Tag Archives: Land Bank

Videos @ LCC 2012 03 26

These are videos of the Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 26 March 2012. They vote at their regular session tonight, 5:30 PM.

See also these special presentations:

Here’s the agenda.

Here’s a playlist of everything except the above two special presentations.

Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 26 March 2012.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).





Land bank SB 284: multiple counties and eminent domain —Barbara Stratton

Received 5 March 2012 on Keep an eye on the Land Bank Authority. -jsq
There is no direct reference to a regional land bank authority. However, the bill [GA SB 284 -jsq] allows for “Intergovernmental contract” defined as “a contract as authorized pursuant to Article IX, Section III, Paragraph I of the Constitution of GA and paragraph (5) of Code Section 36-34-2 and entered into by counties, consolidated governments, and municipal corporations pursuant to this article.” Section 48-4-103 further lists that a land bank may be created by two or more counties, which spells regional to me. Therefore regional land bank authorities can be established if this bill is passed.

The bill also allows for public/private partnerships which co-mingle government and private enterprise. Under Section 48-4-106 which enumerates the powers of a land bank, Lines 307 – 315 state

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Who are the members of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Land Bank Authority?

Inquiring minds want to know who is on the board of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Land Bank Authority (VLCLBA)?

According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs 2010 Directory of Registered Local Government Authorities:

Creation Date 6/24/1999
Method of Creation General Statute
Official Citation O.C.G.A. 48-4-61
Dependency Independent
Single or Multi Jurisdictional Multi-Jurisdictional
Members Lowndes County
City of Valdosta
Contact Mara S. Register, Assistant to the City Manager
Post Office Box 1125
216 E. Central Avenue
Valdosta, Georgia 31603
Board Members Burke Sherwood, Frank Morman, James Wright, Joyce Evans,

Now we know.

How hard would it be for the City of Valdosta or the County of Lowndes to keep such information on their own web pages? They could include pictures better than the ones I found lying about on the web. Maybe even add agendas and minutes while they’re at it?


Crony capitalism corruption, a non-partisan enemy —Barbara Stratton

Received yesterday on VSU Health Sciences: much better than a private prison. -jsq
You know my main argument against the private prison is I don’t like public/private partnerships and the sweetheart deals they encourage. Also, when I requested CCA to provide me with information that supports private prisons so I could research both sides they did not respond. This led me to believe they have no concern for community opinion even when citizens are open minded and seeking honest information. They seem to prefer back room deals with local politicians that escape community detection unless citizens are aggressively observant like LAKE members.

However, we are not on the same page about what I consider simplistic solutions for reducing the prison population. Education and good drug treatment programs are definitely positives, but they are not the silver bullet liberals proclaim them to be. Criminals evolve from complex heredity and environmental mediums that don’t magically dissolve via education or intervention protocols. Certainly these are to be encouraged because they do help some, but they will never totally replace the need for legal intervention and penal institutions. In addition to educational and medical institutions not being a magical replacement solution for crime, these very institutions often encourage crony capitalism corruption, which we agree to be a non-partisan enemy.

In summary, I support our criminal justice system which includes prisons, but I do not support any mixing of government and business. Public/private partnerships are crony capitalism playgrounds that undermine free enterprise and citizen control. Unfortunately our trusted elected legislators have already filled our GA Codes and State Constitution with government consolidation and multi county regional partnership initiatives. At present, they are pushing SB 284, already passed by the senate, and in the house, which will further enhance Land Bank Authority powers and partnerships. As citizens we all need to remember that increasing unelected bureaucratic authorities equals minimized citizen control. We also need to ask our local, state and federal elected representatives why they are listening to special interest groups that encourage authorities and public/private partnerships instead of protecting their constituents.

-Barbara Stratton Commenter

We don’t have to agree on every point to oppose (private prison) or support (government transparency) the same things. Indeed, there will always be criminals, but we don’t need to lock up more than any other country on the planet. The big change in the environment that has produced seven times more criminals now than in the 1960s is the War on Drugs. Time to end that failed experiment in prohibition. Meanwhile, indeed crony capitalism corruption is our non-partisan enemy.


Keep an eye on the Land Bank Authority —Barbara Stratton

Today the Georgia Senate Rules Committee votes on Sen. Tim Golden’s SB 284 “Georgia Land Bank Act; governing creation/operation of land banks; provision”. Received 24 February 2012. -jsq
A citizen’s committee needs to be formed to keep an eye on the Land Bank Authority because they seem to think they are exempt from state Sunshine Law rules. In addition Sen. Golden has a bill SB 284 introduced into the state senate that will allow the establishment of regional land bank authorities. We citizens never consented to all this regional government that is being forced on us. If we can’t keep up with what the local land bank authority is doing just imagine what a regional land bank authority will be able to accomplish with zero public knowledge and input. This is one of the most dangerous pseudo-government entities ever and it needs to be addressed from the citizen level immediately. I applied for a citizen vacancy on the Land Bank Authority, but of course those positions are reserved for politically supportive individuals. Per the sunshine laws, which Sam Olens has sworn allegiance to, a citizen review committee would have to be advised of the meetings that are currently never publicized.

-Barbara Stratton

SB 284 already passed Monday a week ago in the Senate Finance Committee, according to Nelson Mullins, Gold Dome Report – 2-27-2012, Continue reading

Gently orienting the Land Bank Authority to Sunshine Law compliance —Barbara Stratton

Received today. -jsq
Is gently orienting the Land Bank Authority to Sunshine Law compliance going to be a joint LAKE transparancy in government venture or am I riding solo? Since their purpose is to acquire, transfer, divest, etc. land for the common good, real time exposure of this public good should be welcomed. I’m sure it is just an oversight that to date I have never seen a posted meeting date and the city web site has never listed anything but “occasionally” for a meeting schedule. Perhaps they think citizens would be bored and not interested in their meetings and we just need to let them know we are interested. Currently I’m interested in the construction for Dupont on St. Augustine.

Also we need to keep watch to make sure SB 284, which would legislate the formation of a regional land bank with greatly enhanced acquisition powers, does not rise from the 2011 session ashes. If getting information from the local land bank authority is so difficult, can you imagine trying to keep up with a regional entity and all the creative land deal possibilities.

-Barbara Stratton

It’s an hours in the day issue. if you want to spearhead this issue, please lead. As you know, LAKE as an organization rarely takes a position on anything. Most topics are pursued by one or two or more individuals and almost all posts are the opinions of the poster, unless otherwise indicated by “for LAKE”. You seem to be the kernel of a syndicate of initiative on this one.

According to The Valdosta City page on the Land Bank Authority “Last updated: 8/23/2010 7:29:18 AM”: Continue reading