Tag Archives: Scottie Orenstein

Videos: Danny Weeks, Millage Rate, 3 Alcohol, Animals, Paper Ballots @ LCC Regular 2023-08-22

$4.2 million per mill times 2.5 mills is $10.5 million dollars a year that the county fire department is to get with no budget.

That’s up from last year’s $3.2 million per mill for $8 million, so the county fire department is to get an extra $2.5 million. Yet they never advertised it as a tax increase.

For what, and with what accounting, was not explained. Chairman Bill Slaughter said it was to maintain a “healthy fund balance” for five years since they established the fire department. Where can citizens see this fund balance, and what it is being spent on?

[Collage @ LCC 22 August 2023]
Collage @ LCC 22 August 2023

Both millage rate votes passed only by 3:2. If all three of the Lowndes County Commissioners who voted against on one or the other had voted against both, or if one of the other two had joined against on those votes, the county would have had to think again.

However, for the main millage, they approved 8.778 mills, which the Chairman said is a rollback of 1.434 (from last year). This is noticeably less than the Department of Revenue recommendation of 8.896 mills. Less as in 0.118 mills or $283,200. Until Commissioner Clay Griner the previous day asked what millage would actually match the projected budget, they seemed to be heading for the larger figure.

Still no explanation of why only one of the three beer and wine licenses got a Public Hearing.

They added an item for a change order on a Val Del Road water main for “about $180,000”. That reminds me that in July they approved almost $10 million for another water main in advance of development. Got to have sprawl.

More questions about the condition of the old dog box. Continue reading

Videos: $1 million loan to Housing Authority, Wild Adventures glamping, AB Motorsports withdrawn, a road abandonment and RoW purchase, Clyattville Community Center, plus alcohol @ LCC Regular 2023-05-09

A million dollar loan wasn’t worth scheduling on the regular agenda for the May 9, 2023, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session?

[Hightower Road, Wild Adventures, Briggston Road, $1 million housing loan, @ LCC Regular Session, 9 May 2023]
Hightower Road, Wild Adventures, Briggston Road, $1 million housing loan, @ LCC Regular Session, 9 May 2023

Apparently not, since Chairman Bill Slaughter added it after the previous morning’s Work Session. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wanted to know Continue reading

Videos: Howell Road Halfway House approved in split vote @ LCC Regular 2023-04-11

Two weeks ago the Lowndes County Commission appointed Brenda Mims to the Board of Health, Victoria Copeland and Marion Ramsey to ZBOA, and Jane Peeples to the Library Board, all unanimously.

Everything else (except one item) also passed unanimously, including 8.b. Amend 2015 Solid Waste Ordinance raising waste collection fees and reducing collection center hours, as requested by the haulers.

[Collage @ LCC Regular 2023-04-11]
Collage @ LCC Regular 2023-04-11

It became even more obvious why they tabled it a month before: All the Lowndes County Commissioners apparently already knew how they were going to vote on the Howell Road halfway house rezoning before they held the Public Hearing.

The vote was the same as Continue reading

Videos: Dollar General rezoning tabled, Troupville Nature Park land purchased @ LCC 2022-12-13

Update 2023-01-10: Public Notice: Rezoning REZ-2022-20, GA 122 @ Skipper Bridge Road for a Dollar General 2023-01-08.

Update 2022-12-22: Videos: Lowndes County buys land from Helen Tapp for Troupville Nature Park and River Camp 2022-12-13.

The Lowndes County Commission tabled the rezoning for a Dollar General on GA 122 at Skipper Bridge Road until January 24, 2023, because they were a day short on required notice.

A dozen or more people in opposition were visible.

Turns out the county did send the correspondence about that before I asked for it in this meeting, and within the statutory three days for answering a Georgia open records request. All the letters returned were in opposition.

[Collage @ LCC 13 December 2022]
Collage @ LCC 13 December 2022

They made the historic purchase for Troupville Nature Camp and River Park, of Land Between the Rivers at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River. And Chairman Bill Slaughter called seller Helen Tapp up to say a few words.

Apparently they are also modest, since some of them did not seem to like compliments about that purchase.

They reappointed Franklin Bailey to the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC).

Everything else passed unanimously.

In Citizens Wishing to be Heard, Kelly Saxon asked for assistance for the homeless, John S. Quarterman complimented the Commission on purchasing the Troupville land, and Blake Robinson said there may not be many young people who come to these meetings, but they do appreciate the local government work the Commissioners are doing.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the Continue reading

Videos: Dollar General rezoning legally must be tabled, Troupville land purchase is for a park @ LCC 2022-12-12

Update 2022-12-18: Correspondence: Proposed Rezoning on GA 122 at Skipper Bridge Road 2022-12-12.

County Manager Paige Dukes said they are legally required to table the rezoning for a Dollar General, because they were a day late on getting notices out, although she twice blamed that on the Valdosta Daily Times.

[Collage @ LCC 12 December 2022]
Collage @ LCC 12 December 2022

County Chairman Bill Slaughter said the applicant had requested tabling, and he recommended the second meeting in January (January 24, 2023). Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wanted to know why. The Chairman said, “It works out for two of the parties involved, the county and the developer.” (Nevermind the people.) Commissioner Scottie Orenstein said “I’m not in favor of tabling something only to give the developer more time… If he has true intentions on meeting with the community and having a meeting with them, a town hall, something a little more official, then I’m OK with that. But not to just give them more time.” The Chairman disagreed, “Well, I don’t think time is going to resolve anything in this particular situation.” Plus regarding the applicant, “We’re here to give them the courtesy if they make a request through that application process.”

Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker wanted clarified that the main issue was the date issue. Alleged County Attorney G. Walter Elliott reminded them they have to vote to table (the Chairman cannot just unilaterally table).

Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wanted to know if the Planning Commission knew about the timing issue. Continue reading

Videos: Redo rezonings and a citizen paving request @ LCC 2022-09-13

Two weeks agao the Lowndes County Commission at its Regular Session recognized Fire Chief Lloyd Green for finishing second in his age class in a recent road race.

Then they unanimously approved the previously-rejected O’Neal James Road rezoning, after applicant’s attorney Bill Langdale pointed out the code infractions would have to get fixed regardless of the rezoning decision.


[Rezonings and Citizens To Be Heard, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session 2022-09-13]
Rezonings and Citizens To Be Heard, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session 2022-09-13

On the previously-decided Campus Howell Road rezoning, they voted twice to invalidate their previous vote. because first they forgot to hold the public hearing. Twice because the Chairman first forgot to hold the Public Hearing. In the Hearing, several citizens spoke against the rezoning. The actual rezoning decision will be taken somewhere between six and nine months later, after the other Public Hearing held just after this Public Hearing.

In the other Public Hearing, they took no vote, since the vote will be sometime between March and May 2023. The rezoning may also go before the Planning Commission again before then. One citizen spoke against, asking why bother going through the Planning Commission again considering that the County Commission rejected the previous GLPC recommendation. County Chairman Bill Slaughter said GLPC will be asked if that is required for due process. Joshua Knight and Brent Moore spoke for.

All the extraterritorial water and sewer extensions passed, but both the Valdosta ones by split votes.

Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker voted against the Griner Park work, saying it is not a top priority and later they might get more than one bid. It passed anyway.

Everything else passed unanimously.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also Continue reading

Videos: GA Forestry, $3 million, redoing 2 rezonings, 3 extraterritorial water and sewer @ LCC 2022-09-12

Update 2022-09-26: Videos: Redo rezonings and a citizen paving request @ LCC 2022-09-13.

Update 2022-09-21: Videos: 6 Remerton, 4 Valdosta, 1 Hahira, 1 Lowndes County cases @ GLPC 2022-08-29.

Other than the seven-minute not-on-the-agenda Georgia Forestry presentation by Lowndes County Chief Ranger Mike Williford, the highest-dollar item got the most discussion: Griner Park, at the corner of Webster and Ashley Street.

There was no discussion of the items about redoing their botched rezoning decision.

They did kvetch about each of the extraterritorial jurisdiction items for water and sewer, alleging it was all somebody else’s fault. But why did the county not catch these earlier?

That was at the Work Session yesterday morning. The Lowndes County Commission voted this evening at their Regular Session.


[Videos and a picture]
Videos and a picture

Some Commissioners seemed unclear on why they were spending so much on Griner Park. Here’s Gretchen’s take: Continue reading

Videos: Seven minutes for three appointments, one subdivision streets, and alcohol, plus long County Manager Reports @ LCC 2022-05-10

Two weeks ago, the six-minute Reports took almost as long as the entire rest of the Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

[Appointments and Reports]
Appointments and Reports

Clay Griner did show up to vote on an item in his district, but Scottie Orenstein did not: 6.b. Adopt Resolution Accepting Infrastructure for Grove Pointe Phase V Sect 2. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall was also absent. Commissioners Joyce Evans and Mark Wisenbaker were present both at the Work Session and this Regular Session. Chairman Bill Slaughter was present.

County Manager Paige Dukes was also present, giving many Reports, assisted in a video about Griner Park at Webster and Ashley Street.

Commissioner Joyce Evans provided some amusment, Continue reading

Videos: Five minutes for three appointments, one subdivision streets, and alcohol @ LCC 2022-05-09

Update 2022-05-23: Regular Session Videos: Seven minutes for three appointments, one subdivision streets, and alcohol, plus long County Manager Reports @ LCC 2022-05-10.

In the five-minute Work Session yesterday morning, the few Commissioners who showed up breezed through everything with no discussion. Commissioners Scottie Orenstein and Clay Griner were absent, even though this is in their districts: 6.b. Adopt Resolution Accepting Infrastructure for Grove Pointe Phase V Sect 2. But of course it is expected that the Commission will approve that item this evening at 5:30 PM. County Manager Paige Dukes was also absent, in her case due to illness.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. There are no notes, because nothing happened worth commenting on. See also Continue reading

Videos: One Valdosta-Lowndes funding, Hayden Park rezoning @ LCC 2022-04-26

At their Regular Session, Chairman Bill Slaughter pulled 7.a. One Valdosta Lowndes Community-Wide Initiative up front on the Lowndes County Commission agenda, because at least one of the OVL VIPs had another meeting: One Valdosta-Lowndes Co-Chairs VSU President Dr. Richard Carvajal and Georgia Power’s Scott Purvis, as well as Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber President Christie Moore. At least one of them left immediately after the Commissioners approved $200,000 total over five years to the Chamber to support OVL.

The County’s audio feed in the back of the room was again not working, so audio is whatever the LAKE video camera could pick up.

[OVL, Hayden Park rezoning]
OVL, Hayden Park rezoning

Commissioners discussed the one rezoning, Continue reading