Tag Archives: Walter Elliott

Nelson Hill waivers by staff @ LCC 2013-08-13

Before tonight’s vote on Moody Housing on Val Del Road, maybe somebody should review these administrative waivers from county staff for Nelson Hill, one for the minimum lot size, and the other for setbacks for the lots along the “lake”. I haven’t yet found who waived the requirement for condominiums, or for their fronts to be staggered, or for them to be at least 1800 square feet, or the traffic calming measures, or how all this fits the submitted site plans, nor for that matter what happened to the gate or guards or the road connecting to Grove Point. Maybe you can find those things in the materials about Nelson Hill received in response to an Open Records Request. If staff can waive all these things without any of them coming up again for a vote before the elected Commission in a public hearing, why do we have the elected Commissioners vote in the first place?

Here’s a waiver for lot setbacks next to the pond by Joe Pritchard “In my official capacity as County Manager”, 22 September 2009, for AAW-2009-06.

Here’s a waiver for minimum lot sizes by Jason Davenport, County Planner, 18 July 2011, for AAW-2011-16:

Good afternoon. Based on recent questions from multiple parties regarding Nelson Hill we thought it best to respond in writing to all. For us the question is “Will the County require a minimum lot size in Nelson Hill?” and our answer is Continue reading

What happened at Nelson Hill on Val Del Road? @ LCC 2013-08-12

Staff promises evaporated, many of 13 conditions voted by elected Commissioners didn’t get implemented: what happened at Nelson Hill, the subdivision County Planner Jason Davenport referred to as the neighborhood on Val Del Road for REZ-2013-09 Moody Housing? Well, it has a reputation, as someone nearby said in opposing another development:

And we’re certainly not interested in what they built out on Val Del Road.

What happened at Nelson Hill?

As Gretchen Quarterman mentioned to the Planning Commission, there were supposed to be condominiums and a gated community there, but:

if you go out to Nelson Hill now you don’t find anything resembling a gated condominium community; you find ticky-tacky houses where they cut down the swamp.

So what was supposed to be there? In the Minutes for the Work Session of 12 February 2007 condominiums are mentioned: Continue reading

Tipping fees vs. host fees from Veolia

What is this contract involving tipping fees that Lowndes County declined to produce a copy of? How can it be “adequately maintained in the future”, as former Commissioner Lee put it, if the county doesn’t know what it is?

The minutes for the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners Work Session 11 October 2010 say:

Resolution-Proposed Amendment-March 2007 Greater Lowndes Solid Waste Management Plan, County Planner, Jason Davenport, presented the resolution, adding that the amendment was drafted due to a proposed expansion and reconfiguration of the Evergreen landfill. Mr. Davenport added that the amendment had been reviewed by staff, the Regional Commission and the Deep South Solid Waste Authority. Mr. Davenport further stated that Mr. A.J. Rodgers, of Veolia Environmental Services, was present to answer any questions the Commission might have regarding the project. Commissioner Lee stated that he was concerned that the contractual relationship that has been in place for quite some time be accurately reflected and adequately maintained in the future. Commissioner Lee then asked Mr. Rodgers if a new cell had been created yet. Mr. Rodgers answered that construction had begun in a cell that had already been approved.

Veolia spelled his name [Andrew] AJ Rogers and identified him as “area manager for Veolia ES Solid Waste Southeast, Inc.” in a 22 March 2011 press release.

But what is this “contractual relationship”? According to a letter from Walter G. Elliott, Lowndes County Attorney, Continue reading

Lowndes County vs. Deep South Sanitation this morning

The county government’s attempt to put a local business out of business is this 9:30 AM at the county palace this morning 14 June 2013.

Physical Address:
Courtroom 5D, Fifth Floor
Lowndes County Judicial Complex
327 N. Ashley Street
Valdosta, GA 31601

WALB’s earlier story said June 4th, but now it’s June 14th (today), because Lowndes County Attorney Walter Elliott is also an attorney for Turner County in the LOST case before the GA Supreme Court, and he was going to be in Atlanta arguing before the Supreme Court on June 4th. Funny how everything is done for the convenience of the county government, and not for its citizens. Maybe we should change that.


Video of oral arguments in LOST GA Supreme Court case

Here’s the Georgia Supreme Court’s own video of S13A0992 Turner County v. City of Ashburn et al. Walter Elliott Tuesday, June 4, 2013. It starts with the attorney for Turner County, Walter Elliott (who is also Lowndes County Attorney) apparently arguing that the courts shouldn’t intervene because only legislative bodies should decide on taxes. The judges didn’t seem to understand his argument.

