Tag Archives: VLMPO

Six board slots to be appointed by Valdosta

You have to live in Lowndes County, but not necessarily in Valdosta, to volunteer to serve on one of these appointed boards. City of Valdosta PR 14 January 2016, Six Opportunities to Serve in New Year,

Valdosta-Lowndes County residents who have made serving their community a New Year’s resolution have until Wednesday, Feb. 3, to apply for one of six city appointments to serve on a board, commission, authority or advisory committee.

The Valdosta City Council will vote on the new appointments at their Feb. 11 City Council meeting to fill the following vacancies:

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Live Oak bus service starts Monday 2015-07-20

How come Live Oak (pop. 6,974) in Suwannee County (43,734), Florida can do what mighty Valdosta (56,481) in Lowndes County (112,916), Georgia can’t?

Amber Vann, Suwannee Democrat, 17 July 2015, Live Oak bus route starts Monday,

The Suwannee Valley Transit Authority’s Live Oak bus route will begin operating on Monday, July 20, running continuously from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. throughout every direction of the city, Monday through Friday. The route’s unofficial stops include apartment complexes and other residential neighborhoods, public schools, grocery stores, parks, government offices, nursing homes, the library and the hospital.

The route starts at the intersection of Walker Avenue and US 90 West Continue reading

VLMPO Public Open House on 2040 Transportation Vision Plan 2015-07-22

Anytime all day, 10AM to 6PM, Wednesday July 22nd, you can advise SGRC on transportation for the region, at the VLMPO office at 327 W Savannah Ave, Valdosta, Georgia 31601. Here’s VLMPO’s facebook event.

According to SGRC’s Transportation Planning web page:

2040 Transportation Vision Plan… Public Comment Period July 7-August 7, 2015

Federal regulations require Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to develop a new Long Range Transportation Plan at least every five years. In the summer of 2013, the VLMPO kicked-off the latest effort to plan for a multi-modal transportation system through the region for the year 2040. The plan will address:

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Transportation explained to Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2015-07-13

The county asked SGRC a bunch of questions about the $15,957 public transit and trucking studies at yesterday morning’s Work Session that they didn’t ask about the $16,915 they spent two weeks ago to upgrade a water main to subsize a developer. Commissioners seemed to think VLMPO hadn’t involved them in planning the study proposals, when in fact their own Chairman and County Manager and Engineer had been involved all along, plus five county-appointed citizens.

300x225 Corey Hull, in Public Transportation and Trucking Studies Explained, by Gretchen Quarterman, 13 July 2015 County Manager Joe Pritchard said Commissioner Joyce Evans and Chairman Bill Slaughter had asked him to get the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC) to explain its proposed transportation studies. He also introduced Lisa Crib, whom he said was the new SGRC Executive Director.

Corey Hull spoke for SGRC, saying he first wanted to know their questions. Chairman Bill Slaughter asked: Continue reading

Nottinghill resolved, Spectra profit sharing? Planning Commission transparency? @ LCC 2013-12-10

The Commission’s designated first speaker confused order with good. Chairman Bill Slaughter required a sitting judge to go to the podium to speak, even though he had not required that for multiple Spectra pipeline reps the previous morning. Nottinghill is finally resolved, after yet more probing questions by Commissioners; more than they asked the Spectra reps. A VSU professor and a landowner asked very good questions about the pipeline, a KLVB board member gave a report, and Gretchen asked the Commission to post Planning Commission minutes online.

Two people were appointed; one spoke. The two beer licenses, a liquor license, the decorative special tax lighting district for Windstone, the contracts, the resolution to ask the legislature for an additional judge, and the bids were all approved with little discussion. The settlement for back pay it turns out didn’t actually involve employees having to sue to get paid.

Here’s the amended agenda with the two added items, plus links to the videos and a few notes. See also the previous morning’s Work Session.

327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
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All 4 Commissioner questions about the pipeline –VDT @ LCC 2013-12-09

The VDT let local citizens speak, unlike the Lowndes County Commission. Perhaps the VDT, like many local citizens, does not think transparency means what the County Commission thinks it means.

Matthew Woody wrote across the top of the front page of the Valdosta Daily Times today, Sabal Trail presents at County Commission work session,

Protesters stood outside of the Lowndes County Judicial and Administrative Complex at 8:30 a.m. in opposition to the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline project as representatives from the company made a presentation at the Commission Work Session.

That’s Matthew Woody across the street taking that picture, and here are more pictures of the protesters.

“We strive everyday for zero incidences,” Fahrenthold said “All of our meetings, company wide, starts with a safety update.”

