Continue reading

I feel we are selectively being left out of the process. —Barbara Stratton

Received yesterday on Videos for Lowndes County Commission 13 December 2011. -jsq
These videos are fantastic & I love the sequential playlist. How did you get permission to connect to the county microphones? Thanks to both of you, John & Gretchen, we citizens who can’t make all the numerous meetings have excellent access to view the proceedings. I need info on the new camera please.

I have a question. Since all meetings are open to the public & all information is accessible by open record requests why do the various entities have a habit of not publically answering questions related to money amounts publically? Very often I have noticed all local government entities share a habit of referring money & budget amounts and/or bid questions to the packets each member has in front of them instead of vocalizing them. Since the public attendees do not have access to this information I feel we are selectively being left out of the process. Citizens should not have to process & fund open record requests for information that should be part of the public meeting. Since you have more experience with local entities can you explain this practise?

-Barbara Stratton

FVCS Final Meeting 15 November 2011

Former electoral opponents met Tuesday as FVCS held its final meeting, with Rusty Griffin, Vice-Chair of CUEE, watching at the MLK Monument as Sam Allen, President of Friends of Valdosta Schools (FVCS) announced the dissolution of FVCS.

Sam Allen, as he has before, called for reconciliation of opponents on the recent school consolidation referendum, and support of the two school systems, financially and otherwise.

In addition to FVCS regulars such as JC Cunningham, Chamber Chair Tom Gooding was there, as were current Valdosta Mayor Sonny Vickers and Mayor-Elect John Gayle, plus re-elected Valdosta City Council At-Large Ben Norton. Valdosta School Superintendent Cason was there. I didn’t see Lowndes Superintendent Smith, although various members of Continue reading