Tag Archives: Mayor

Valdosta Chamber Candidate Forum 2019-10-08

Meet the Candidates 2019, organized by the Valdosta Lowndes Chamber of Commerce: no questions from the audience, but Gretchen Quarterman videoed for LAKE the few minutes each candidate for Valdosta Mayor, City Council, or Valdosta Board of Education held forth. Plus seven minutes about SPLOST, the Special Local Option Sales Tax, the only thing voters in the unincorporated parts of Lowndes County get to vote on this election season.

Mike Gudley talks about the SPLOST referendum

Below are links to each LAKE video Gretchen took, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

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Six board slots to be appointed by Valdosta

You have to live in Lowndes County, but not necessarily in Valdosta, to volunteer to serve on one of these appointed boards. City of Valdosta PR 14 January 2016, Six Opportunities to Serve in New Year,

Valdosta-Lowndes County residents who have made serving their community a New Year’s resolution have until Wednesday, Feb. 3, to apply for one of six city appointments to serve on a board, commission, authority or advisory committee.

The Valdosta City Council will vote on the new appointments at their Feb. 11 City Council meeting to fill the following vacancies:

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Videos: APA Candidate Forum 2015-10-06

The VSU Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, 100 Black Men of Valdosta, and the Valdosta-Lowndes Metro Section of the National Council of Negro Women held a candidate forum at Mathis City Auditorum on October 6th 2015: here are LAKE videos. The the Valdosta Daily Times provided some background:

“Each candidate will be given three minutes to describe themselves, their platform and why they’re seeking their position,” [Valdosta City Council member Alvin] Payton said. “We will then allow two minutes for each candidate to answer a minimum of two questions from the floor. Some questions can be answered quicker than others. After those two minutes, each candidate will be given two minutes to wrap up their position.”

The forum will only involve candidates running for Valdosta City Council and the position of Valdosta mayor.

Below are links to the LAKE video each candidate forum section, followed by a video playlist. Continue reading

Map of Azalea City Trail: path of Saturday afternoon’s bike ride

Here’s a map of the Azalea City Trail, which is the path of (Saturday 12 May 2012) sponsored by Valdosta Bike Co-op.

Oddly, the City of Valdosta doesn’t seem to have such a map anywhere on its web pages, nor does the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA).


Valdosta Bike Co-op community ride on the Azalea City Trail

Valdosta Bike Coop has sprouted a blog. And it's doing a bike ride this weekend.

On Saturday, May 12, 2012 the Valdosta Bike Co-op will host its first community ride on the Azalea City Trail. The ride will begin at the start of the trail near Vallotton Park and will finish at the end of the trail near the Craig Center. This will be a family-friendly ride and will keep a reasonable pace. The ride will begin at 1 PM following a brief bike safety lesson.

The ride will begin with a proclamation by a local leader of the City of Valdosta appointed by Mayor John Gayle. The proclamation will officially declare May as National Bike Month in the City of Valdosta. Riders will then follow the nearly 3 mile trail through beautiful Central Valdosta.

The goal of this ride is to promote the use of the bike and pedestrian trail as well as to promote National Bike Month. The members of the Valdosta Bike Co-op would like to invite the entire community to join us in the fun, healthy, and safe community ride.


PS: Owed to Matt Portwood.

Sonny Vickers, Mayor of Valdosta?

A usually-reliable source says Sonny Vickers will be appointed interim Mayor of Valdosta tomorrow by the Valdosta City Council at its 5:30 PM 8 September meeting.

Since he’s running unopposed for City Council District 3, Sonny Vickers can resign from that post, get appointed mayor, and get re-elected as Council 3 in November.

This is the same method used in 2003 when former Mayor James H. Rainwater died before the election. Council appointed David Sumner interim mayor. According to the VDT 31 August 2011:

At that time, Councilman David Sumner assumed the role of mayor, but had to resign his council seat to do so. He had already qualified to rerun for his seat in the November 2003 election, was re-elected to his seat and stepped down as mayor at the end of 2003, re-assuming his duties as a newly elected councilman at the beginning of 2004.