Really? So why afterwards did both Brian Fahrenthold and Andra Grover Continue reading

Spectra Sales Pitch, Nothing about Nottinghill, etc. @ LCC 2013-12-09

Given dozens of questions submitted by citizens and every opportunity, Commissioners asked only four perfunctory questions after Spectra Energy’s Sabal Trail pipeline sales pitch. Chairman Bill Slaughter repeatedly let multiple Spectra reps speak from the audience without having them come to the podium, or even identify themselves before they spoke. They were pointed at by the chief Spectra speaker when he named them, but they did not stand up or raise their hand at the time, so it was quite hard to tell which was which. The Chairman never allows that sort of behavior from local citizens. Why is he granting extra courtesies to a company from Houston that wants to exercise eminent domain on local citizens’ lands? Who does the Lowndes County Commission represent?

At least WALB and WCTV let a landowner speak: that’s more than the County Commission did.

Nottinghill is back yet again. A Commissioner did ask staff whether it was really ready, and it isn’t, but no Commissioners asked any such probing questions of the Spectra reps.

The three beer licenses, a liquor license, the contracts, and the bids were glossed over in almost as perfunctory a manner. There were some questions from Commissioners about costs to the county government. But there were none from Commissioners about costs to landowners from gashing a pipeline through their property.

Given that there’s a settlement for back pay for some county employees, it appears that the employees maybe had to sue to get paid.

Staff did express concern about “customer service” for a decorative special tax lighting district, but none about service to the landowners of the county whose land Spectra proposes to run through, or for that matter to the taxpayers of the county to whom the Commission and staff cannot be bothered to show what they’re voting on before they vote.

Here’s the agenda plus links to the videos and a few notes.





327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor

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Pipeline and Nottinghill, VLMPO, lawyers and alcohol @ LCC 2013-12-09

The proposed Sabal Trail pipeline presentation is really on this time, with citizen questions asked by the Commissioners. Nottinghill is back yet again. Two appointments to the VLMPO Citizens Advisory Committee. All that plus three beer licenses, a liquor license, and a bunch of contracts and a couple of bids.

Here’s the agenda.





327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor

  1. Call to Order
  2. Invocation

    Only in the Regular Session, Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

  3. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

    Only in the Regular Session, Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

  4. Minutes for Approval
    1. Work Session — November 11, 2013
    2. Regular Session — November 12, 2013
  5. Appointment
    1. MPO Citizens Advisory Committee (2)
  6. Public Hearings
    1. REZ-2013-11 Nottinghill, Orr Rd R-A to R-21, Community Well and Septic, 14.71 acres
    2. Decorative Special Tax Lighting District – Windstone Subdivision (Orr Rd)
    3. Beer and Wine License — Twin Lakes Ventures, LLC — 4878 HWY 41 South
    4. Liquor License — Big Al’s — 4991 HWY 41 S. Lake Park
  7. For Consideration
    1. Approval of the 2014 Commission Meeting Schedule
    2. 2014 Public Defender Services Contract & 2014 Operating Contract
    3. Land Application Site (LAS) Bar Screen Replacement
    4. Budget Calendar FY 2014-2015
    5. Beer and Wine License — Parnish Corporation — 3119 Madison HWY
    6. Beer and Wine License — Jay Brahamani, LLC — 2601 Madison HWY
    7. Back Pay for 9-1-1 Center Employees
    8. Second State Court Judge — Resolution & Act
  8. Bids
    1. Repair of Damaged F150- LCSO
    2. Repair of Damaged Fire Tanker- LCFR
  9. Reports-County Manager
  10. Citizens Wishing to be Heard Please State Name And Address

    Only in the Regular Session, Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

  11. Sabal Trail (Work Session)


Videos: VLMPO Policy Committee @ VLMPO 2013-10-29

I commend VLMPO for addressing real issues and getting a broad variety of organizations to show up. However, map after map on the consultant’s slides showed a straight-line highway going from Moody’s front gate to Hahira:

Highway straight line from Moody AFB to Hahira?

There is no such road. There better not be, since it would go straight through my property and would drive development right through agricultural and forestry areas that the Comprehensive Plan says aren’t supposed to be developed,. not to mention the Moody MAZ. I’m told the consultant is going to fix this.

I have my doubts, because Continue reading

Transparency not a problem –Bill Slaughter @ VLMPO 2013-10-23

Defining away another problem, like he already did Internet access, Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter said:

I can’t honestly just buy into the real problem of transparency in this community.

This was after numerous people in the room at the VLMPO Open House on Common Community Vision at Mildred Hunter 23 October 2013 expressed concerns about needs to video local government meetings and put them online, and to make various processes more open.

Regarding videoing, Slaughter trotted out former Valdosta Mayor John Fretti’s old chestnut about allegedly in cities where meetings are televised citizens grandstand and the meetings drag on forever. Nevermind that there are numerous ways to do it, such as putting videos on the web and not simulcasting, and in places like Tallahassee that do both not many citizens usually show up. The people I’ve seen grandstanding consistently at local government meetings around here are Continue reading