Tag Archives: GMA

Local government pipeline responsibilities

Make pipeline companies answer questions, motivate implementation of safety standards, announce FERC Scoping meetings, and enforce reasonable local zoning restrictions: these are things local governments can do, and NTSB and FERC say they should do most of them. Gilchrist County Commission in Trenton, Florida has done most of them, and plans to continue doing more. The Lowndes County Commission and the Valdosta City Council still can, too, plus all the other county and city governments along the proposed pipeline path, and their statewide county and city government associations. Will our local elected officials represent we the people?

Make pipeline companies answer questions

There were Real questions at the Gilchrist County Commission meeting in Trenton, Florida Monday. Two hours of first questions from a citizens committee with Spectra’s reps expected to answer right there in front of everybody, then questions from locals and people from many counties around, including attorneys representing landowners and other county commissions cross-examining Spectra on the spot. The Chairman of the Gilchrist County Commission said there was a general opinion among the populace that they were asking specific questions and getting only general answers. Congratulations, Chairman, Commission, staff, Committee, and everyone who asked questions for showing the world how it’s done, and for exposing Spectra’s evasions to public scrutiny.

This is in sharp contrast to Continue reading

Secret meeting of Lowndes County Commission and state reps @ LCC 2013-12-20

Dexter Sharper (District 177) The VDT report doesn’t say when or where, and doesn’t say whether Dexter Sharper (District 177) wasn’t invited or chose not to attend.

There’s nothing about this meeting in the online agendas or calendar, even though that calendar lists Pictures with Santa at the Historical Courthouse (12/19/2013).

There is this undated public notice with no agenda:

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County Clerk The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners will meet with members of Lowndes County’s Legislative Delegation on Friday, December 20, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Conference Room located on the 3rd floor of the Judicial-Administrative Complex, 327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, Georgia.

K. Paige Dukes, County Clerk

pdukes@lowndescounty.com 229-671-2400

Tim Golden (District 8) Matthew Woody wrote for the VDT 22 December 2013, Commissioners host local delegation, oddly omitting the when and where and much of the why from the traditional who, what, when, where, and why of journalism.

Amy Carter (District 175) The Lowndes County Commission hosted Continue reading

Lancaster, CA solar capital?

What does it take to turn a city into a solar power powerhouse of jobs and clean energy profit? Mostly the will to do it, plus some public relations and business relations.

Felicity Barringer wrote for NYTimes 8 April 2013, With Help From Nature, a Town Aims to Be a Solar Capital, the mayor of Lancaster, California, R. Rex Parris, said,

“We want to be the first city that produces more electricity from solar energy than we consume on a daily basis,”

And then the city of Lancaster took action, requiring

that almost all new homes either come equipped with solar panels or be in subdivisions that produce one kilowatt of solar energy per house. He also was able to recruit the home building giant KB Home to implement his vision, despite the industry’s overall resistance to solar power.

Result, according to one solar tracker?

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SB 104 that changed comprehensive plan rules: good or bad?

The Georgia legislature overwhelmingly passed a rather brief bill that changes the requirements for Comprehensive Plans by local governments. ACCG and GMA both supported it. It seems to be related to recent Department of Community Affairs (DCA) rulemaking that was mostly positive. Does that make it a good law? Opinions seem to differ. Here’s what I’ve found.

The Bill: SB 104

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ALEC again: GA HB 176 for higher cell towers with less local government oversight

After massive public opposition just fought off a subdivision near Moody’s gate, do we want telephone cell towers popping up in Moody’s flight lines? Trying to outlaw municipal broadband isn’t the only thing telecom companies and ALEC are up to in the Georgia legislature: they’re also pushing a bill for higher cell towers with less local government control over height or siting. Do you want one next to you without even an opportunity for a local government hearing?

Here’s what ACCG says about HB 176, renamed from ‘Advanced Broadband Collocation Act’ to ‘Mobile Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development (BILD) Act’:

Cell Tower Siting Preemption Legislation Progresses

HB 176 passed a House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Sub-Committee on Thursday. Representatives from ACCG, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, GMA and several cities expressed concerns on the impact this legislation will have on local cell tower siting ordinances. This bill significantly preempts local governments in reviewing and approving applications for both the modification of existing cell towers and structures (collocation) and the construction of new cell towers and structures local communities. As HB 176 is the top priority of the wireless industry this session and is being backed by many other influential groups including the Americans for Prosperity and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, it has very strong momentum. Please have your county staff review the bill and inform your House members of any negative implications it has on your local zoning, land use or tower/equipment application review processes. This legislation will likely be heard on the House floor soon.

Guess who’s chair of the Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications SubCommittee? Continue reading

National attention on GA HB 282 against muni broadband: needs GA leg. to vote it down

Another bad idea from ALEC already passed in SC and NC and is now in the GA legislature, getting coverage in several national technical and political blogs: HB 282, which would effectively forbid municipal broadband if any commercial carrier offers 1.5Mbps. It's up for a hearing this week: time to call your state rep.

Timothy B. Lee wrote for ArsTechnica 14 Feb 2013, Bill would ban muni broadband if one home in census tract gets 1.5Mbps: Approach could leave some Georgia residents without a viable broadband option.

Incumbent broadband providers are pushing legislation that would restrict Georgia towns from building municipal broadband networks. Under the proposal, if a single home in a census tract has Internet access at speeds of 1.5Mbps or above, the town would be prohibited from offering broadband service to anyone in that tract.

State-level restrictions on municipal broadband networks are

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Larry Hanson inducted to GMA Hall of Fame

According to the Valdosta city website 29 June 2011, Larry Hanson Inducted into Municipal Government Hall of Fame:

The Georgia Municipal Association inducted Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson into the Municipal Government Hall of Fame at the association’s annual convention in Savannah Monday, June 27.

The Hall of Fame honors

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