Tag Archives: David Rodock

VDT wins awards, two for people who don’t work there anymore

VDT fourth in class in newspaper AP Georgia awards, half for people who don’t work there anymore.

VDT today, Times wins AP awards; I’ve added some links and notes in [square brackets]:

The Valdosta Daily Times won several awards at the recent Georgia Associated Press Managing Editors Newspaper Awards luncheon in Atlanta.

Former Times’ reporter Jason Schaefer received a First Place in Deadline Reporting award for his story on homeless individuals in 2012. [“Life on Hard Ground”, which apparently is not online, but apparently was published on paper 3 December 2012.]

Former news photographer Paul Leavy won a Third Place Award in Photography for his photo of a meth lab arrest at a local motel. [For Tip leads to meth lab raid 27 January 2012, by another former reporter, David Rodock.]

This is the first admission I’ve seen that Jason Schaefer doesn’t work there anymore, even though his byline hasn’t appeared since his last story on homeless people, 3 July 2013.

Kay Harris also won two awards, for Continue reading

County told VDT curbside pickup would be non-exclusive @ LCC 2012-03-31

Former Chairman Ashley Paulk may say he didn’t tell Cory Scarborough of Deep South Sanitation that any contract by the county for curbside pickup would be non-exclusive (VDT 30 May 2013), but David Rodock reported for the VDT from Ashley Paulk’s guest house at a Lowndes County Commission retreat chaired by Ashley Paulk that:

Commissioners decided that getting out of the “trash business” was best and that a non-exclusive agreement with current curbside pickup companies (which about 12,000 citizens already employ) would provide service without putting any people out of business.

The VDT reported ( Commission tackles key issues: Waste management, tax lighting districts and SPLOST discussed at retreat by David Rodock, 31 March 2012) Commissioners “decided”. Yet there is no vote recorded, in contravention to Georgia open meetings law and a recent Georgia Supreme Court decision.

How is this doing “the people’s business”? Maybe if they took a vote and recorded it properly we’d all know what they said.


This issue has a lot of peculiarities. —Barbara Stratton

Received today on Valdosta water project on county land, with no city or county approval. -jsq
This issue has a lot of peculiarities. The city engineer was quoted as saying he hoped Radney Plumbing, Inc. could be chosen for the project since the company had provided them a low price on similar work. Whatever happened to the bid procedure that is supposed to proceed any new construction activity regardless of personal preferences. Is this an impromptu public/private partnership where bidding gives way to cronyism? Oops, seems like I recently read that PPP’s were now being called beneficial corporations. Either way they are blatant fascism (mixing government & private business)& we don’t need them in Lowndes County. Under proper bidding procedures it would have been imposible for a contractor to have been given a go ahead by any mythical person. The project is expected to cost $132,000 of tax payer money & I think we deserve proper bid procedures to be certain we are getting maximum benefit from our expenditures.

I have no comment on the statement the pipe needed to be put in the ground so it would not go to waste other than I never new water/sewer pipe had a short expiraton date. Perhaps we should ask how so many feet of pipe were left over from another project since I’m sure 12″ pipe is not cheap. Does our project estimator need to sharpen his pencil?

It seems County Commission Chairman Paulk questions “the wisdom of spending that much taxpayer money without any prospect of income in the near future’. I’m glad someone is concerned about the taxpayers. Since it has been acknowledged we citizens have an interest in the obvious four way fiasco between city, county, private contractor & private landowners,I trust the VDT will continue to keep us informed of all the facts as they surface.

-Barbara Stratton

Valdosta water project on county land, with no city or county approval

It seems the City of Valdosta is installing a mile of water and sewwer pipe on county land without approval or prior knowledge of the Lowndes County government. Or, cats and dogs not playing well together. And, given that the Valdosta City Council apparently didn’t approve it either, cats not playing well together. Who is in charge of herding the cats?

David Rodock wrote in the VDT 23 November 2011, City project on county land

Without City Council approval, the installation of 5,600 linear feet of water/sewer pipe is being installed on Racetrack Road, at the very edge of annexed City property.
County says City didn’t notify. City says did.

This part is particularly interesting:

City Engineer Pat Collins said they had sent the county a letter and had not started on the project. He also said the city hoped to bring the project before council on Dec. 8, so they could make use of approximately 1,000 feet of 12 inch pipe leftover from a previous project.
So “not started” apparently includes digging ditches and installing 12 inch water mains. And “approval” means ask the Valdosta City Council after that’s already been done. And never ask the Lowndes County Commission, despite this project being on county land.

