Tag Archives: public-private partnership

Videos: Annual Planning Meeting Day 2 @ LCC 2017-02-17

We learned why Lowndes County has gotten religion about Internet access and speed: Moody AFB wants it.

Commissioner Scottie Orenstein made the case for board packets and agendas in electronic form instead of the paper packets they currently use. Maybe they’ll even reveal them to the public before their meetings, like real MSAs do. Meanwhile, Community Engagement means marketing, as in telling people what the county did, not listening to the citizens.

They talked about interconnecting (almost) all of the county’s water systems, about routes to get trucks out of downtown Valdosta. The water-sewer ordinance is in ten or twelve pieces, and the county is all for expanding water and sewer throughout the county as long as it doesn’t cost developers money.

There’s a regional T-SPLOST meeting in Waycross by SGRC Feb 28 2017, but Lowndes commissioners and staff said nothing Continue reading

Moody can’t get onto site for Moody Family Housing –Michael Noll @ LCC 2013-08-27

Dr. Michael G. Noll of VSU said representatives of Moody Air Force Base for the second time could not get permission to go on the site for the Moody Family Housing the Commission approved rezoning for two weeks before, at the 27 August 2013 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

He also handed the Commission and interested parties copies of a public comment he and VSU professors Don Thieme and Can Denizman had sent to USAF. Michael G. Noll handouts Plus the developer still refused to provide a copy of the geotechnical report the Air Force’s Environmental Assessment says the developer is required to send to the Air Force.

If there is nothing to hide, if there are no problems with possible developments of the area, why not share the report?

Two different people report seeing Commissioner Richard Raines catch Dr. Noll on the way out of the building and ask him what would be involved in doing the geophysical survey Dr. Noll has repeatedly asked to do.

See also Continue reading

Importance of transparency, due diligence, and communication –Michael G. Noll @ LCC 2013-08-27

Received yesterday on VSU professors write to USAF consultant about Moody Family Housing @ LCC 2013-08-27. -jsq

Thanks for posting this John.

One should note that the VDT was absent at the LCBOC meeting on August 13, when the county commissioners approved the rezoning request. This approval came after we presented our concerns and before the period given by AFCEC for public comments in regard to the Environmental Assessment (EA) expired. No mention in the VDT on August 14 about any of it, since no VDT reporter was present.

In regard to the EA and the possibilities to submit comments, it should also be noted that the phone number listed in the public announcement was incorrect. Thus, any attempts to contact Mr. Allen Richmond, the AFCEC representative, with this published phone number were unsuccessful. We eventually received the correct phone number with the help of Moody AFB personnel. While we were able to speak once with Mr. Richmond and establish email contact, his ability (or willingness?) to communicate was limited.

Moreover, we asked Mr. Allen Richmond on August 12 if we Continue reading

VSU professors write to USAF consultant about Moody Family Housing @ LCC 2013-08-27

Presented to the Lowndes County Commission yesterday by Dr. Noll; video to come. I’ve added a few links and illustrations. -jsq

2261 Hughes Ave.
Lackland AFB
TX 78236-9853 ATTN: Mr. Allan Richmond

Thursday, August 15, 2013


RE: Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI), Moody AFB, Georgia

This letter is written in response to the Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposed Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) northwest of Valdosta, Georgia, on Val Del Road (also referred to as the “Val Del parcel”).

After a careful analysis of the report, we have come to the conclusion that the current EA of the proposed site for military family housing does not address a number of potential issues commonly found in areas of karst topography. Such areas display unique geophysical conditions, including the presence of sinkholes and the potential for future sinkhole formation, as well as geohydrological conditions that need to be studied more carefully and in a larger geographical context than currently given in the EA.

Without a more thorough environmental analysis and planning of the construction phases, the danger exists Continue reading

Sinkholes at proposed Moody Family Housing? –Scott Rafshoon @ LCC 2013-08-13

All about public-private partnerships (PPP) and military rank waterfalls by an Atlanta and K Street lawyer at the 13 August 2013 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session. about REZ-2013-09, introduced by local lawyer Tom Kurrie to answer a question by Commissioner John Page.

