Monthly Archives: March 2014

Enjoying our Little River with friends and neighbors

Delayed a week because of high water, the WWALS BIG Little River Paddle Event went great on a sunny Saturday morning. Many thanks to WWALS, FORBS, all the volunteers, and the sponsors!

Beyond not accidentally swimming this year, I also achieved my goal of finishing in less than an hour, plus taking some pictures along the way. It was a very enjoyable morning, including new and old friends from Lowndes County.

In addition to stewardship of our local resources, this kind of outdoor activity is also an economic opportunity in attracting knowledge-based businesses, and in keeping our graduates here. That’s why I helped encourage the Lowndes County Commission to establish a park and boat ramp on the Alapaha River, and I’m pleased to see that it seems likely to happen using SPLOST VII funds, for the enjoyment of Lowndes County citizens and those of all the surrounding counties who contribute to those SPLOST funds.

I won a prize Saturday for first female solo kayak. This would have been more difficult if there had been other competitors in that category. Lots of prizes went out, including to people from as far away as upstate New York (the event organizer’s father) and a couple from Germany. But most of the participants were from the counties right around here, including some new-found neighbors on Bemiss Road.

As you know, there are competitors in the special election May 20th for Lowndes County Commission District 5, and I ask for your support and your vote, so I can more effectively promote stewardship and opportunity.


Lake Park Rodeo – Thank you event


I’m happy to be one of the sponsors of the Lake Park Rodeo Fish Fry Thank You Dinner for all the rodeo volunteers tonight. Projects like the rodeo are a success because people from all across our community come together to work for common outcomes.

Raisin Cane

Volunteer and organizational meetings have been happening for weeks and now we have an opportunity to say “Thank you” to Continue reading

All play by the same rules

The rules should be applied fairly to everyone, and permitting can be made easier, Gretchen said at the Home Builders Forum of October 18th, 2012. These issues are just as relevant now.

Streamline permit processes

As I’ve been going around the county and talking to different people, I have talked to a variety of business owners. And a business owner asked me the other day about the business license process. And it was clear to me that when he described getting a business license in Hahira, and in the county, and in Valdosta, that there were some real streamlines that we could make to make that process easier for businesses. That he could only get a business license during the week, that they all expire on different times: there’s a lot of things that we could use technology for to make our business processes much more streamlined for our business owners.

Fair shot

Continue reading

Camping World Grand Opening — Lake Park

Camping World Lake Park Lowndes County Commission District 5 is now home to a Camping World store.  For RV enthusiasts, travelers, and campers, this store has a wide variety of items. The store provides opportunities for employment for our community, resources for many who travel through our community on the RV circuit and another outdoor shopping alternative for local shoppers. I checked out the cooking and picnic part of the store.

The Lake Park Chamber of Commerce held Continue reading

Local food, local economy: South Georgia Growing Local

Gretchen and a committee organized the successful South Georgia Growing Local 2014 conference last January 24th and 25th. Here she is holding the front page of the VDT, about the Friday Farm Tours.

Agriculture has long been a mainstay of the economy of Lowndes County, an “agricultural heartland”, as a Valdosta Daily Times editorial called it November 14, 2012. The conference included everything from the very traditional (ham curing and hand spinning fibers into fabric) to new crops (Katahdin sheep, olives, door-yard citrus and more citrus), to scientific takes on tradition (backyard chickens seed saving, permaculture), to self-help and community building (House of Hope: Gardening for Recovery and growing up growing, and multi-generational growing), politics (USDA and rural revitalization and 2014 General Assembly and Rural GA), 21st century innovations (solar farms), and of course family farms (Hagen Homestead, South Georgia Olive Farms, Raisin’ Cane), plus a panel of local growers talking about their experiences.

Gretchen will continue to promote local agriculture as an opportunity, and for stewardship of our communities, farmland, and forests.


Gretchen welcomes your contributions

If you are concerned with some of the same issues of transparency, stewardship, and opportunity, you can contribute to Gretchen’s campaign for County Commission District 5.

Money is always useful, for yard signs, cards, door hangers, advertisements, and other expenses. You can donate online or send a check.

Or you can contribute in other ways, such as talking to your friends or family or coworkers or church or civic group, or helping arrange a meeting where Gretchen can speak, or calling people, or canvassing door to door, or calling in to a radio show, or writing a letter.

Here’s how to donate or sign up. Thanks for helping Gretchen be a voice for the voters in district 5 and the people of Lowndes County.


Gretchen stood up against an unnecessary lawsuit

“Stop wasting taxpayer money” said Gretchen Quarterman in the May 28th 2013 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

Gretchen Quarterman I sort of wish that I had been able to observe the executive session where you discussed the pending lawsuit against Deep South Sanitation. I wonder who asked the question “Is it beneficial to all concerned?” I wonder which one of you said “This will really attract people to start or relocate business in our county when we sue one of our local business owners.”

If I were considering a business move, I wouldn’t move to a county that eats its own.

I ask that you drop the lawsuit and stop wasting taxpayer money. Thank you.


Bill Slaughter and Gretchen Quarterman were inducted into Valdosta Rotary on the same day (12 September 2012); that’s John Page (who recently vacated District 5), already a member, standing behind them. County Attorney Walter Elliott is also a member. The Rotary Continue reading

More issues from constituents

Gretchen has added three new items to the issues page per suggestion from constituents:


The county government should work effectively and openly with all city governments.


The county government should be a good steward of tax payer funded resources.


The county government should welcome and provide opportunities for citizen input.

What issues do you want Gretchen to consider?


Gretchen stood up for Lowndes County against the Sabal Trail Methane Pipeline

Gretchen Quarterman stood up for property rights of local landowners, for the economy including local solar power, and for the environment including our drinking water supply, and for safety including not adding more risk of sinkholes and other hazards because of an unnecessary methane pipeline.

At the Valdosta FERC Scoping Meeting 4 March 2014, she read a statement from the party of which she is the chair: Lowndes County Democratic Committee Opposes Sabal Trail Methane Pipeline.

Here’s the video:

Lowndes County Democratic Party opposes the Sabal Trail Methane Pipeline –Gretchen Quarterman
Sabal Trail Methane Pipeline,
Scoping Meeting, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC),
Video by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 4 March 2014.