Not to worry, there’s a familiar excuse: blame the contractor! Continue reading

VDT announces Occupy Valdosta

In the paper paper today, David S. Rodock wrote, “Occupying Valdosta: Protesters to hold rally in Drexel Park Friday.” The pullquote top center of the page is:
“We initially wanted to go out and target corporate greed and get the corporations out of the government. There needs to be a separation.”
Erin Hurley
Occupy Valdosta event coordinator.
You can see it here, thanks to Michael Noll:

Y’all come:

“Basically, we want to exercise our right to peaceably assemble,” said Hurley, “We want everyone to join in and let their voice be heard. I feel a lot of people have lost that sense of freedom we once had.”
Meet at Drexel Park before noon. The VDT got the route wrong, but just come along and you’ll get there. If you aren’t able to walk a few miles, head directly to the Chamber of Commerce around 1:30 PM, and we’ll meet you there a bit later.

Yes, I’m one of the organizers, in case I haven’t said that before. Here’s the Facebook event.

I’d like to add my usual plug for Continue reading

The lawyers are in charge at VLCIA —Roy Copeland

Thanks, Roy, for clarifying that:
“It’s forthcoming. I can’t tell you anything because quite frankly, lawyers have their own schedules. I literally do not know specific details because I’m not privy to that information as of this moment.”
Well, it’s good to know somebody’s in charge at the Authority.

My mistake in thinking they just elected you Chairman.

Much more in David Rodock’s story in the VDT today, Decision still looms for future of once proposed biomass plant site.


Transparency and leadership for the local good —John S. Quarterman @ VLCIA 14 June 2011

Noting that I was there on behalf of the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), which takes these videos and puts them on the web, I recommended to the Industrial Authority board that they put their agendas on the web, since they give those away at the door and they don’t contain any of the details that they’re concerned about revealing to competitors.

Recalling that I had previously had the audacity to read their own charter to them, or at least the parts about the general good and welfare of the community, I reminded them that some areas that had successfully attracted industry, such as Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, and Portland, OR had said what kinds of industry they wanted. Expanding on the example of Austin, TX, I noted that they emphasized clean industry, music, and arts, and that helped attract the kinds of knowledge-based workers that our local Chamber of Commerce wants for knowledge-based jobs.

Then I noted that I had complimented Mayor Fretti Continue reading

VLCIA hires Andrea Schuijer from Albany

According to David Rodock in the VDT today:
…a unanimous decision by board members to submit a formal offer to Andrea Schruijer for the position of executive director.

Absent from the meeting was board member Roy Copeland.

According to Steve Gupton, authority attorney, the three-year contract will include a salary of $100,000 per year. As with all its employees, the authority will pay seven percent into a retirement fund and 75 percent of health care insurance.

Schruijer, pending acceptance of the offer, will officially start employment on July 8.

She’s a former hotel marketing person, according to her LinkedIn account: Continue reading

Biomass down for now: next?

Congratulations to all who worked against the biomass plant: today was the deadline on its most recent extension, so it’s gone for now. Congratulations to WACE and SAVE and NAACP and New Life Ministries and everyone else who was involved, especially Natasha Fast, Seth Gunning, and Brad Bergstrom, who were working against it before almost anyone else.

Congratulations to those who were instrumental even though they were not exactly or originally biomass opponents, especially Ashley Paulk, who came out and said what needed to be said, and George Bennett, who was willing to admit in public that he was one of the earliest proponents of the biomass plant but new knowledge caused him to think differently.

A big shoutout to the VSU Faculty Senate, the only traditional non-activist body that went on record as opposing the biomass plant with an actual vote before the extension deadline. The VSU Faculty Senate did what the Valdosta City Council, the Lowndes County Commission and the Industrial Authority Board would not. Go Blazers!

A special strategic mention to Kay Harris and David Rodock of the Valdosta Daily Times, who came to realize they were not being told the whole truth by the Industrial Authority. The VDT even gave a civics lesson on how to stop the biomass plant.

And a very special mention to the people who did the most to make the name of biomass mud in the public’s eye: Brad Lofton, Col. Ricketts, and the VLCIA board. Without their indoctrination sessions and paid “forum” and stonewalling, people wouldn’t have been turned against that thing nearly as fast!

Yet it ain’t over until it’s over.

According to David Rodock in the VDT today: Continue reading

I think that addresses the issues —Joe Pritchard

In David Rodock’s VDT story on the animal shelter tour Joe Pritchard made the case for cameras:
“It’s no longer a case of an individual making a claim, as it will be evident by the physical evidence provided by the security cameras,” said Pritchard. “The standard operating procedures such as frequency of inspection of the animals and how often an animal will be reviewed or examined, along with the veterinarian care, have been revised to the general procedures set by guidelines of the Department of Agriculture and the animal control ordinance we adopted several years ago.”

“You take that policy, coupled with the updated standard operating procedures, added to the technical verification and I think that addresses the issues,” said Pritchard. “My purpose is to eliminate any problem or potential problem.”

Sounds to me like he’s saying the issues are resolved. Remember, “resolved” is the word Chairman Paulk used a few hours before.

If anyone is interested in watching the watchers, the animal control ordinance is online.