If they don’t appoint Vickers interim mayor tomorrow, the Valdosta City Council will probably appoint somebody else. According to the VDT today:

Vickers is among those being considered for appointment by council, along with Dexter Sharper and David Sumner, who are also former council members. Vickers pointed out that he did not submit his name for consideration, but rather it was mentioned in conversations with other council members.
We’ll see.

In the November election, one of Brooks D. Bivins, John Gayle, or Gary Minchew will be elected mayor (unless of course there’s a runoff).


What it takes to run for Mayor of Valdosta

People ask me: what does it take to run for mayor of Valdosta? A few qualifications, a few skills, and a vision would sure help.

Well, you have to qualify. That costs $750 down at the Board of Elections.

According to the City of Valdosta’s website, there are a few other requirements:

Qualification Mayor. To be eligible for election or appointment and service as Mayor, a person must be a minimum of 21 years of age, be a resident of the City of Valdosta for one year prior ro the date of qualifying, and a registered and qualified voter of the City of Valdosta at the time of qualifying.
Then you have to campaign and win. Some people will doubtless spend a lot of money running for mayor. However, some recent elections to Lowndes County Commission and Valdosta Board of Education indicate Continue reading

John Fretti resigned as mayor Tuesday, or, Roy Taylor got his way

Doubtless everyone knows this already, since the VDT and others have covered it well, including his guilty plea, the VDT’s call for him to resign, and his resignation. Here is John Fretti’s press release announcing his resignation. It seems appropriate that he sent it to News Talk 105.9 FM, where he so frequently appeared.

Personally, I thought he was not all that bad as mayor, even though he never did anything I asked him to. Given that I don’t even live in Valdosta, there is of course no reason that he should have, and he was always courteous when I appeared before the Valdosta City Council or met him elsewhere. Yes, I am well aware of many of the downsides, many of which I have written about in this blog, and Valdosta can do better.

If Valdosta is going to do better, somebody better needs to run. That’s why at the moment I’d prefer to write about the open race for mayor: qualifying is still open today and tomorrow (see next post).

I will say that whoever wins I hope will have less of this attitude:

“If they don’t say they’re against it, they’re for it.”
I think all citizens, but especially elected officials, should be willing to say what they’re for.

If people around here are too frightened to do so, then we’ve got a much bigger problem than who is mayor of Valdosta.


Mayor Fretti Ethics Hearing

George Boston Rhynes sent this video of the Valdosta City Council’s ethics hearing about Mayor Fretti’s travel expenses. George remarks:
Searching for the truth in a web of questions….
The first citizen voice heard is Roy Taylor, whose investigation instigated this hearing, and whom the VDT since informs us (in their paper edition) has donated to almost every Valdosta City Council member.

Here’s the video. -jsq

The rest of George’s videos of this hearing are posted here.


Come back and expand on this one —Valdosta Mayor John Fretti

Yes, let’s celebrate Hannah Solar and this solar array! But why do people have to keep gilding the lily and claiming it’s the largest in the state when it wasn’t even back at groundbreaking? So if Valdosta Mayor John Fretti and County Commissioner Crawford Powell have agreed to expand this solar array if somebody leapfrogs it, time to get cracking! It was already leapfrogged before it was built.

After lauding his class of Leadership Lowndes over others, Mayor Fretti complimented various local organizations and said:

…not only that it has a good quality of life, it has the infrastructure that is needed for industrial recruitment, but that you will be successful when you locate in Valdosta-Lowndes County, and I think Hannah Solar is evidence of that.
All true, and note which comes first: “a good quality of life.”

Mayor Fretti quoted the first law of thermodynamics (conservation and conservation of energy) and remarked:

But now we have some energy sources in our area that we can take advantage of. Unfortunately we don’t have an ocean for tidal power. Unfortunately we don’t have geothermal as much as other areas of the country.

We do have sunlight. Certainly not as much as some areas of the country, but we have an abundance enough that we could put out what is currently the largest array in the state of Georgia.

That’s all good stuff, except this wasn’t the biggest solar array in the state even the last time Mayor Fretti stood on the same spot and said the same thing.

Maybe he (and everyone) should double-check what VLCIA tells him.

Brad Lofton knew Continue reading