Apparently there was no legal public notice and no recording of the April teleconference meeting with the dial-in code changed less than three hours before, with $6,913,575.06 in taxpayers’ money being decided.
Photo: Pine Grove Road Collection Center
For that Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, at which everything was approved unanimously except the one split vote on the single-source no-bid stream monitoring contract, LAKE sent an open records request for “the teleconference audio recording and the log of teleconference attendees (who dialed in, by name, or, if name is not known, by telephone number) for the April 28, 2020, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.”
The response from the County Clerk was:
The April 28th telephone meeting was not recorded other than the minutes that were taken. Further, the program used does not record a phone log for the option utilized for this meeting. This being case, there are no records responsive to your request. I do expect the next meeting to be held in the Commission Chambers with social distancing requirements observed. This being the case, citizens will have an opportunity to attend in person which is a much better format for everyone.
Well, that’s a matter of opinion. Do you think it’s better to have to wear a mask to the Commission Chambers and risk getting infected, than to listen on the phone?
The Valdosta City Council had their meeting this Thursday on facebook live. The Madison, Florida, BOCC has been doing theirs on gotomeeting. It’s curious how the most populous county in the region can’t manage a teleconference or video meeting.
LAKE received the full board packet two days after the meeting, at 5:07 PM on Thursday, April 30, 2020, in response to an open records request. It’s on the LAKE website. We look forward to Lowndes County putting its full packet on its website along with the agenda and one-page agenda sheets per item. Many other counties in Georgia and Florida have been doing this for years.
When will the Lowndes County Commission catch up with the 21st century?
By far the biggest item was the $6,545,729.00 Coleman Road Force Main Replacement. The county apparently saved a bunch of money by removing many amounts from the bid for the county to do directly.
Curious how they didn’t do that for the sole-source no-bid $45,120.00 Professional Services for Sampling, Monitoring and Reporting of Impaired Streams. More on that in another blog post.
The county bid everything else that could be bid, including the $228,400.95 Continue reading