One judge wondered how disputes would be settled then. Elliott said the local elected bodies would decide or the tax wouldn’t be levied. Another judge pointed out that legislative bodies could delegate administrative functions. Later the same judge asked how to distinguish this case from a child custody case as far as criteria and a court being able to decide. Elliott claimed that was a judicial function, but allocating tax dollars was not. The judges didn’t seem to be buying the city attorney’s argument later, either.

Funny how the Supreme Court of Georgia videos its sessions, but the Lowndes County Commission does not.

Here’s the subject of the case: Continue reading

Video of Tabling of Abandonment of Old State Road to Hotchkiss Crossing at the Alapaha River @ LCC 2013-02-12

First the Chairman talked about how many people could speak and for how long in the public hearing; then at Tuesday evening's Regular Session the Commission tabled it for two weeks, so closing the only public access to the Alapaha River in Lowndes County will be up for a vote again Tuesday 26 February 2013.

6.a. Public Hearing: Abandonment of a portion of Old State Road (CR 16)

You can see in the video that the room was packed, which is very unusual. The great majority were there to oppose closing the road. As Chairman Bill Slaughter remarked, about nine people signed up for Citizens Wishing to Be Heard to speak about this item; as he noted, anyone can speak in a public hearing without signing up. To my knowledge, only one person was there to speak for closing the road, and that was the applicant who had just agreed to ask for it to be tabled. The Chairman said:

Continue reading

Revised alcohol brown bag ordinance @ LCC 2012-09-11

Following up on the previous morning’s opaque presentation of a proposed brown bag ordinance, in which we did at least learn it was about alcohol, a bit more information came from the county attorney in the Regular Session of 11 September 2011.

County Manager Joe Pritchard mentioned:

Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, you have handed, or were placed at your seats, a revised alcohol beverage brown bagging ordinance. There were some changes that came about, wording changes, yesterday, after our work session.

Ah, that passive voice! I guess it was the ordinance elf that made those changes and left paper copies at each Commissioner’s seat. The ordinance elf didn’t put a copy of that draft on the web where the rest of us could see it, however.

County Attorney Walter Elliott clarified:

Continue reading

How did Lowndes County approve a contract with VLCIA that could force raising taxes?

We’ve seen that the inter-governmental contract between Lowndes County and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA) could force the county to raise taxes to pay for VLCIA’s debts. How did the county pass such a thing? Apparently in a rush, with little review.

Matt Flumerfelt wrote in the VDT 19 November 2008, County approves bond issue:

LOWNDES COUNTY — The Lowndes County Commission heard a presentation Tuesday evening from Glenn Thomson, Alston & Bird LLP regarding a bond issue the County has entered into for the purpose of providing needed funding for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority.

After the presentation, a vote was taken accepting the issue and Lowndes County Commission Chairman Rod Casey, County Attorney Walter Elliott and County Clerk Paige Dukes adjourned to an adjoining chamber to complete the signing of the documents that will enable the Industrial Authority to negotiate for the acquisition of property pursuant to their mission of attracting manufacturing and other businesses to Lowndes County.

Bond Counsel, Glenn Thomson, stated, “Mr. Chairman and Commission, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and brag on your staff and consultants. Your staff put this transaction together very quickly. In fact, the underwriter’s counsel remarked that he had never encountered county employees and staff that had worked so diligently and that due to their preparedness and hard work, he was able to put his information together in near record time. Their performance and that of County Attorney, Walter Elliott, who worked tirelessly on this project as well, is a tremendous credit to those responsible for managing the business of the county.”

Why was it necessary to put together a guarantee for a $15 million dollar bond issue in “near record time”? Continue reading

You Build It, They Will Come: Quarterman Road Drag Strip

Carolyn Selby reminds the Lowndes County Commission at their regular meeting on 9 February 2010 that residents asked the Commission to redesign Quarterman Road for slower traffic.

“You did throw us a bone by limiting the speed limit at 35 miles per hour. But it’s not enforceable We asked you to put in speed humps…. Nope. Couldn’t do that.

You designed a mile and a half straight-away, and they have come. Welcome to the Quarterman Road Drag Strip!

She took pictures. She called 911, and they caught one of the dragsters. Neighborhood Watch in action.

The Commission responds by looking at County Engineer Mike Fletcher: Continue reading