Tag Archives: Robert Yost

What does conversion of the Land Bank Authority mean? @ ESPLOST VLCLBA 2015-02-25

What does “conversion of the Land Bank Authority” mean? What are they converting this Authority to? Or do they mean the Authority is voting on converting some real estate from non-taxable to taxable?

Valdosta News, City of Valdosta, 23 February 2015, In The City This Week, Feb. 23-28,

Feb. 25: Land Bank Authority Meets. Members of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Land Bank Authority will hold a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 9 a.m., in the Neighborhood Development Conference Room (Room 202, Valdosta City Hall Annex). This meeting is being held to vote on the conversion of the Land Bank Authority. The Land Bank Authority exists to foster the public purpose of returning property which is in a non-revenue generating, non-tax producing status to effective utilization status in order to provide housing, new industry and jobs for citizens. For information, call (229) 671-3617.

Even the state doesn’t have up to date information about this board. According to the Continue reading

30 Club Candidate Forum @ 30Club 2013-10-21

The candidates were almost unanimous on SPLOST VII and how to prevent JK situations, but more varied on other questions. Roy Copeland, billed as “Valdosta attorney” (but perhaps known better to LAKE readers as VLCIA board member and former Chairman) was the moderator, assisted by Valdosta Fire Chief and Thirty Club member J.D. Rice. They took questions from the audience and recognized their host, Pastor Floyd Rose of Serenity Church. You may wonder as I do why city council candidates were answering about graduation rates.

Matthew Woody wrote for the VDT 21 October 2013, ‘Let the games begin’. Here’s the list of qualified candidates. As usual, nobody showed up from the smaller cities, although at least one Valdosta candidate, Richard Miller, spoke up for the smaller cities about SPLOST.

Valdosta City Council District 2

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Ashley Paulk to be reappointed to Parks and Rec. Any questions? @ LCC 2013-06-24

I guess some things are just not to be questioned, at least at this morning’s Lowndes County Commission Regular Session. However, although Commissioners did not, I do have a question.

5.b. Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority

County Chairman Slaughter:

“Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority Appointment.”
County Manager Pritchard:
“The term currently held by Ashley Paulk will expire June 30th. Mr. Paulk has expressed an interest in being reappointed if the board so chooses.”
Any questions? --Bill Slaughter @ LCC 2013-06-24 County Chairman Slaughter:

“Any questions?

OK, hearing none, let’s move on to agenda item number 6.”

I have a question. Why isn’t it Continue reading

Circular wastewater firing squad continues

The VDT's Sunday front page was covered with wastewater stories, continuing the circular firing squad of the local powers that be. Meanwhile in Dublin, GA, they're breaking ground for solar panels at the local high school, using a bond financing model that we could use here, if local leaders would look up.

In addition to some detail about the city's FEMA application and following up on flooded yards, the VDT followed up on its EPD and EPA scrutiny story with one saying City received help from EPD to keep EPA away. It's good the VDT is covering these issues, but it's still leaving out important parts of the local water story.

Apparently firing back at Thursday's Valdosta City Council session, perhaps especially Robert Yost's very pointed criticisms of the VDT, the VDT concluded its rather rich Sunday editoral:

City leaders, please, no more of the blame game. The citizens of this community are imploring you to just accept responsibility and fix it.

Yet the VDT has spent the last week blaming the city, and has accepted no responsibility for its own role, or that of its editor, Kay Harris, in the recent loss of the SPLOST referendum that would have further funded wastewater work in Valdosta.

Now, I agree with the VDT that Continue reading

Water Plant Planning —Henry Hicks @ VCC 2013-03-07

Henry Hicks Valdosta Utilities Director Henry Hicks gave a detailed history of flood control projects and work on the Withlacoochee Waste Water Processing Plant at the Valdosta City Council Meeting last night during the "Manager's Report" section of the agenda. Several Council members expressed their distaste for the VDT’s recent reporting on the subject, and thanked Hicks and other city employees for their work.

