Tag Archives: petition

5.a. Legal issues —Attorney Talley and others @ VCC 25 August 2011

Council Carroll noted that council was merely voting on putting a referendum on the ballot.

Attorney Talley said he hadn’t looked at soem of the legal possibilities, and talked about several specific pairs of counties consolidating schools.

Council White asked for further clarification.

Manager Hanson used an analogy of annexation (for which he said there were at least four legal methods) to indicate that proponents could pick whichever one they liked. He said someone could choose to challenge it in court. I believe he also said council could vote against holding the referendum.

Here’s the video:


5.a. Legal issues –Attorney Talley and others @ VCC 25 August 2011
petition, education, referendum,
Regular Session, Valdosta City Council (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 25 August 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

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5.a. The process has not been followed. —James Wright @ VCC 25 August 2011

Council Wright again said proper legal process had not been followed.
The local school boards that are responsible for this burden should have sent a motion to the state board of education asking for it [a feasibility study on consolidation]. That has not happened.
He called the state board of education and the Valdosta Board of Education and no feasibility has been done.
The process has not been followed.

This is the law.

This is in black and white.

Here’s the video: Continue reading

5.a. I believe … our Valdosta citizens can make this decision —Ben Norton @ VCC 25 August 2011

Council Ben Norton, who hardly ever speaks, noted that he was elected at-large and thus represents all of Valdosta, and said:
If this came to us with every legal T dotted and I crossed, as Council … Carroll stated already is to put this referendum on ballot. I encourage our citizens if that is the case … to study carefully both sides of the issue and I believe with all my heart that … our Valdosta citizens can make the decision.
He never did say which side he was on regarding consolidation.

And of course once again it’s just Valdosta citizens voting on an issue that affects the entire county.

And yes, he really did say “T dotted and I crossed” and he had to be prompted for the name of his Council colleague.

Here’s the video: Continue reading

5.a. questions about voting on consolidation referendum @ VCC 25 August 2011

Excerpts from various questions from Council:
Deidra White: Which ones of these legal issues have we seen together?
Robert Yost: … this motion [to deny the referendum], if it fails … ?
Mayor Fretti: If this motion fails, we have to turn around and ask for a motion in the affirmative.
On “the timing thing”:
Manager Hanson: That question will have to be answered by the Lowndes County Board of Elections.
Attorney: There’s no time that’s stated; it’s a negotiation.
Manager Hanson: We could just advertise to make a work session on Tuesday and a public meeting for the first [?] after that… a special session.

Here’s the video: Continue reading

5.a. First time I’ve heard some of these arguments —Deidra White @ VCC 25 August 2011

Council Deidra White wondered what would be the repercussions if council took more time to decide this issue, since this was the first time she had heard some of these arguments.

Attorney Talley said he wasn’t sure what the timeline was to prepare ballots.

Um, maybe he should talk to the Board of Elections.

Manager Hanson said there are different sections of the Constitution that might apply.

Attorney Talley noted that the Home Rule Act did not apply, even though it was cited in the petition, since the school system charter is not in the City of Valdosta charter; it’s a separate pact.

Manager Hanson noted qualifying for city elections is next week, so Continue reading

5.a. the situation we’ve been placed in —Robert Yost @ VCC 25 August 2011

Council Robert Yost said he didn’t like the position council was in of almost being required to vote one way to cover their rears from litigation.
So of course I’ll be voting exactly how I feel it needs to be tonight, litigation or not.
He also seemed to say that he hadn’t heard anybody say it was about consolidating county and city government.

It’s interesting that Yost seemed to be arguing against the referendum, since he has long been on record as for school system consolidation:

“We need one school system in this city and county,” said Yost. “But sadly that isn’t the case.”
That’s from when he was last running for Valdosta City Council back in 2009; you can watch him say it on video. At the time he also said the city should annex the whole county, but claimed that was just a joke. Has something changed his mind about either of those things?

Here’s the video from Thursday’s council meeting: Continue reading

5.a. We’re not actually going to deny, are we? —Tim Carroll @ VCC 25 August 2011

Rather heated discussion as Tim Carroll seemed incensed that Sonny Vickers thought consolidation proponents had a hidden agenda. He mentioned Rusty Griffin, Walter Hopgood, and George Bennett.
It just bothers me when I hear “hoodwinked”.
Carroll repeatedly mentioned the number of citizens who had petitioned asking to put the referendum on the ballot. He said there might be issues between CUEE and VBOE, but not with city council.

Here’s the video:


5.a. We’re not actually going to deny, are we? —Tim Carroll @ VCC 25 August 2011
petition, education, referendum,
Regular Session, Valdosta City Council (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 25 August 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

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5.a. school consolidation not initiated by school system —James Wright @ VCC 25 August 2011

Council James Wright stated concerns that neither citizens nor the city school board had initiated school consolidation, and cited several statutes that he said indicated the local board of education needed first to request a feasibility study from the state and then to approve it, and that has not happened in this case.

Here’s the video:


5.a. school consolidation not initiated by school system —James Wright @ VCC 25 August 2011
petition, education, referendum,
Regular Session, Valdosta City Council (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 25 August 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

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5.a. motion to deny education referendum —Sonny Vickers @ VCC 25 August 2011

Some backers of school consolidation have a hidden agenda of consolidating the city and county governments, said Council Sonny Vickers.

Council Sonny Vickers made a motion to deny the school consolidation referendum, and then stated a number of reasons, among them that unification would do nothing to improve education, judging by many previous examples. Plus he noted a hidden agenda of some of the backers of consolidation who spent thousands of dollars: consolidation of the city and county governments.

Here’s the video:


5.a. motion to deny education referendum –Sonny Vickers @ VCC 25 August 2011
petition, education, referendum,
Regular Session, Valdosta City Council (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 25 August 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

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5.a. has common sense prevailed over precedent? —Robert Yost @ VCC 25 August 2011

Council Robert Yost wondered could the council have voted down the city school system’s millage? The City Attorney said they were required to vote on it but could have voted it down (I think that’s what he meant). The mayor noted again that a vote against the petitioned referendum would probably cost the city more money. See for yourself.

Here’s the video:


5.a. has common sense prevailed over precedent? –Robert Yost @ VCC 25 August 2011
Regular Session, Valdosta City Council (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 25 August 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

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