Tag Archives: Clay Griner

Videos: Day 2, Planning, Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2018-02-20

These videos are for those of you who have jobs, or responsibilities, which prevent you from taking random days or hours off at a time. Commissioner Marshall was absent from the second day of the retreat because he has a job which does not allow him the flexibility of daytime hours off. (The first day of the retreat was on Presidents Day.)

The topics of discussion ranged from the ever popular litter and trash collection, to special tax districts, fire and emergency response, animal control and the animal shelter, and one of my favorites, electronic records. Most presentations were made either by the county manager or clerk but the current Deep South Solid Waste Authority Chairman Kevin Beals was first up to talk trash.

Below are links to each LAKE video of Day 2, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of Day 1 and Continue reading

Videos: Day 1, Planning, Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2018-02-19

The 2018 Lowndes County Commission Retreat was just about the exact opposite of a commission meeting, except that same group of people are present (almost). There was discussion, disagreement, laughing, sighing, interrupting, listening, inside jokes, outside jokes, and general exchange of views. Those things don’t happen in a commission meeting. This year’s retreat was particularly different because there was no time frame attached to any agenda item and they didn’t discuss topics in exact order, and some topics got covered repeatedly. Commissioner Evans said to me during a break that the previous format of having departments just give a report can “get boring” and she had suggested that they have a different format with more discussion about communications.

The agenda was available on-line but was hard to find and the link I followed to find it is gone now. I did manage to download it before it went away. Find it here: 2018 LCC Annual Planning Meeting Agenda (plus searchable text). There were paper copies available at the meeting after the first break.

I sometimes think that the commissioners may be getting used to me but then, no, don’t be silly.

At the lunch hour, the Commissioners stepped outside to take a group picture and as County Clerk Page Dukes suggested that they get closer and not have so much “space” between them, Commissioners Orenstein and Griner (I live in their districts) huddled together.

Commissioners Gather Group Photo Close Group Photo
  Commissioners Orenstein and Griner

Below are links to each LAKE video, with a few notes followed by a LAKE video playlist. Continue reading

Videos: Emergency road repair bids! Appointments: Library Board, Development Authority, millage @ LCC 2017-08-22

The added agenda item 6e. Emergency Repairs to Rocky Ford Road got a couple of bids (unusual procedure; different from their usual no-bid emergencies) passed. The Chamber sent Gary Wisenbaker to speak in Citizens Wishing to Be Heard to ask for (after a very long preamble by John Page) apparently money from GDOT for a long list (in a letter the taxpayers did not get to see) of transportation projects to help “the business community”, apparently including the truck bypass.

They only appointed six of the seven members of the Development Authority of Lowndes County, although a Commissioner did ask about that. It’s also curious they said all the terms expired right then, since the Wayback machine has a snapshot of 4 April 2017, which shows three expiring in June 2017 and four already expired in December 2016. Apparently they just didn’t bother to appoint anybody to the four slots that expired in December 2016 until eight months later, and then they didn’t appoint anybody to one of the 2017 slots.

Below are links to Continue reading

Videos: Hurricane Irma, Register rezoning, Utility Authority @ LCC 2017-09-26

23 minutes last night to approve 3:2 with many conditions rezoning the 6c. REZ-2017-09 Robert A. Register Estate, with no shouting afterwards like there was at at the previous evening’s Planning Commission meeting, yet a lot of grumbling at the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, especially since they seem to have forgotten the greenspace condition.

Biggest crowd in a long time, REZ-2017-09 Robert A. Register Estate

I would like to commend the Commission for the amount and depth of discussion in this meeting, especially in the unscheduled 10. Commission Comments and Recognitions and Meeting Adjournment, which was mostly about Clay Griner’s idea of having a county-wide utility authority including all the cities in the county. Update 2017-10-20: moved the rest of this utility authority commentary down to the video item below.

Also not on the agenda was Chairman Slaughter comments on community response to Hurricane Irma (which were mostly about county staff; well-deserved especially for Ashley Tye) and Georgia Power Representative recognizes county hurricane response.

While it’s great that Georgia Power came to compliment the county, does that electric utility rep. reside in or pay property taxes in Lowndes County, and why was he not required to state his name and address? Ditto the software salesman for Continue reading

Videos: Bids for emergency road repair! Appointments: Library Board, Development Authority, millage @ LCC 2017-08-21

Bids for an emergency repair! This could be a first, instead of their usual sole source approve-it-right now method. See the County Manager’s Report, in which County Engineer Mike Fletcher describes bids incoming from both Scruggs and Reames for temporary repair to Rocky Ford Road.

