Tag Archives: Budget Hearing

Videos: Day 3 of Budget Hearings @ LCC Budget 2015-03-05

The Airport Authority got inserted among the judges and lawyers, and the Coroner’s Office failed to turn in a budget. The day was mostly sitting around waiting, because most of the actual presentations were only a few minutes each, yet were scheduled hours apart, in the last day of the three days of “Budget Hearings” which aren’t really hearings because nobody from the public can speak and they don’t have a budget to hear yet. See the first day for the agenda.

Here are links to videos of each item with some notes by Gretchen, followed by a video playlist. No video for the first item, EMS, due to camera failure; sorry. For the rest, as the Chairman said, referring to Gretchen and the LAKE camera:

We have our videographer back there, so we’re ready.

Hm, maybe LAKE should submit a budget request to the county…. Continue reading

Videos: Day 2 of Budget Hearings @ LCC Budget 2015-03-04

Maybe Georgia should fund mental health facilities instead of local jails having to act as mental hospitals. On a positive note, Agriculture is an $81M industry in Lowndes County. Law, taxes, and education, in the second day which was only in the morning, of the three days of “Budget Hearings” which aren’t really hearings because nobody from the public can speak and they don’t have a budget to hear yet. See yesterday for the agenda. Here are links to videos of each item with some notes by Gretchen, followed by a video playlist. And one more day to go today. Continue reading

Videos: Day 1 of Budget Hearings @ LCC Budget 2015-03-03

300x400 Commission and agenda, in Agenda, by John S. Quarterman, 3 March 2015 It’s good the Commission is having these meetings where they can hear directly from the various department heads. And with LAKE’s videos, you the citizens can hear what the departments are asking for.

Also, why are these called budget hearings? The public doesn’t get to speak, so they are not actually public hearings, and they are not the state-required budget hearings before passing a budget: they don’t even have a draft budget yet. And the next time the Commission rushes citizen speakers to finish, remember this 14 minutes of dead air or the several others like it in yesterday’s meeting.

They met in the Commission Chambers, nevermind the address on the Commission’s calendar yesterday, and still says for today’s meeting.

There’s still no agenda posted, except for paper copies in the Commission building, which read as below. Continue reading

Three days of Budget Hearings @ LCC Budget 2015-03-03

Billed back in December as “Commission Meets with Constitutional Officers, Elected Officials, and Outside Agencies” and two weeks later than originally scheduled, it’s three days of what is on the County’s calendar now as Budget Hearings, today, Wednesday, and Thursday, all three days at the Lowndes County Governmental Building, 300 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31601.

There’s no agenda posted.

At least these meetings are on the county’s calendar before the last minute, which is an improvement on last year. However, last year they did publish an agenda. Here are videos of last year’s similar hearings.


Videos: second and final budget hearing @ LCC Budget 2014-06-24

The Chairman refusing to publish a draft of the budget before the hearings didn’t get any more people to show up. Only a handful of people where there who didn’t work for the county, and no citizens spoke. I still don’t see the budget on the county’s website, two weeks later. I guess you can look at the LAKE video of Finance Director Stephanie Black’s presentation and hope it has the parts you want to see.

We didn’t know about the first budget hearing on 17 June 2014, but here are videos of the 24 June 2014 budget hearing.

Continue reading

My input to the budget “hearing” tonight @ LCC 2013-06-25

I recommend people go to tonight’s budget “hearing” and see what’s said, and maybe even try to ask some questions. I’m staying home; here’s why.

Since Ashley Paulk is apparently still running the County Commission, I’m going by Ashley Paulk’s stated theory that citizens provide input to the budget process at every meeting. I already provided mine 14 May 2013: Continue reading

Budget Telling Tonight @ LCC 2013-06-25

Tonight you can go be told what the county’s budget will be, 5PM at the county palace. If you want to see the proposed budget, you’ll have to go their beforehand and view the one paper copy they are required by law to show you. They say they’re short of money, so why are they wasting taxpayer funds suing a legitimate business?

On the county’s online calendar: Budget Public Hearing (6/18/2013)

The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing for the purpose of considering
the Fiscal Year 2014 proposed budget on the following dates:

June 18, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

June 25, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.

Lowndes County Commission Chambers
327 N. Ashley St.
Valdosta, GA

A copy of the proposed budget is available for public review in the office of the County Clerk.
For questions please call 671-2400.

Kay Harris wrote for the VDT 19 June 2013, Lowndes County facing budget woes,

Continue reading

Started early, no new information, no questions: Second and final budget hearing @ LCC 2012-06-26

Your last chance to hear about the budget for Lowndes County was 26 June 2012, just before the Commission’s Regular Session. It went really fast; even faster than the first budget hearing. And, as you can see, this second hearing started three minutes early: 4:57 Eastern, before the public notice time of 5PM.

Here’s the actual budget. In this second hearing, Finance Director Stephanie Black sped through her slides, so for more explanation see the videos the first budget hearing. This time she did allude to a budget adjustment coming up in the immediately-following Regular Session, but she didn’t say what it was. The second time she mentioned it, she said “We’ve received some information” about a revenue reduction, but she didn’t say what that information was. Commissioners either already knew what it was, or didn’t care, because nobody asked any questions. It’s almost like the Commission doesn’t want us knowing what they’re thinking of doing with our money until they’ve already decided.

See also the previous post about Public Works expenditures.

Here’s a video playlist:

Second and final budget hearing, Lowndes County Commission (LCC), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 26 June 2012
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).


Public Works Expenditures @ LCC 2012-06-26

Sheriff’s Office $0.35
Public Works (Facilities, Road Maintenance, Road Construction) $0.15
Court Services $0.11
Board of Commissioners and Administration $0.08
Recreation Authority (VLPRA) $0.07
Industrial Authority (VLCIA) $0.06
Other — including outside agency support $0.04
Tax Commissioner $0.03
Board of Assessors $0.03
Ambulance Service $0.02
Other Emergency Services (EMA, Coroner, Emergency Telecommunications) $0.02
Election Services $0.01
Engineering Services $0.01
Contingency $0.01
Animal Control Services $0.01

On the county’s web pages Finance Director Stephanie Black has made available Where does your money go? She narrated that table in the 26 June 2012 Second Budget Hearing. Here it is in plain text on the right. I’ve taken the liberty of sorting it by largest expenditures first.

That order is more or less what she showed in this pie chart, although the categories don’t quite seem to match. In the pie chart, public safety (Sheriff) and court services are lumped together, so they make the biggest slice. In the table, the second biggest category is “Public Works (Facilities, Road Maintenance, Road Construction)”. Hm, so how much do we spend on road construction?


Budget Hearing wrapup: no questions were entertained from citizens

Paulk and Pritchard wrapped up the budget hearing, quite well, except at the very end, when about 2 seconds were allowed for citizens to say they wanted to speak before the hearing was ended. So that’s two budget hearings with no citizen input: the first one nobody knew about, and this one where nobody was permitted to speak.

Chairman Ashley Paulk thanked county employees for their cooperation. He noted that even the constitutional officers, who could appeal their budgets, had not. He noted the jail accounted for about half the sheriff’s budget, calling it an expensive operation. He said that his office had accounted for 3 of the 8 layoffs last time, and fortunately there were no more this time. He said: Continue reading