Tag Archives: public defender

Report of the Historic Courthouse Committee @ LCC 2015-03-09

No education, all law enforcement: Sheriff’s Office or Public defender’s office. 300x413 Cover letter, in Report of the Historic Courthouse Committee, by H. Arthur McLane, 12 January 2015 Either would save the county money in the long run and preserve the courthouse through use of its services (heat, light, air conditioning). Plus some points on renovating the courthouse building and grounds. Judge McLane referred to this report in his talk at the Commission Work Session 9 March 2105, in which he said it would not be possible for VSU to use the courthouse without “some pretty dramatic and we think negative” changes to the building.

In his cover letter, Judge McLane said he was not sending the actual report to the Commissioners, yet clearly they were reading it in the Work Session, because they asked questions from it. And now you, the public can see the report. LAKE did not get it from the Commission, which so far as we know has not published it. The cover letter and the report are below in full. Continue reading

Videos: Day 1 of Budget Hearings @ LCC Budget 2015-03-03

300x400 Commission and agenda, in Agenda, by John S. Quarterman, 3 March 2015 It’s good the Commission is having these meetings where they can hear directly from the various department heads. And with LAKE’s videos, you the citizens can hear what the departments are asking for.

Also, why are these called budget hearings? The public doesn’t get to speak, so they are not actually public hearings, and they are not the state-required budget hearings before passing a budget: they don’t even have a draft budget yet. And the next time the Commission rushes citizen speakers to finish, remember this 14 minutes of dead air or the several others like it in yesterday’s meeting.

They met in the Commission Chambers, nevermind the address on the Commission’s calendar yesterday, and still says for today’s meeting.

There’s still no agenda posted, except for paper copies in the Commission building, which read as below. Continue reading

Videos: Devine tabled, Naylor boat ramp, no HB 170 or animals @ LCC 2015-02-10

Nothing was said about the GA HB 170 state tax grab from local governments, even though both school boards and the Valdosta City Council already passed resolutions against it. No citizens spoke about animals, or about anything else, not even in the Public Hearings, except for me thanking the Commission about the Naylor Boat Ramp.

The Devine Subdivision at Tillman Crossing was tabled at request of applicant to try to sort out continuing concerns about safety and congestion, while REZ-2015-01 Gramercy 2 and REZ-2015-03 Scurry Property, were unanimously approved. No citizens spoke for or against any of them.

You the taxpaying public didn’t get to see any of the materials in the board packet beyond the one-page agenda item forms, before the Commission voted last night, unless you were in the Commission Chambers or watched the LAKE videos of yesterday morning’s Work Session. The open records request for those rezonings came back with paper maps, despite my request for electronic format; at least the paper maps were in color this time. I asked again for electronic format, and will post them soon even if I have to scan them. The other open records request, for maps and materials for the engineering agenda items, came back with no maps at all, so I sent it back to be satisfied. Both County Planner Jason Davenport and County Engineer Mike Fletcher said they had never seen those open records requests, and they’d both be happy to email electronic copy if they were authorized to do so by the County Clerk.

All the other items were unanimously approved: Continue reading

Videos: 3 rezonings, boat ramp, bridge, utilities, new public defender @ LCC 2015-02-09

The only rezoning to get much time was the Devine Subdivision at Tillman Crossing, at this morning’s Work Session of the Lowndes County Commission. Maps were displayed for that and REZ-2015-01 Gramercy 2 and REZ-2015-03 Scurry Property, but the board packet is still not on the county’s website. I filed an open records request, asking for them to be emailed, and got a telephone callback saying they were ready for pickup, which means I won’t get them until tomorrow, and you may not see them until after tomorrow evening’s voting Regular Session.

Tuesday evening there will be Continue reading

Partial packet items! @ LCC 2015-02-09

This agenda includes links to the Commission Agenda Item form for each item! That’s not all yet, since it does not link to the numerous maps and other materials for each of the three rezoning items, for example. But it’s progress! And the meeting dates also now appear. Good show! Also the name of the engineering firm is in the document for Professional Surveying and Engineering Services for Naylor Boat Ramp.

See also the LAKE videos of the 26 January 2015 Planning Commission meeting for background on the three rezonings, which are in this LCC agenda as REZ-2015-01 Gramercy 2, Old Pine Rd, R-1 to R-10, Water and Sewer, ~4.1 acres, REZ-2015-02 Devine Subdivision, Tillman Crossing Rd, R-1 to R-10, Water and Sewer, ~24 out of ~72 acres, and REZ-2015-03 Scurry Property, Skipper Bridge Rd, R-A to R-1, Well and Septic, ~1.97 acres, plus Public Hearing fo the Abandonment of Deloach Road E (CR 95).

Proposals are also in this agenda for Preliminary Engineering Services for Exit 22 and 29 Utility Relocations, Professional Surveying and Engineering Services for Naylor Boat Ramp, and Proposal for Bridge Foundation Investigation for Morven Road Bridge Replacement, plus a 2015 Public Defender Services Contract & 2015 Operating Contract.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2015, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2015, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos of Day 1 @ LCC-Budget 2014-03-10

It’s a good thing the county held these first-ever (as far as I know) comprehensive budget sessions. Here are videos of the first day. Most of the departments are asking for more money, due to increased population and increased demand for services during a period of economic downturn. Something needs to be done, and these sessions are one step in getting to doing something.

Here’s the agenda.

Suddenly an agenda! @ LCC-Budget 2014-03-10

You can go to the rest of the budget meeting, which is tomorrow. Some time after this morning when I looked for it, today’s budget meeting magically appeared on the calendar and in Current Events on the Lowndes County front page. It shows most of the day tomorrow also as budget meetings. And at 5:30PM tomorrow (Tuesday) there’s still the County Commission Regular Session.

Plus in the middle of all that, the Airport Authority is having a Board Meeting at the Commission Chambers. Only a little more than a year ago, Continue reading

Budget meeting inside Lowndes County today @ LCC-Budget 2014-03-10

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After this morning’s Work Session, there’s an all-day budget meeting. All county departments, including constitutional officers, are reporting.

From Gretchen on the scene:

So far we have heard Board of Elections and Public Defender. Next up the Sheriff.

This is apparently not a public meeting, and there was no public notice that I can find. Apparently it was mentioned at the February retreat. Some candidates for County Commission are there, in addition to current Commissioners and staff.

You may wonder as I do why this is not a public meeting.

-jsq

Attorney refuses to work with “tainted” town of Quartzite

Remember that letter from the Arizona Attorney General to the Town Attorney of Quarzsite? Well, there are alleged problems with the Town Attorney, as well.

Parker Live wrote 13 January 2012, Attorney refuses to work with Town of Quartzsite,

Local attorney Matt Newman is apparently refusing to do further business with the Town of Quartzsite, “at any hourly rate”, calling the current administration “tainted.”

This comes after Public Defender Michael Frame refused to work on cases involving the Town’s Attorney Martin Brannan, citing conflicts of interest and what he believes are politically-motivated actions against his clients by Brannan and the Town.

Newman adds his voice to this dissent in a Refusal of Appointment, saying:

It is my belief that the current administration of the Town has created an inherent conflict of interest by appointing the Town Prosecutor as the Town Attorney and Town Parliamentarian. It is also my belief that the current administration is specifically targeting certain individuals for prosecution due to their political views.
His letter continues, elaborating on why he doesn’t want to do business with the town. This wasn’t just a personal letter or a letter from his law firm, by the way, it was a court motion.

So a Council can manage to get such a bad reputation that a lawyer won’t do business with it.

-jsq