Tag Archives: LOST

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

Videos, AAUW Candidates’ Forum @ AAUW 2013-10-15

Water was a popular topic, as you can see in these videos of the Candidates’s Forum by AAUW. Same location (VSU Continuing Education Building) as the one Chamber held, but this time the audience got to ask questions. Yes, Virginia, they do all live in their districts, and some of them have widely divergent views about what cities or school boards should do.

Local AAUW President Diane Holliman gave a welcome, and then Dr. Luke Fowler moderated. Here’s the list of qualified candidates. Here’s Matthew Woody’s writeup in the VDT.

Valdosta City Council District 2

John Hogan and Calvin Graham Sr. were present; Sandra J. Tooley was not.

John Hogan pointed out that a road issue could really be a drainage issue, so it’s necessary to look at context.

Calvin Graham Sr. said he was retired military, lived in the district, and had been spending a lot of time volunteering. He indicated the Continue reading

OK LOST status quo –Valdosta City Council @ VCC 2013-10-17

Yes we’ll take the 2002 percentages offered by Lowndes County, voted the the Valdosta City Council this morning at a Special Called Meeting.

The vote result is from Council Tim Carroll, who says they will revisit the percentages after the Georgia legislature does whatever it’s going to do about LOST in January. Here’s the notice of the meeting on Valdosta’s website:

Notice of a Special Called City Council Meeting
Posted Date: 10/16/2013

The Valdosta City Council has scheduled a Special Called City Council Meeting for Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. at City Hall, 216 East Central Avenue, Council Chambers. The purpose of this Special Called Council Meeting is to discuss the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST).

For more information, please contact Teresa S. Bolden, City Clerk, at 259-3503 or tbolden@valdostacity.com.

-jsq

Videos of Special LOST Lowndes County Commission Meeting @ LCC 2013-10-15

In a highly irregular 4 to 1 vote with the Chairman voting, the Lowndes County Commission voted to stick with 58% for the county, 42% for the cities from LOST, the same as the county’s original position from April 2012.

No real agenda was posted by the county, so below I’ve made one up to match the videos.

  1. Call to Order

    and immediate adjourn to executive session for attorney-client privileges.

    County Manager Joe Pritchard shooed the Commissioners, the alleged County Attorney, the County Clerk, the Finance Director, and one or two other staff into the back room.

  2. Reconvene into open session

    Chairman Bill Slaughter divulged the purpose of the meeting so they could vote on it. The decision was 58% of SPLOST for the county and 42% for the cities, to be divided among the cities as they see fit. The vote was 4 to 1. Which is rather odd, since you can clearly hear Chairman Bill Slaughter voting ” aye” and raising his hand. Continue reading

Lowndes County LOST like Hall @ LCC 2013-10-15

Gretchen reports LOST was the topic at today’s special called meeting of the Lowndes County Commission. And yes, they went into executive session. Rumor has it that it’s not 120 days to come to an agreement, rather this week is the deadline. That’s what seems to be happening over in Hall County.

Sarah Mueller wrote for Gainesville Times today, Hall commissioners to consider new local option sales tax certificate,

Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton said the special called commission meeting today at 4 p.m. at the Hall County Government Center in Gainesville was in response to a suggestion from the Association County Commissioners of Georgia. ACCG has talked with the Department of Revenue and the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.

“(ACCG) has advised us that each county who has been engaged in the LOST arbitration proceedings submit a new LOST certificate to the Revenue Department this week,” Knighton said.

Knighton declined Monday to say Continue reading

County lost LOST; now has 120 days to negotiate with cities

So all our tax money the county spent on the alleged county attorney arguing before the state Supreme Court was wasted. The remaining law seems to say by 120 days from Monday the cities and the county need to come to an agreement.

