Stew Lilker’s

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Columbia County News

The County 5: Another New High or Low
Discovers Library in the Woods is in the Dark

$1.3 Mil plus on the Consent Agenda

Posted April 17, 2014  08:35 am | news/analysis

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COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – The Columbia County 5, "The 5", is up to its old tricks tonight having packed the Consent Agenda with over $1.3 million in un-budgeted/unexplained expenses. Kevin Kirby's Public Works Department is, as usual, the big winner in the County's scheme to move un-budgeted money around.

Item 5 on the Consent Agenda is lighting for the Built in the Woods Ft. White Public Library. Dedicated in 2010 in a private ceremony shortly after Rusty DePratter was elected to The 5, the library has sat in the dark for the past four years. Suddenly, Commissioner DePratter, who is up for reelection, has discovered there are no lights outside the Library in the Woods.

Columbia County 5Forever, Columbia County and The 5 have budgeted Columbia County's tax dollars by  moving money around the County from Bucket to Bucket (read as fund to fund). In this way The 5 don't make line item budgets for which they are answerable or accountable.

The 5 tax the hell out of the residents. The 5 is now considering an additional 5 cent gas tax in a County that charges more for gas than most every other area. On Tuesday, the gas in Columbia County was 20 cents more a gallon than in Jacksonville. The 5 runs fund balances that are in the stratosphere so they can pay as they go.

Tonight's Highlight: The Library in the Woods

The highlight on tonight's Consent Agenda is item number 5: proposed outside lighting for the Fort White Library.

While only $5,000, the area has been unlit since 2010 and has been ignored by The 5 and the County staff.

It is not rocket science, with Commissioner Rusty DePratter running for reelection, that now the County's Public Works Director, Kevin Kirby, has discovered that the lack of lighting in The Library in the Woods is now what he calls a "Safety Issue."

When the County built the library, The 5 didn't think that including an automatic sprinkler system in the library was a safety issue, either. They still don't when it comes to the County's public buildings, like the new Westside Community Center.


It is not only the library that has been in the dark for the past 4 years.

The 5 need to find a mirror.

The Columbia County 5 from left to right: Chairman Ronald Williams;
Commissioners Rusty DePratter; Bucky Nash; Stephen Bailey; Scarlet Frisina


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