For those unaware, Super District 4 was a newly created district in Lowndes County two years ago. I assumed this office without a predecessor to this district seat. It was my understanding of this district to compliment the other districts by adding more responsiveness and accountability for the citizens of Lowndes County.
Upon being elected and occupying the seat, I inherited a wonderful staff; however, the county faced several challenges. The economy was Continue reading
Lowndes County suing a local business with our tax dollars has produced a preliminary Georgia Supreme Court ruling overturning the appeals court and favoring the county’s “exclusive franchise” with ADS, a company owned by New York City investors. Local company Deep South Sanitation vows to keep going.
Do you think this lawsuit is a good use of your tax dollars? What will you think if ADS’ rates go up from Veolia’s bid of $13.05/month ($156.60/year) just before ADS bought Veolia, to ADS’s bid of $13.39/month ($220.68/year)? Continue reading
Oregon denying a permit for a coal dock on the Columbia River Monday may seem far away, but the effects of coal ash are right here in Lowndes County. Effects that an Alabama county is calling a toxic chemical civil rights violation in the Arrowhead Landfill in Uniontown.
AP reported 14 August 2014, EPA investigating claims west Alabama landfill violates civil rights of black property owners,
It’s not the first time that the Arrowhead has been in the news. In 2009, an estimated 3.9 million tons of coal ash was dumped at the landfill. It was brought in after a Tennessee Valley Authority dam breached in east Tennessee, spilling toxic ash into a river and damaging about 300 acres. To date, it’s the largest coal ash spill in U.S. history.
Much of that ash ended up being dumped at the landfill in Perry County, which in return received Continue reading
Why is the Lowndes County Commission spending our tax dollars to sue a local company for collecting trash, in appeal at the Georgia Supreme Court this morning? Why not just let Deep South Sanitation compete with Advanced Disposal Services? Perhaps we should “stop wasting taxpayer money”, as Gretchen said to the Commission a year ago.
From DSS’s facebook page 5 May 2014, LOWNDES CO & ADVANCED DISPOSAL VS DEEP SOUTH UPDATE:
Dear Friends of Deep South, we have been notified that a date for the “APPEAL” has been set for Monday, May 19, 2014 @ 10am to be held in Atlanta, Ga. before the Supreme Court. The Lowndes County Attorney along with Advanced Disposal’s Attorney’s will have the opportunity to argue their case. Our Attorney, Rob Plumb will speak on behalf of Deep South and for the people. There will not be a ruling on this day. We will post the results of the Court’s ruling on our FB page as soon as we receive word.—As always, we thank all of you for your prayers and support. God Bless America!
And from DSS’s facebook page yesterday: Appeals Court Tomorrow Morning @ 10am.
“Thank you” to every one for your thoughts and prayers. Cary and Trevor just left headed to Atlanta. The appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court and a ruling should come at a later date. Hopefully, this will be the end of the lawsuit filed by the County and Advanced Disposal. We will post any news on our FB page as soon as we get word from our Attorney. Thanks again, your support means the world to us.
As Gretchen said a year ago to the Commissioners who voted for that unnecessary lawsuit,
If I were considering a business move, I wouldn’t move to a county that eats its own.
I ask that you drop the lawsuit and stop wasting taxpayer money. Thank you.
We don’t have to be a county like that. Let’s change some Commissioners and stop this waste of taxpayer money.
LAKE supports Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes County Commission District 5. Please vote tomorrow, Tuesday May 20th. It’s not a primary: that’s Election Day for this Special Election for District 5. Your vote matters.
Maybe we should stop inviting toxic industries to Lowndes County. We’ve been doing that with coal ash, PCBs, superfund wastewater, used diapers in recycling, and suing local businesses while not terminating an exclusive franchise with a company that is involved in all of that. Not to mention Sterling Chemical.
