Tag Archives: John S. Quarterman

Videos: Race Track Road SE abandonment and TXT-2024-01 ULDC Amendments @ LCC Regular 2024-04-09

“We’re down to one!” said Commissioner Scotti Orenstein, seeing Commissioners Joyce Evans and Demarcus Marshall coming out of the elevator before the April 9, 2024, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.

“Due to an issue with some advertising, staff is requesting this item be tabled until until the May 14, 2024, meeting,” said Engineering Director Chad McLeod, in 5. Public Hearing a. Abandonment of a Portion of Race Track Road SE.

[Collage @ LCC 9 April 2024]
Collage @ LCC 9 April 2024

They meet again this morning at 8:30 AM for their Work Session, and Tuesday at 5:30 PM for their voting Regular Session.

Their Regular Session two weeks ago would have been very brief, except for Continue reading

Videos: Race Track Road SE abandonment and TXT-2024-01 ULDC Amendments @ LCC Work 2024-04-08

The Lowndes County Commissioners had no questions about the two items in their Work Session Monday morning.

In the meeting, the only thing unusual was the County Manager gave her report, because she was going to be absent the next day.

[LAKE Videos: Racetrack Road SE Abandonment and ULDC Text Amendments @ LCC Work 2024-04-08]
LAKE Videos: Racetrack Road SE Abandonment and ULDC Text Amendments @ LCC Work 2024-04-08

The interesting parts were outside the meeting:

  • Before the meeting, I asked Information Technology Services (ITS) Director Aaron Kostyu if the sound box in the video pen at the back of the room would be fixed soon. He said that was a $1700 item, but they were working on it. I asked loudly enough that all of the Commissioners could hear me, including when I noted that it’s hard to hear Commissioners on our videos without the direct audio feed. He said some of them probably would still be inaudible.
  • I went up to where Commissioner Joyce Evans was sitting and indicated that if Commissioners push their microphones away, they’re hard to hear. She said I was pointing at Commissioner Scottie Orenstein’s microphone. We shall see.
  • I had a video camera fail, so I took these videos with my phone, starting after they did, so the call to order and approval of minutes agenda items are not in these videos. Also, my phone does not stop and start videos quickly, so there may be a second or two missing between clips.
  • After the meeting was adjourned, Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker said he was disappointed to get dressed to come there for such a brief meeting. I feel his pain. It’s an hour round trip for me, this time for a five minute meeting.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the agenda and the board packet. Continue reading

Please reject REZ-2023-04 2.5-acre rezoning on Quarterman Road –Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE 2023-08-28

Update 2023-09-06: Please keep Quarterman Road in agriculture and forestry –WWALS to Greater Lowndes Planning Commission 2023-08-28.

Here is the letter Gretchen Quarterman sent on behalf of Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE) to the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) before their meeting of Monday, August 28, 2023.

[LAKE letter and map]
LAKE letter and map

As you can see in the LAKE videos of that meeting, GLPC recommended denial by 7:1 of REZ-2023-04 on Quarterman Road.

Thanks to everyone who signed the petition: a table of signatories and images of the petition sheets are included. Thanks to everyone who spoke at the GLPC meeting.

The final decision will be at the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session of Tuesday, September 12, 2023. More petition signatures would help, and more calls and letters to Lowndes County Commissioners, and more speakers in the Public Hearing on September 12th.

The LAKE Letter

In PDF and below in web format. Continue reading

Videos: Quarterman Road rezoning recommended against, Mt. Zion Church Road for @ GLPC 2023-08-28

Update 2023-09-05: Please reject REZ-2023-04 2.5-acre rezoning on Quarterman Road –Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE 2023-08-28.

The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) voted 7:1 to recommend denial of the proposed E-A 2.5-acre-lot rezoning on Quarterman Road, in an agricultural and forestry area.

[Collage @ LCC 28 August 2023]
Collage @ LCC 28 August 2023

They unanimously voted to recommend approval of the R-21 half-acre-lot rezoning on Mt. Zion Church Road that is among numerous existing small lots.

In the first rezoning item, REZ-2023-04 on Quarterman Road, the County Planner mentioned that county staff had been unable to find any record of the previous (1980s) rezoning of the existing subdivision on Emily Lane west of Quarterman Road. Continue reading

Videos: Boat Ramps, Okefenokee Swamp, LMIG, Taxes @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07

Update 2023-09-12: Videos: Grant match for Dark Sky and resolution against mine too near Okefenokee Swamp @ Clinch County Commission 2023-09-11

Update 2023-08-10: Chainsaw cleanup, Outings, Boat Ramps, Okefenokee Swamp –Suwannee Riverkeeper @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07.

It was a brief agenda at the Clinch County Commission, with roads and taxes, plus boat ramps and a proposed resolution against the strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp.

[Collage @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07]
Collage @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07

Below are pictures, LAKE videos of each agenda item, and links to documents, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

Continue reading

Videos: Dollar General Defeated, VLDA appointment, subdivision infrastructure, VOCA, server blades @ LCC Regular 2023-01-24

Update 2023-05-06: Dollar General developer and property owner sue Lowndes County about rezoning denial –VDT 2023-05-03.

Update 2023-01-29: Lowndes County nixes planned Dollar General –VDT 2023-01-26.

