Even the Commissioners had no agenda to look at, although they did have printed copies of the draft budget, which the public could only see as it scrolled by on the screen at yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Budget Work Session, which was over by 10AM even though it was announced as 8:30AM to 5PM. However, it is good that they had this Work Session in public. County Clerk Paige Dukes told Gretchen afterwards that no draft budget would be available to the public until after two changes requested by the Chairman were incorporated. She did not say when that would be finished or when the draft budget would be available so taxpayers could comment. She did refer people to last year’s budget. The slides that Finance Director Stephanie Black presented do provide an interesting high level overview. Other than Commissioners and very few staff, the only people in the room were VDT reporter Joe Adgie, someone unidentified, and Gretchen taking these LAKE videos so you can see what happened. Continue reading
“We have broadband”, said Bill Slaughter, while other people had different opinions on that and other topics Wednesday night at the Mildred Hunter Community Center.
Corey Hull introduced the session and a small but vocal group of citizens discussed all the main topic headings. He noted that there are more than twelve plans already in place in the various cities and counties in the Valdosta Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Area. Yet there were many common themes in those plans, and VLMPO was looking for other common areas in these meetings and online, and more specifically strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. If you have a community group of any size, VLMPO can come talk to it. They’ve been to the Chamber, to Rotary, to churches, etc. They expect to wrap this process up in December, with common vision and goals for the next ten or twenty years.
Local officials present included Matt Martin, Planning and Zoning Administrator for the City of Valdosta, and Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter. Martin didn’t say much, but Bill Slaughter was quite vocal. I thanked him for speaking up, even though I didn’t agree with everything he said. He helped clarify current county codes for stormwater retention, and Martin helped clarify the city’s codes.
As a long-time participant in local development (he’s CEO of Waller Heating and Air) Slaughter said when people are buying houses all they look at is Continue reading
What do you the citizens want Lowndes County to be? Here’s a chance to speak up, so when somebody asks where were you when the decisions were being made, you don’t have to answer “lying on the couch watching television.” (Thanks to Nolen Cox for that phrase.)
Corey Hull wrote on facebook today, Help Spread the Word for the Future of Lowndes County,
My office is conducting a survey and gathering public input on Facebook (go to www.facebook.com/valdostalowndesmpo) about what they want the Lowndes County Common Community Vision to be ( www.bit.ly/LowndesCCV). So far our participation has been low. I am calling on all of you to encourage your friends, family and colleagues to spread the word and let us know what you think about the future of Lowndes County and its cities.
Over the next two months there will be future opportunities for public input so stay tuned.
Thanks for your help.
The CCA press conference he mentions seems to have been covered by the VDT in this article: to be about Private prison company picks Valdosta as potential site.
The rest of the letter is about issues related to the biomass plant proposed for Lowndes County by Wiregrass Power LLC (wholly owned by Sterling Energy Assets of Atlanta) and backed by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA), of which Brad Lofton is the Executive Director. Here’s the letter from Leigh Touchton of the NAACP to which he refers.
From: Brad Lofton [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]Continue reading
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 4:37 PM
To: ‘Brad Lofton’
Subject: Industrial Authority Response to Two Letters to the Editor Yesterday
Good afternoon everyone:
Thanks to all of you that were able to attend our CCA press conference and breakfast yesterday. We’ve had positive feedback today from around the region, and we’ve received congratulations from most of the other 15 communities competing for the project.
After reading the two letters to the editor yesterday, I felt compelled to e-mail our stakeholders to provide you an update with facts and information related to the biomass plant. We have intentionally avoided a response in the paper because we do not want to energize a forum for continued misinformation. Despite numerous town hall meetings and other meetings we’ve facilitated for two years, there is still plenty of misinformation on the street.