Here in Lowndes County we have TVA coal ash and Florida coal ash in our landfill, and the landfill operator spreads the coal ash on roads on the site, which is just uphill from the Withlacoochee River. GA EPD fined that landfill operator $27,500 in January 2013 for accepting PCBs into that same Pecan Row Landfill. The same landfill that accepted 196,500 gallons of wastewater from the Seven Out Superfund site in Waycross, GA.
The second day of the Commission retreat is finished. Reporting from location, Gretchen noted:
Chairman Bill Slaughter has a five year goal of making broadband available. Some possibility of creating a fibre ring. He says he’s working with the City of Valdosta.
Commissioner Crawford Powell wants to outsource more county services.
That’s working so well, after all; see the next note.Continue reading
Jim Yardleyjan wrote for NYTimes 29 January 2014, A Mafia Legacy Taints the Earth in Southern Italy,
“The environment here is poisoned,” said Dr. Alfredo Mazza, a cardiologist who documented an alarming rise in local cancer cases in a 2004 study published in the British medical journal The Lancet. “It’s impossible to clean it all up. The area is too vast.”
He added, “We’re living on top of a bomb.”
Maybe it’s not that bad Continue reading
Maybe filing the lawsuit in the first place was “premature”, to use Chairman Bill Slaughter’s word in the VDT yesterday about a possible appeal. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall had the common courtesy on WCTV to apologize to DSS for the unnecessary lawsuit. How much did the Commission spend on that waste of time and effort?
Editor Kay Harris wrote on the front page of the Valdosta Daily Times yesterday, Company wins fight to stay in business: Deep South wins case brought by County,
Southern Circuit Judge Harry J. Altman issued a ruling Monday in the civil action filed by Lowndes County against Deep South Sanitation, LLC to enjoin Deep South from continuing its garbage business. Advanced Disposal Services was later added as an intervenor plaintiff in the case against Deep South as well.
In the ruling, Altman denied the County’s request for an injunction to put Deep South out of business. The order addresses the County’s ordinance passed in 2012, saying that to “simultaneously invoke an exclusive franchise agreement with one company would, in effect … permit Lowndes County to construct a monopoly while simultaneously putting pre-existing companies out of business.”
Well, it appears the judge thought it was about right or wrong.
The county Chairman’s view now? Continue reading
So how much money did the alleged County Attorney spend sueing a local company to benefit ADS investors in New York City? The County Commission was very concerned recently about how much the Sheriff and the Coroner spent (which the Sheriff and the Coroner ably rebutted). Why isn’t the Commission as concerned about spending money on a completely unnecessary lawsuit that they started? Why do they let that same attorney set prices for purchase orders?
That exclusive franchise with ADS: not so exclusive anymore, is it?
Will ADS sue the county, as many people rumored was the Commission’s greatest fear?
Will the county now have to pay DSS’s attorney fees? As a taxpayer I don’t like the idea of wasting more of my tax dollars on that lawsuit, so maybe they could take it out of the fees or salaries of whoever recommended and approved that lawsuit.
Maybe somebody down at the county should “check our work”.
Two, four, six, many: that’s how Lowndes County counts tenants. It’s great the county is providing space for organizations that help the needy, but it’s kind of curious that the county didn’t seem to know who or how many organizations were using the Leila Ellis building, and had no lease agreement with them. Not to mention it took twenty questions from Commissioners to get staff to admit that lack of contracts, at Monday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session.
6.b. Leila Ellis Building-Available Space
Kind of like they have no contract with the alleged county attorney.
Chad McCleod at one point said two organizations are currently in the building, LAMP and Cash Prosperity. He said the County let LAMP use it, and LAMP let Cash Prosperity use it.
In response to a question from Commissioner DeMarcus Marshall, County Manager Joe Pritchard said under normal circumstances any organization would need to come to the Commission to ask for space. They currently have more applicants than space.
Commissioner Crawford Powell wanted to know if the county was going to set up guidelines for who could lease. Pritchard said they could, and they couldn’t lease to a private business.
Commissioner Richard Raines wanted to know if annual leases were the practice of this board. Pritchard, not actually answering the question asked, said “That would be my suggestion.”