Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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 Columbia County News


County Commission Pleads the Fifth • Law firm gets 10% raise.

Columbia County Florida (posted Dec. 4, 2008)
By Stew Lilker

Columbia County's working families continued to take it on the chin as the County Commission once again demonstrated that when it comes to giving money to their high priced friends, it has never seen a fee increase it doesn't like.

Buried in the consent agenda for the November 6, 2008 County Commission meeting was an item which County Manager Dale Williams explained this way: "Number 19 is the annual agreement with Neighbors, Giblin and Nickerson, a law firm out of Tallahassee, which handles the non ad valorem assessment issues for the county. This is eleven thousand dollars. It will cover the expenses related to the adoption of assessments next year." 

As usual, the Board had no questions and County Manager, Dale Williams, left out the relevant information regarding item 19. 

The Observer asked: "Number 19. I know I asked the board to reconsider that and they didn't. Now I would like to ask why? And why this board decided to give the outside attorney a ten percent pay raise, in the year two thousand nine - ten, when the people in the Clerk's office only got a thousand dollar bonus and they don't even know if they are going to get the rest? My question sir (CM Williams begins to answer) is to the board... My question sir is to the County Chairman. He approved it. You just put it on the calendar. Why are we giving them a ten percent pay raise?"

Chairman Weaver addressed the Board, "Anyone from the Board choose to answer?"

There was silence and the Commission just stared into space.

Chairman Weaver told the Observer, "OK. Mr. Lilker. Next thing."

Your reporter asked, "Do you have an answer, sir?"

Chairman Weaver responded, "I choose not to answer, either."