Scott Rafshoon G. Scott Rafshoon of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP of Atlanta and K Street in DC spoke for. His law firm bio says in part:

G. Scott Rafshoon has a diverse legal practice that includes corporate law, government affairs and project finance. Combining these disciplines, Mr. Rafshoon is a leader in the Firm’s public-private partnership (“P3”) practice….

Manages the Firm’s representation of Balfour Beatty Communities, a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty plc, in the privatization of family and unaccompanied personnel housing at military installations around the country. To-date, Mr. Rafshoon has assisted Balfour Beatty with privatizing facilities at 48 Army, Navy and Air Force installations in 23 states and the District of Columbia, in separate transactions valued at more than $4 billion.

This is apparently the same Continue reading

No Gates for ALEC: who’s next to jump off the crony capitalism ship?

Apparently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave more money to ALEC than Pepsi, Coke, Kraft, and Intuit combined, but no more. Who’s next?

Jessica Pieklo wrote yesterday for care2, Bill And Melinda Gates Dump ALEC,

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became the latest high profile backer of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to withdraw financial support after pressure from groups opposed to ALEC’s support of “stand your ground” laws and Voter ID.

And private prisons, such as the one CCA wanted to build in Lowndes County, and “anti-immigrant” bills that creat many new crimes to fill those private prisons. And charter schools, such as the referendum for charter school tax credits on the ballot in Georgia in November. Some of our local “white fathers” pushed school consolidation a few months ago and charter schools are yet another attack on public education, backed by ALEC.

Roll Call reports that a foundation spokesperson said it does not plan to make any future grants to the organization. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed more than $375,000 to ALEC in the past two years.

Meanwhile, according to ALEC Watch:

ALEC’s more than three hundred corporate sponsors pay annual membership dues ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to advance their agendas, plus additional fees of $1,500 to $5,000 a year to participate in ALEC’s various task forces, where, according to an ALEC publication, “legislators welcome their private-sector counterparts to the table as equals.”

That’s the very model of a bad public-private partnership and crony capitalism. (More detail by ALEC Exposed.)

So what excuse does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have? Jessica Pieklo’s article says:

Continue reading

Industrial Authority got wetlands easement from Lowndes County for private prison site

Before selling it off to a private landowner who who two years later got a contract with private prison company CCA to resell it for almost 100% profit, the Industrial Authority acquired a road easement through county-owned wetlands from Lowndes County:
Further, Grantor hereby conveys a Non-Exclusive Ingress and Egress Easement in that certain 0.685 acre tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being in Land Lot 153 of th 11th Land District of Lowndes County, Georgia. Said 0.685 acre tract being designated as “0.685 acres — Ingress/Egress Easement reserved for future right-of-way extension” as depicted on that certain map or survey “Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority” dated September 8, 2004 and recorded September 9, 2004 in Plat Cabinet A, Page 2659, Lowndes County records, to which map and survey is hereby referred in further aid of description.
An easement that a private landowner might have more difficulty getting from the county. Isn’t that convenient?

This is the wetland that has not yet been approved for that purpose by the Army Corps of Engineers, according to Ashley Paulk.

By the way, that wetland easement in 2004 was before Brad Lofton was hired in 2006 to be executive director of VLCIA, so the very peculiar history of this bit of land can’t all be blamed on him. The appointed Industrial Authority board and the elected Lowndes County Commission and Valdosta City Council are all also involved.


Crony capitalism corruption, a non-partisan enemy —Barbara Stratton

Received yesterday on VSU Health Sciences: much better than a private prison. -jsq
You know my main argument against the private prison is I don’t like public/private partnerships and the sweetheart deals they encourage. Also, when I requested CCA to provide me with information that supports private prisons so I could research both sides they did not respond. This led me to believe they have no concern for community opinion even when citizens are open minded and seeking honest information. They seem to prefer back room deals with local politicians that escape community detection unless citizens are aggressively observant like LAKE members.

However, we are not on the same page about what I consider simplistic solutions for reducing the prison population. Education and good drug treatment programs are definitely positives, but they are not the silver bullet liberals proclaim them to be. Criminals evolve from complex heredity and environmental mediums that don’t magically dissolve via education or intervention protocols. Certainly these are to be encouraged because they do help some, but they will never totally replace the need for legal intervention and penal institutions. In addition to educational and medical institutions not being a magical replacement solution for crime, these very institutions often encourage crony capitalism corruption, which we agree to be a non-partisan enemy.