Much to the surprise of the several dozen opponents of the Dollar General rezoning, and even after the DG developer attorney attempted to tell his version of the Lowndes County Commission’s legal responsibilities, all the Commissioners voted to deny the rezoning.

[Collage @ LCC 24 January 2023]
Collage @ LCC 24 January 2023

The audience laughed at the Dollar General’s offer of an “enhanced facade,” as conveyed by County Planner JD Dillard. Even after Chairman Bill Slaughter limited each side to ten minutes, the opposition gave excellent summaries.

Heath Dawson, who is the nearest neighbor to the north and a commercial banker, attested Continue reading

Videos: Leadership Lowndes, Rezonings, Lift Station, Pictometry, SDS, Suwannee Riverkeeper, Bethany Drive @ LCC 2022-10-11

Update 2024-01-24: Why the traffic light: The Towns at 4443 (Bemiss Road @ Studstill Road) letter of intent and Conceptual Plan @ GLPC 2022-09-26.

Lowndes County Commissioners were still not happy with the City of Valdosta about the Service Delivery Agreement, with Chairman Bill Slaughter reciting a litany of recent extraterritorial water and sewage decisions and a change in funding for county roads for the upcoming “physical” year, at their Regular Session of October 11, 2022. Commissioners Clay Griner and Scottie Orenstein complained about the agreement, with some threats to go back to the 2008 agreement if signatures were not gotten from the Valdosta immediately. It passed 4:1, with Griner voting against.

They spent 25 minutes on 5.a. REZ-2022-16 4443 Bemiss, ~14.1 acres, from C-G \u0026 R-A to P-D \u0026 C-G, finally agreeing for the applicant to add a fence between it and the nearby church.

County Manager Paige Dukes in her report said the county was only doing their river cleanup because it is required by the county’s stormwater permit, so it’s a checkbox they are checking. Also, she was asking Public Works to have the county’s litter crew stand down beforehand, so volunteers would have something to pick up at the boat ramps.

Two citizens spoke, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman proposing a grant application about water quality, and Matthew and Debra Williams of Bethany Drive back again after a year about a county drainage easement draining onto their property.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session, the agenda and board packet, and the LAKE videos of the preceding Planning Commission meeting. Continue reading

RIP Sonny Vickers + two sewer lines fixed @ VCC 2022-06-23

Update 2022-06-27: Trash boom good; more needed –Suwannee Riverkeeper @ VCC 2022-06-23.

Flags are to fly half-mast Sunday across the entire state of Georgia at the state Capitol and in Lowndes County for the late Sonny Vickers, whose absence loomed large over the Valdosta City Council meeting. The funeral will be 3 PM Sunday. There will be a special election for his Council seat, as required by the city charter.

[Sonny Vickers and other matters]
Sonny Vickers and other matters

Mayor and Council also increased the number of vehicles for their on-call transit service, and approved two sewer line fixes.

One Citizen to Be Heard proposed renaming Cherry Street to Sonny Vickers Lane. Two others asked the city to do more about trash.

Also, that was the last Council meeting for Utilities Director David Frost, whose last day was today (Friday).

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda. The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website. Some of the materials are out of order (I don’t know why), so if you don’t find something at first, keep looking.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist:

RIP Sonny Vickers + two sewer lines fixed @ VCC 2022-06-23
Valdosta City Council Regular Session, June 23, 2022, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).


Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!

Finances and Okefenokee Swamp @ SGRC 2021-12-09

Here are LAKE videos of (most of) yesterday’s Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC) Council meeting yesterday in Pearson, Georgia.

For some of the items, I have included photographs of the first sheet of the relevant handout(s). For the rest of each handout, please contact SGRC.

Thanks to SGRC Council Chair Joyce Evans and Assistant Director Chris Strom for inviting me to come speak about the Okefenokee Swamp in my other hat as Suwannee Riverkeeper; see the WWALS blog post.

Collage: Audit; New member John Clayton (Nashville); DCA Small Cities Conference; Okefenokee Swamp Resolutions –Suwannee Riverkeeper; Jody Redding, GA Gov. Field Rep.

Here is the complete agenda. Continue reading

Okefenokee resolution, Planning Commission, Airport, Sewer system, Road renaming moratorium @ VCC 2021-11-11

With a packed agenda, the Valdosta City Council passed eight resolutions, approved five bids or purchases, and appointed people to four boards, yet the longest discussion was after all that.

[Mayor, Howard, Gibbs, WWTP, Manager & Tooley, Suwannee Riverkeeper]
Mayor, Howard, Gibbs, WWTP, Manager & Tooley, Suwannee Riverkeeper

Perhaps the most far-reaching item was one of the briefest, presented by Mayor Scott James Matheson: 3.f. Resolution in Opposition to a proposed strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, opposing the proposed Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) strip mine or any others within ten miles of the Swamp, asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reverse its abdication of oversight, asking GA-EPD for a moratorium on all mining permits until effects are settled of the recent court overruling of 2020 Clean Water Act changes, as well as to reject the TPM permits, or at least to review those applications as thoroughly as the Army Corps would, and asking the Georgia legislature to prevent such strip mines near the Swamp or any blackwater rivers in the Suwannee River Basin. Continue reading