$40 million already spent Hicks said they had spent $4 million on repairs to the Withlacoochee plant, and that didn't include the $40 million they'd already spent on upgrades in general. Also, it took three days to build the berm around the plant in 2009, and FEMA wouldn't approve any improvements to it.

He said he would Continue reading

Lowndes, Tift, and Ware donor counties and majority @ SGRC 2011-09-19

Someone asked:

If Lowndes, Tift, and Ware vote against it, and the other fifteen counties vote for it, that’s a majority.

Corey Hull:

As long as they reach 50% + 1 in voters.


Those three counties, which would probably be the three donor counties in this region… they could kill it for our region if it was a large turnout.

Roy Taylor:

A large county like we could kill it for everybody.

The referendum is still on for July (during the primary, with less turnout) not November (during the general election).

The eighteen counties are: Continue reading

Lowndes County donor county @ SGRC 2011-09-19

Lowndes County would be a T-SPLOST donor county: it would put more money into T-SPLOST than it would get back for projects.

Somebody (I think it was Robert Yost) asked whether Lowndes County would be a donor county for T-SPLOST. Corey Hull said yes, that was the case. Someone else noted:

Atkinson County that’s been coming over here spending our money all these years, gets a little of it back.

And the smaller counties get penalized a lot more if they vote against T-SPLOST, because they depend much more on LMIG. So T-SPLOST among other downsides is a scheme to pit smaller counties against larger ones in the T-SPLOST region.

Here’s the video:

Lowndes County donor county
T-SPLOST Public Meeting, Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC),
Corey Hull,
Nolen Cox, Gretchen Quarterman,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 September 2011.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).


Georgia Governor Nathan concerning this alleged suicide. —George Boston Rhynes

Received today. -jsq

After the alleged suicide of inmate Terrell Rizer 19; while in the Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail; after being arrested and charged in the April 11, murder of Timothy McKinney; Georgia Governor Nathan Deal should issue an executive order as was done with the Quitman 10 alleged voter fraud case in Brooks County concerning this alleged suicide.

Moreover, this investigation should be conducted by an outer state agency and the other alleged suicides that has occurred in the Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail. Governor Deal should also investigate why Lowndes County is leading State of Georgia in jail deaths for whatever reasons and this investigation should be done by an outside agency!

We can only ask why South Georgia News Media failed to include

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Citizens are entitled to hear where their elected officials stand —Leigh Touchton

This comment from Leigh Touchton came in today on “Because it would be monitored. -jsq
Two weeks ago I delivered the official NAACP letter to all City Council members (and Mayor Fretti) asking for a written response as to their position on biomass and selling reclaimed water to the Wiregrass, LLC, proposed incinerator.

No response. Not one.

I have heard that at least two Council members refuse to do so because “it might be used against them.”

Citizens are entitled to hear where their elected officials stand on these issues. At least Councilmen Vickers, Wright, and Yost have stated publicly that they support biomass, even though black infants are already dying in Valdosta at a rate twice as high as white infants. According to Mr. Wright,

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A letter from a local physician —Dr. Noll

This comment from Dr. Noll came in today on “Because it would be monitored. -jsq
Because it would be monitored?

Our community could subsequently also “monitor” increases in respiratory illnesses, cancer rates, cardiovascular diseases, and mortality rates. Just ask the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association.

This is incredible. A city council member who still hides behind an EPD air permit, and who chooses to ignore the testimony of thousands of medical professionals throughout the United States. At the same time, we have a City Council that continues to isolate itself from its citizens with a policy that undermines open dialogue.

The continued silence of our City Council and Mayor in regard to biomass is mind-boggling. Haven’t they noticed the developments of the past couple months? The regular protests? Hundreds and hundreds of signatures and voices in opposition to biomass? Ashley Paulk’s statement? George Bennett’s statement? Even a statement, it appears, by Wesley Langdale who said that biomass is economically not feasible … which is something WACE stated as far back as October 2010, supported by an article from the Wall Street journal called “(Bio)Mass Confusion”.

Dr. Mark George once asked all City Council members the following question: “What is it you still need from us, so that you understand that biomass is a bad deal”? To my knowledge that question was never answered.

Last night I shared a letter from a local physician

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