Tag Archives: privatization

No mold or unpaid contractors this time for Moody Housing @ GLPC 2013-07-29

Unlike Moody AFB’s last go at privatizing housing, no mold or unpaid contractors this time, or so we’re told. But not so solid assurances that local contractors will be used. And what if this new thing turns into something radically different like Nelson Hill did only a short way up Val Del? GLPC Voting

Speaking for that proposed privatized Moody housing on Val Del Road, Lawyer Tom Kurrie said this was “an opportunity for our community”. He spelled out that the proposal was “90 homes for off-base houses, for enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers, and officers”, with gates. He went on about Balfour Beatty‘s experience in building such housing, and their option to build Phase II, although at the moment they’re only requesting Phase I. He said “the unfortunate issue that took place with the prior development” would not occur with this one.

I can guess he’s referring to the mold issue, Beth Mahoney detailed in Little Rock Military Families Examiner 6 April 2009.

Or since he lauded Balfour Beatty’s credit rating, maybe he was referring to the nonpayment of subcontractors, as Kari L. Sands wrote for VDT, 4 March 2007, Military housing woes: Non-payment forces work on military housing project to stop.

Preferred Builders and Renovators, LLC., the Home Builders Association of South Georgia and CMS/ Dumpster Co. are among those affected. Subcontractors are alleging that Continue reading

Gated Moody housing on Val Del Road, REZ-2013-09 @ GLPC 2013-07-29

Only 81 of 396 proposed units have been built at current Moody Family Housing on Roberts Road. Why should we build more on Val Del Road?

At the 29 July 2013 Greater Lowndes Planning Commission meeting, County Planner Jason Davenport said that in addition to the initial materials for GLPC, he’d provided an update about Magnolia Grove, which was Phase I of Moody Family Housing. The real reason for the rezoning wasn’t stated in the initial materials given to GLPC. In the materials obtained through open records request, we can see that the GLPC agenda item contained the boilerplate “The general motivation in this case appears to be so that the subject property can be developed at a greater residential density.” In the update it’s assumed that the real reason is housing for Moody personnel, since Magnolia Grove is the existing Moody housing off of Roberts Road. Which isn’t even built out yet, as you can see in this map from the county Tax Commissioners, so why does Moody need more housing?

Lots of interesting back history in that July 29th GLPC Lowndes County Rezoning Update – 2, to which I’ve added Continue reading

TRC and GLPC recommended subdivision that doesn’t improve traffic or safety, REZ-2013-09

What is so important about yet another subdivision of 360,910 square feet in 173 houses when we have a glut of houses that the TRC unanimously recommended it despite significant defects and omissions? According to Technical Review Committee (TRC) analysis, REZ-2013-09 Moody Family will not lessen congestion in the streets or secure safety from fire, panic, and other dangers. TRC also said the application didn’t meet ULDC standards and in somewhat tortured language: “although not a proposed condition, it should be noted on this request that a future traffic study will be required.” Why not require these things before even sending the application to the Planning Commission?

In email to the Greater Lowndes Planning Commissioners of 23 July 2013, forwarded to the applicants 29 July 2013, July 29th GLPC Lowndes County Rezoning Materials,

2) REZ-2013-09 Moody Family, 0072 191, Val Del Rd, 64.92 ac., 2 lots, R-1 to Residential PD, County Utilities

a) The TRC recommended approval of the request unanimously.

b) Additionally, although not a proposed condition, it should be noted on this request that a future traffic study will be required. Acceleration lanes/Deceleration lanes and/or a dedicated left turn lane may be required.

Rumor has it that this development is being pushed not by Moody AFB, rather by Continue reading

Privatization: if it’s bad for Moody AFB, it’s bad for county trash collection

Why is Lowndes County Chairman Ashley Paulk decrying alleged privatization of Moody Air Force Base while promoting actual privatization of a basic Lowndes County public service, trash collection?

Jason Shaefer wrote for the VDT 5 December 2012, County disagrees with proposed zoning amendment,

Paulk alleged Moody’s intervention has prevented development before—the establishment of a small schoolhouse within a church near the base, for example, he said. He told the committee that Moody had 30,000 acres to the east on which to build, and that the air base has become “privatized.”

According to the free dictionary:

pri·va·tize: To change (an industry or business, for example) from governmental or public ownership or control to private enterprise:

And yet at the upcoming commission meeting, Chairman Paulk will ask the commissioners to vote on this agenda item:

8.b. Exclusive Franchise Agreement for Residential Solid Waste Collection Services with Advanced Disposal Services of Central Alabama, Inc.

Seems to me that’s a privatization of one of our own county governmental services. Perhaps the commissioners will reconsider the “curbside only by a private firm” path they are on and conduct some public hearings in an effort to understand what the citizens might want in solid waste disposal.


Video playlist @ LCC 2012-11-13

The County Commission continues to do the peoples’ business in secret. The solid waste exclusive franchise agreement was tabled for a month, due to some mysterious new information, and two citizens pleaded with the Commission to reconsider the whole thing. The developer who got to speak at Monday’s Work Session asked for his development to be tabled for a month, and the Commission did so. After the meeting, three people from Moody AFB trooped into a side room with the Chairman.

