Lowndes County ‘pleased’ with SDS rulings

| June 9, 2017

LOWNDES Co. – Senior Superior Court Judge Gary C. McCorvey has ruled on preliminary motions in the pending Lowndes County service delivery case.

“We are pleased with Judge McCorvey’s rulings. They will allow the Court to reach the issues presented by the County’s petition in the case,” Chairman Bill Slaughter said.

Judge McCorvey granted Lowndes County’s motion for permission to add parties to the case. This motion was opposed by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and also opposed by the Cities of Valdosta, Hahira, Remerton, Dasher, and Lake Park prior to hearing.

The County’s petition asks the Court to decide the existing strategy agreement remains in effect and the County and the Cities remain eligible for state-administered financial assistance and permits. Georgia law says the agreement shall remain in effect until revised. The agreement also says it shall remain in effect until revised. The Cities and DCA contend the existing agreement expired November 1 and the County and the Cities do not remain eligible.

The County also asks the Court to decide the judicial resolution procedure in the service delivery law is unconstitutional. The Cities and DCA contend the procedure is constitutional. The Superior Court of Greene County has recently agreed with the County’s position that the procedure is unconstitutional.

Judge McCorvey denied a motion to dismiss filed by DCA. Judge McCorvey also denied a motion filed by DCA to transfer the case to DeKalb County. The motion to transfer the case to DeKalb County was also supported by the Cities prior to hearing.

Judge McCorvey also denied as moot a motion filed by the Cities for the case to be assigned to a judge from DeKalb County.

Judge McCorvey also granted a motion filed by Valdosta City Council members Tim Carroll and Alvin Payton, Jr. to be made parties. The County did not opposed this motion.

Judge McCorvey also granted a motion filed by the Cities to add the members of the Board of Commissioners and Tax Commissioner Rodney Cain as parties. The County did not oppose the addition of the members of the Board of Commissioners.

Judge McCorvey has not ruled on a motion filed by the Cities to postpone the case. “Lowndes County opposes a delay of the case. The County seeks a prompt resolution of the issues for the benefit of all citizens of the County,” County Manager Joe Pritchard said.

Judge McCorvey has also not ruled on a motion for a temporary order filed by the County. This would allow the County and the Cities to receive state-administered financial assistance and permits until the case is resolved. The Cities and DCA oppose this motion.

The County agreed with the result of the Cities’ motion to hold sanctions in abeyance. The County showed the Court the correct procedure to accomplish the result is the temporary order requested by the County.  For more information, citizens may contact Paige Dukes, County Clerk, pdukes@lowndescounty.com, or 229-671-2400.

Release from Lowndes County

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