I would like to inform the community that the Lowndes County Board
of Commissioners has announced their “Consideration of Proposed
List” for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VII on July 22-23,
2013. It can be viewed on LowndesCounty.com.
The part of the budget that is most impressive to me is the
allocation to Parks & Recreation. Its allocation is 3.5 million
dollars. We need good recreation for our families in Lowndes County
and to me this number sounds like our county commissioners take it
I would also like to send out a big thank you to the commissioners
for putting a Community Center in Naylor and a boat ramp on the
Alapaha River as part of the purpose for the Parks and Recreation
Lowndes County needs public access to the beautiful Alapaha River as
residents have enjoyed the river for generations. I hope the
community will come together over this project and create a legacy
for generations to come. Please send thank yous, ideas and comments
to the commission about the Naylor project:
I would like more information on the “partners meetings” beginning with why these meetings are not announced as public meetings. The video link lists partners as The Boys & Girls Club and The YMCA. There is a long history of both of these private organizations being mixed into the Valdosta/Lowndes parks & recreation government operations including past competitions between these private sector elements. One of the main reasons Public/Private Partnerships are not in the citizen’s best interests is the fact the private entities are used to evade government transparency responsibilities. If the VLPRA is going to consider themselves partners with any private organization then the public has a right to know what is being discussed & what future plans are being considered. Those of us who are aware of past conflicts with partial privatizations of parks & recreation have a right to know that safeguards are enacted to prevent a return to situations that were not always in the best interest of the citizens and/or created sweetheart deals for private entities. Any private organization who claims to be non-profit should have to submit to an independent audit and also account for how for profit revenues relate to non-profit claims. When any organization that claims non-profit status in order to receive tax credits, grant monies, and United Way funds can have a million dollar plus extortion operation siphoning off revenues at the same time something is not right. Local taxpayers have a right to know that full disclosure and auditing methods are being employed to prevent any repeat situations before partnering is allowed.
The meeting tonight was the first of a series of meetings that are
geared toward getting public involvement in the upcoming Parks and
Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan. The VLPRA has contracted with
the Nashville-based architectural and land planning group
Lose and Associates,
to conduct the comprehensive plan. Lose is pronounced
more like the geologic term defining windborne silt (loess), and less
like how we identify the team that scores fewer goals in a soccer match
(lose). The meeting tonight, which was led by two Lose planners, was
focused on evaluating current VLPRA programs and facilities and
offering suggestions for future improvements.
This evening’s group of about 15 participants consisted of
First of two reports on last night’s VLPRA steering committee received today. -jsq
If you attended any of the CUEE meetings the format was exactly the
same. We were divided into groups. Each person wrote down their
answers to a list of questions they handed out. Then each group was
told to combine their answers into a group list which was written on
poster size dry erase sheets. Then the sheets were displayed on the
wall in front of all the groups & the answers were discussed. I had to
leave when they were discussing the answers to the first question which
was: List the 5 things you think are most important to improve the
parks & recreation program. I am assuming the group lists were
combined into a master list for that question. They were doing each
question all the way through before going to the next question. I
brought the list of questions with me intending to share what they were
but I left my notebook in the car trunk of the person I was riding with
& forgot to get it when we left the Law Enforcement Appreciation
Dinner. I will not retrieve the notebook until Tuesday, but if you
want to know the questions I will send them to you then. If you want
more info in the meantime Karen Noll was there also. She came late &
probably stayed the entire time. We had interesting discussions at our
group table & I’m sure a lot of interesting subjects were covered.
Ref comments by outof control – This is definitely confusing. I don’t see anything in the controversy about contracts being put out to bid. Isn’t the fact an electrical company owned by one of the board members was contracted to do work on a government project illegal conflict of interest? It appears to me that someone needs to come in & educate all the government entities (elected & appointed)& the public in Lowndes Co on what conflict of interest means.
I have seen several incidents in government meetings where an elected or appointed individual excused himself from voting because of an admitted COI. How does that excuse the COI when COI also includes impaired objectivity, unequal access to information, etc. Basically if there is any connection between a government elected or appointed official & a private company contractual relationships of any kind come under COI & are not supposed to be allowed even if a bid process takes place.
That is another reason why citizens should not allow public/private partnerships. Normal bidding procedures are ignored
They have lots of other stuff on their
for tonight, including an appointment to the
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA),
and an appointment to the
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority.
ZBOA decides on variances to Valdosta’s LDR and Lowndes County’s ULDC,
including sign variances, much to the annoyance of
some local entitled rich people and of
Previously, the Valdosta City Council appointed City Council member
Robert Yost to the
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA).
The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners debated appointing a Commissioner
to the VLPRA at their June 8 meeting:
They decided to appoint their chairman, Ashley Paulk, to the VLPRA.
Chairman Paulk said he would serve, but as a private citizen.
I wonder then what the point was of appointing him, rather than