Below are links to each LAKE video of yesterday morning’s Work Session with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda with notes about appointments and millage. And see also the 5 PM today Millage Rate Meeting.

Continue reading

Appointments: Library Board, Development Authority, millage, cameras @ LCC 2017-08-21

Maybe the county would have enough applicants their Work Session, Monday morning at 8:30 AM, if they advertised for applicants for open board seats, such as on the Development Authority of Lowndes County, And if they posted the application sheets for the applicants they did get, such as for the Lowndes County Library Board, we’d have some idea of who they are. They could even say whether the millage is going up or down.

According to the agenda sheet for the appointment to the Lowndes County Library Board,

There is a vacant seat on the Lowndes County Library Board. The Board of Trustees of the South Georgia Regional Library System respectfully requests the appointment of Mr. Gene Toffolo to fill the vacant seat.

They don’t say who applicant Gene Toffolo is. According to the South Georgia Regional Library he’s a 2016 Friends of the Library Board member:

Front Left to Right: Kay Scott, Janet Toffolo, Mary Helen Watson (President), Merrilee Casady, Sarah Smart (Vice President), Robert DeVan (Treasurer)
Back Left to Right: Gene Toffolo, Patricia Marks, Riley Howard, Karl Osmus, John Swiderski (Secretary)

The county’s agenda and agenda sheet for the Lowndes County Library Board don’t say whose seat expired or maybe somebody resigned. The county’s web page for this board is no more helpful, listing these members and expirations, none of which expires in 2017: Continue reading

VSU Democrats Candidate Forum 2016-09-12

All candidates were invited; most of the Democratic ones came and spoke; most of the Republicans did not.

Here are links to each LAKE video of each candidate, followed by a video playlist. Continue reading

Public Hearing at private law firm for VSU bond to private LLC 2016-10-21

Why is a public hearing for VSU bonds being held at a private law firm? Part 1 Is there no parking at VSU for the public to hear about this $58,805,000 bond issue? There is free parking at the county palace for which we the people footed around $51 million in bonds.

For that matter, why are bonds for a public university being held by a private LLC? Why are they being issued to that private LLC by the shadowy South Regional Joint Development Authority, to which the Lowndes County Commission just appointed Commissioner Clay Griner this May, even though County Manager Joe Pritchard couldn’t tell Griner when that Authority meets?

Can’t the Lowndes County Commission provide this bond Public Hearing with a public place to meet?

In the Valdosta Daily Times yesterday, October 5th 2016, and not online anywhere I can find it, was this Public Notice. Gretchen scanned it, and I OCRed it and formatted the lists to make it more legible. Continue reading

Road paving and Alapaha BoatRamp in Naylor Town Hall @ LCC 2016-04-14 @ LCC 2016-04-14

Most people wanted to know which roads would be paved when, in Bemiss, to Alapaha Subdivision, and next to the new Civic Center. Steve Stalvey (Utilities), Mike Fletcher (Engineer), Joe Pritchard (County Manager), Joyce Evans (Dist. 1), George Page (VLPRA), Paige Dukes (County Clerk), Demarcus Marshall (Dist. 4), Bill Slaughter (Chairman), seated: Robert & Carolyn Dinkins They did also talk about the planned new civic center and the Alapaha Boatramp they’re building.

I thank the Chairman for clarifying his remark about paving every road in the county. He and other county officials also went on about safety being a big concern, which is news to me, on my road the county insisted on paving that became a drag race track. And what’s this about Continue reading

Open Government Symposium @ LCC 2014-11-21

Not the Onion: VDT front page Saturday 15 November 2014, County plans open government meeting Friday,

VALDOSTA — An Open Government Symposium this Friday in Valdosta will be hosted by the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners.

Valdosta Daily Times Editor Jim Zachary, director of the Transparency Project of Georgia, will be joined by Hollie Manheimer, executive director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, for the open government training event.

Lowndes County leaders approached Zachary and Manheimer about bringing the symposium to Valdosta after they attended the first in a statewide series of open government training sessions held in Macon at the Center for Collaborative Journalism Oct. 17.

The article noted that Commissioner Clay Griner was among the attendees at the previous symposium in Macon and had asked for this local meeting.

All the events are Continue reading