Also, if it’s a privilege to serve and an honor to be appointed, why does the Lowndes County Commission not tell us who they are appointing? In the Work Session they muttered some proposed names unintelligbly, and in the Regular Session they didn’t say anything about who some of the new appointees are, and none of the appointees spoke. As near as I could tell, only one bothered to show up: VLCIA reappointee Mary Gooding.

Update 2012-11-20: Jody Hall reminds me he was there as an appointee. He says he was ready to speak, but nobody asked him to.

Here’s a video playlist:

Video playlist
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 13 November 2012.

Here’s the agenda again, this time with links to the videos plus a few notes.

Continue reading

Video playlist @ LCC 2012-11-12

The Lowndes County Commission invited a developer to speak about his proposed rezoning at a Work Session without inviting any opposition to speak. Plus another rezoning, a proposed solid waste ordinance with exclusive franchise agreement, and proposed appointments to five boards and authorities. And at the end an animal event report.

Here’s a video playlist:

Video playlist
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 12 November 2012.

Here’s the agenda again, this time with links to the videos plus a few notes.

Continue reading

Appointments to five boards, two rezonings, and a solid waste ordinance @ LCC 2012-11-12

Monday morning the Lowndes County Commission considers and Tuesday evening votes on members of five appointed boards. Who are the candidates? The agenda doesn’t say. The two rezonings are the same ones the Planning Commission recently considered. Presumably the solid waste ordinance has something to do with the recent privatization decision.

WORK SESSION, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2012, 8:30 a.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor Continue reading

Propaganda for charter school amendment 1 paid for by out-of-state donors

Who can afford to pay for these two glossy mailers pushing the charter school amendment? Who are GeorgiaHope2012.org and BrighterGeorgia.org, anyway? Recipients of millions from Alice Walton and the Walton Family Foundation to push a bill sponsored in the statehouse by ALEC’s “our state legislators”. Will we believe Alice Walton and ALEC, or will we believe our Georgia educators, who overwhelmingly oppose Amendment 1?

Two glossy mailers pushing the charter school amendment

GeorgiaHope2012.org’s mailer (the big one) says in really light grey type:

Paid for by Families for Better Public Schools Edward Lindsey Chairman

We’ve heard of them before. They raised $486,750 by September, about 96% from outside Georgia, including Alice Walton ($250,000), K12 Inc. of Virginia ($100,000), Charter Schools USA of Florida ($50,000), J.C. Huizenga and National Heritage Academies Inc. of Michigan ($25,000 each). Their spokesman Bert Brantley (who went to Lowndes County public schools) claims the bogus preamble to the charter school amendment, the one that uses ALEC Family Trigger jargon and asserts things that just aren’t in either of the authorizing bills; he claims that preamble is “factual”. His previous PR campaign was pushing the T-SPLOST transportation tax that failed by a landslide.

Families for Better Public Schools is still playing the charter school bait and switch in their mailer by pretending Amendment 1 is needed for charter schools:

EVERY CHILD DESERVES A CHANCE! VOTE YES! for Public Charter Schools on November 6th.

We don’t need this amendment to create charter schools. Any local school board can already do that.

BrighterGeorgia.org’s mailer (the smaller one) says in grey on grey type:

Paid for by Georgia Charter Schools Association

GCSA got $700,000 from the Walton Family Foundation last year, and is a member of Continue reading

Charter school referendum preamble is Parent Trigger jargon


A pressure group for privatizing schools is the origin of the jargon in the charter school referendum on the November Georgia ballot. And yes, it’s tied to ALEC.

In Our south Georgia school tax dollars would go to Virginia rich people, Karen Noll asserted “…the wording that is on the preamble comes straight out of ALEC documents….” The preamble to the charter school amendment on the November ballot reads:

Provides for improving student achievement and parental involvement through more public charter school options.

Where else is that wording found? Combinations of the three phrases “student achievement”, “parental involvement”, and “charter school” actually are not very common, according to google. But the Parent Trigger wrote in Empowering Parents,

Policy initiatives that empower parents are likely to increase parental involvement and satisfaction and raise student achievement by inviting parents into the process.

What process?

The designers of the California Parent Trigger made a grave mistake by leaving tepid reform modules in the bill and allowing districts to override the parents’ reform choice.

The Georgia constitutional amendment wouldn’t leave school districts any ability to decide anything.

What would the parents’ reform choice be?

Continue reading

Democrats and Tea Party: both against charter school amendment

In the same month, both the Lowndes County Democratic Party and the Valdosta Tea Party had speakers explaining how bad the charter school amendment is. Neither group took a vote, but it seemed pretty clear most of the attendees at both meetings were against that referendum on the November ballot, and mostly for the same reason: nobody wants an unelected state committee taking away local control and local tax revenue. Parental choice is one thing, and charter schools are another, but nobody seemed to like Atlanta taking away local control.

As the PAGE slides say,

This isn’t a Democrat vs. Republican debate. Legislators voted across party lines to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot. Republican and Democrat voters must defeat it together.

You can watch for yourself. Here are the two presentations:

If you don’t want Atlanta taking away our educational control and local tax dollars, vote No on the charter school amendment in November.