In summary, I support our criminal justice system which includes prisons, but I do not support any mixing of government and business. Public/private partnerships are crony capitalism playgrounds that undermine free enterprise and citizen control. Unfortunately our trusted elected legislators have already filled our GA Codes and State Constitution with government consolidation and multi county regional partnership initiatives. At present, they are pushing SB 284, already passed by the senate, and in the house, which will further enhance Land Bank Authority powers and partnerships. As citizens we all need to remember that increasing unelected bureaucratic authorities equals minimized citizen control. We also need to ask our local, state and federal elected representatives why they are listening to special interest groups that encourage authorities and public/private partnerships instead of protecting their constituents.

-Barbara Stratton Commenter

We don’t have to agree on every point to oppose (private prison) or support (government transparency) the same things. Indeed, there will always be criminals, but we don’t need to lock up more than any other country on the planet. The big change in the environment that has produced seven times more criminals now than in the 1960s is the War on Drugs. Time to end that failed experiment in prohibition. Meanwhile, indeed crony capitalism corruption is our non-partisan enemy.


Valdosta Mayor and Council are implicated in the private prison —John S. Quarterman @ VCC 2012 02 23

Valdosta City Council and Mayor, who may not have been following the private prison issue, now know about it and are aware that they are all implicated in the private prison decision, due to events at the Industrial Authority board meeting and the Valdosta City Council meeting, both Thursday 23 February 2012.

After remarking that I’d rather be talking about the additional solar panels recently installed on my farm workshop up here in the north end of the county, I recapped the case against a private prison and referred the Valdosta City Council to my LTE in the VDT of that morning (Thursday 23 February 2012). I remarked that I was disappointed the Industrial Authority hadn’t done anything to stop the prison at its meeting earlier that same day. Since they might be wondering what all this had to do with them, I pointed out that, if I could use the word, they were all implicated as mayor and council in the private prison decision because Jay Hollis, CCA’s Manager of Site Acquisition, in his Valdosta-Lowndes County, GA / CCA Partnership: Prepared Remarks of August 2010, lavishly praised the Lowndes County Commission and Chairman and the Valdosta City Council and mayor. Although the mayor was different now, and maybe some of the council, nonetheless it was the same offices of council and mayor, still implicated. I asked for their opinions on that subject. Per their custom, they did not offer any at that time. So, maybe we’ll hear from them later. Or maybe the Industrial Authority board will hear from them….

Here’s the video:

Valdosta Mayor and Council are implicated in the private prison —John S. Quarterman @ VCC 2012 02 23
VSEB, employment,
Regular Session, Valdosta City Council (VCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 23 February 2012.
Videos by George Boston Rhynes for K.V.C.I., the bostongbr on YouTube.


Crickets, or what the Industrial Authority didn’t say about the private prison

Silence speaks volumes. Your tax-supported Industrial Authority wants a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia.

After Tuesday’s conversation with VLCIA Executive Director Andrea Schruijer, I went to Thursday’s Industrial Authority board meeting expecting to hear something from the board about the private prison. What I heard:


The only thing a board member said about it was Chairman Roy Copeland reminding me that the board didn’t answer questions in Citizens Wishing to be Heard.

Earlier, Col. Rickets did say that the current contract with CCA for the private prison expires March 13th, and that meanwhile CCA can either request a third extension or CCA could send a Notice to Proceed (NTP) to VLCIA before March 13th. Remember, CCA has, according to the contract, CCA has

“absolute discretion”
for issuing that NTP.

Col. Ricketts added that in staff’s discussions with CCA, CCA had indicated they were mulling it over internally, and VLCIA should “stand by” for CCA’s next move.

That’s right, your local Industrial Authority, whose staff and land purchases are funded by your tax dollars, should stand by waiting for a private prison company to tell them what to do.

And the Industrial Authority board’s silence is an answer: they said nothing different from their previous vote for the contract to bring in this private prison; nothing different from their previous acceptance of the first and second option extensions; and nothing in objection to what Col. Ricketts said.

So your tax-supported Industrial Authority wants a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia.

Do you want that? Do you want a private prison with fewer guards per prisoner Continue reading