Kay Harris wrote for the VDT yesterday, Lowndes LOST in limbo: Supreme Court tosses key amendment,

In a ruling issued Monday, Oct. 7, the Supreme Court of Georgia declared a 2010 amendment to the Local Option Sales Tax Act unconstitutional, reasoning that the amendment would delegate a legislative function of allocating tax proceeds to the judicial branch of government, a violation of the Separation of Powers clause of the Georgia Constitution.

For Lowndes County, the ruling effectively renders the lawsuit moot that was filed by the five cities against the county in September 2012.

The Supreme Court’s ruling came in the case of Turner County vs. the City of Ashburn over a dispute in splitting the proceeds from the one cent sales tax, the same issue in the Lowndes lawsuit. By declaring the portion unconstitutional that would allow a judge to decide how to allocate the tax dollars between the entities, the issue is now in limbo for several counties in Georgia.

You may recall that former Chairman Ashley Paulk wasn’t interested in discussing proposals from the cities, and said from before the LOST negotiations began that he expected it to go to arbitration.

This was the same Chairman Ashley Paulk who put SPLOST VII on the ballot a year early and lost it. I wonder how much input County Manager Joe Pritchard had into these two losing decisions?

At least SPLOST VI hasn’t expired yet and there’s time for the voters to go again on SPLOST VII in November.

What happens now with LOST? Continue reading

Ashley Paulk’s Guardian Bank sues Hahira

Hahira declared a moratorium on water and sewer taps in a subdivision financed by Guardian Bank, apparently in hopes of getting the bank to do something about a drainage problem there. Instead, the bank is suing Hahira, echoing a lawsuit the county is pursuing about a contract let when the bank’s Chairman was Lowndes County Chairman.

According to Stuart Taylor in the VDT Friday, Guardian Bank’s chairman said, perhaps using the royal “we”:

“We’re a little disappointed with Hahira,” said Ashley Paulk, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Guardian Bank. “We’ve actually helped them build up their tax base up there…Over the years, we’ve encouraged builders to be up there.”

Me, I think Hahira should have Continue reading

Lowndes County vs. Deep South Sanitation this morning

The county government’s attempt to put a local business out of business is this 9:30 AM at the county palace this morning 14 June 2013.

Physical Address:
Courtroom 5D, Fifth Floor
Lowndes County Judicial Complex
327 N. Ashley Street
Valdosta, GA 31601

WALB’s earlier story said June 4th, but now it’s June 14th (today), because Lowndes County Attorney Walter Elliott is also an attorney for Turner County in the LOST case before the GA Supreme Court, and he was going to be in Atlanta arguing before the Supreme Court on June 4th. Funny how everything is done for the convenience of the county government, and not for its citizens. Maybe we should change that.

-jsq

Video of oral arguments in LOST GA Supreme Court case

Here’s the Georgia Supreme Court’s own video of S13A0992 Turner County v. City of Ashburn et al. Walter Elliott Tuesday, June 4, 2013. It starts with the attorney for Turner County, Walter Elliott (who is also Lowndes County Attorney) apparently arguing that the courts shouldn’t intervene because only legislative bodies should decide on taxes. The judges didn’t seem to understand his argument.

One judge wondered how disputes would be settled then. Elliott said the local elected bodies would decide or the tax wouldn’t be levied. Another judge pointed out that legislative bodies could delegate administrative functions. Later the same judge asked how to distinguish this case from a child custody case as far as criteria and a court being able to decide. Elliott claimed that was a judicial function, but allocating tax dollars was not. The judges didn’t seem to be buying the city attorney’s argument later, either.

Funny how the Supreme Court of Georgia videos its sessions, but the Lowndes County Commission does not.

Here’s the subject of the case: Continue reading

Videos of morning of budget discussion @ LCC 2013-06-05

Here’s a video playlist of Wednesday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Budget Discussion Meeting.


Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 5 June 2013.

They broke for lunch shortly before noon, and Gretchen had another appointment, so the video ends there, although the Commission apparently continued te discussion in the afternoon. Hm, if they had real discussion at their other meetings, they wouldn’t have to save it up for long marathon sessions like this….

-jsq