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Stew Lilker’s 

Columbia County Observer

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Phillips Leads The 5 in 3-2 Quality of Life Split
Planning & Zoning Board Overruled

Posted April 17, 2015  07:20 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL –  Last night, The Columbia County 5, in a 3-2 split, led by Dist. 4 Commissioner Everett Phillips, turned back the Planning & Zoning Board (P&Z) and voted in favor of quality of life. The question before The 5 was:  should they overrule the P&Z's decision to change the use of 110 acres from very low density, 1 dwelling per acre, to industrial. Randy Jones, the County's Building Dept. Director, presented nothing locating the property during the public hearing.

Report: Working FL Families Would Benefit From Medicaid Expansion

Lake City Reporter: A Newspaper You Can't Trust
Handmaidens to Columbia County's Good Ole' Boys

Jack Berry and LSHA get another free pass

LSHA's Berry and LC's Johnson Ignoring the Needs of the Handicapped on the Authority Campus

CDC Warns Against Use of E-Cigarettes

Indiana-Style Discrimination in Florida?

Columbia County 5 Vote 3-2 to Look for an Auditor: But After 40 yrs They All Want Powell Back

Posted April 3, 2015  05:30 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL –  Last night, the Columbia County 5, (The 5 or the County Commission) decided after 40 years to put out a search for a County Auditor to possibly replace the only Auditor the County has had since the 70's, External Auditor Richard Powell. The County's Constitutional Officers had previously recommended keeping Powell. Last night, the County Staff recommended keeping Powell. Chairman Rusty DePratter, after a split vote in favor of searching for another auditor, announced that he hoped the County ended up "with the same" auditor.

Auditor Richard Powell – The 5's 40 Year "Go-to-Man": Back on The County 5 Docket Tonight

Columbia Cnty Making a Play for Sunbelt Forest Products (Project Sandra): Others also in the Hunt

Posted April 1, 2015  10:15 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Yesterday afternoon's County 5 meeting brought no surprises as County Economic Development Director Glenn Hunter pitched economic development incentive packages that were already discussed last week during the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) meeting. Project Sandra was reported here. The incentive package needed the County 5's approval. Columbia County is not the only location in the hunt for Sunbelt's expansion.

"Big Sugar" Getting a Sweet Deal from Florida Lawmakers?

FL Bills Propose Making University Job Searches Private

Enterprise FL & the NFEDP: Helping Columbia County Lasso $60-70 mil Project At the 12th Hour

Posted March 26, 2015  08:55 am

"Tremendous Opportunity, but we don't have a rail; we don't have roads; we don't have utilities."

After Generations of Economic Underdevelopment: Will Columbia County Turn a Corner?

Posted March 24, 2015  10:40 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Yesterday morning at 10:00 am, Columbia County's Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) met for a special meeting called by Economic Development Director, Glenn Hunter. The purpose of the meeting: discuss economic development incentives which will cost Columbia County millions; the payback: jobs. This article deals with one of those projects, code name: Project Sandra. (Photo: the face of Columbia County Economic Development, Glenn Hunter)

FL Legislature Considers Controversial "Campus Carry Bill"

Columbia County 5 & Sheriff Make History: Percent Based Budgeting or Flim-Flam 101

Posted March 20, 2015  11:10 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter likes to spend his time at County Commission meetings sitting in the shadows. Last night, before the evening's County 5 meeting was gaveled to order, Commissioner Everett Phillips asked him to sit where folks could see him. He refused. Thirty minutes later, The 5, made history, when they unanimously voted, without one substantive question, to approve an interlocal agreement between the County and Sheriff, the first of its kind in the history of Florida. The agreement, prepared by the Sheriff's lawyers at the Florida Sheriff's Association, guaranteed him 39% of Columbia County's non restricted revenues and gave him an unrestricted reserve fund of $1.3 mil.

External Auditor Richard Powell - The 40 Year Man On The 5's Docket Tonight: Time For a New Face?

"Beside God, that’s the next man I believe in"

Posted March 19, 2015  07:20 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Tonight, the Columbia County 5 is going to decide whether or not to make its forever Auditor, Richard Powell, secure for another 40 years.  State law required an Audit Committee of the Constitutional Officers and County Chair to be formed to give the County 5 input. Last week, they did, and they unanimously decided to negotiate another contract with Mr. Powell. County 5 Chairman, Rusty DePratter, voted with the Constitutionals. Tonight the public will see if the rest of The 5 will "go along to get along" and support the County Chair. (File photo: Richard Powell)

Community Tennis Association Forming, Commissioner Nash says, "Keep moving forward"

Posted March 18, 2015  07:45 am | 1 comment

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Last night, Columbia County's Sports Advisory Council heard from County Economic Development Director, Glenn Hunter. The Sports Advisory Council is the sounding board and clearing house for all sports and activity groups that utilize the County's Southside Sports Complex and the extensive network of County community centers and parks. A grass roots tennis committee is looking to bring a county-wide tennis program to Columbia County, as well as a world class tennis facility for tournament and recreational use. (Photo: Economic Dev. Dir. Glenn Hunter at the SAC)

Associated Press Features Trouble With Public Records at the Lake Shore Hospital Authority

Miami  Considers Law Aimed at Expelling Homeless

Constitutionals Meet: County Auditor Powell Secure for Another 40 Years? The 5 Will Decide

Posted March 13, 2015  08:59 am | 1 comment

Man's best friend rescued - then becomes boys best friend

•  Meeting Calendar

Education Reform Bill: Dishonest and Politically Cowardly

Bill Day's Latest Cartoon

Campus Sexual Assault Exposed: "The Hunting Ground"

FL Legislature Doesn't Care What You Think

FL Senate: Will It Realize Every Child Has the Right to be Loved?

Religious Freedom: Not a License to Discriminate

FL Gas Average $2.48 Last Week – Nat. Average $2.39

Amdt. 1: At Session Midpoint, Disappointment Replaces Promise

Practical Ways Everyone Can Advocate for Children

Concealed Weapons On Campus – Tragedy In the Making

FL Guns on Campus Debate: Logic - Courage - Passion

FL Leg. Subverting Our Will on Amdt 1

To Rick Scott Open Gov't is a Closed Book

Legislators: Ignore the Death Mermaid At Your Own Peril

The State of the State Floridians Should Hear

Assisted Suicide: Death With Dignity

Bogus Allegations:
The Injustice of Guilty until Proven Innocent