Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Scott Thomason of Fort White Throws His Hat into the Ring for County Commissioner, District 2

(left to right) Scott Thomason, wife Elizabeth, daughters: Caroline, Christy Anne, Sarah, Savannah, and at the end of the leash, Sophie.  See Sophie and the rest of the photo.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Scott Thomason of Fort White announced this weekend that he is throwing his hat into the ring for County Commissioner, District 2.

Besides his credentials as a professional planner, Mr. Thomason has three daughters in Fort White High School and one in the elementary school.

His wife Elizabeth was involved in the fight to regulate the chicken factory in Fort White.

Along with being the president of the Fort White area Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Thomason is a volunteer fireman, coach, member of the PTA, mentor, Gubernatorial Appointee to the Construction Industry Licensing Board, and much more.

Mr. Thomason told the Observer, "Our roots in our community are strong. We strive to be a positive influence and make a difference."

While Mr. Thomason had been thinking about running for the County Commission spot for some time, it appears last Thursday's meeting of the County 5 tipped the cart in favor of a run.

His comments regarding that meeting and his decision to run were sent to the Observer:

"You have to be an auctioneer." This was my thought at Thursday's County Commission meeting as our citizens attempted to be heard in 120 seconds or less. The plain and simple truth is one cannot adequately express their opinions, facts, and research in such a limited time, especially if one is not used to speaking in a public forum. Take away the 15 to 20 seconds to provide one's name and information then there is 100 seconds remaining and the clock is ticking. The fact that 120 seconds is not enough was made evident on Thursday tonight when every speaker went over their time limit. To the Chairman's credit, almost all were allowed to finish.

I have been involved in many public meetings. I understand the desire to hold them swiftly and efficiently, but at what expense?

Commissioners are elected to serve and represent the people. That cannot be done if they do not actually hear what the people have to say.

The County Commission meets twice each month for a few hours at a time. Is it really too much to ask our elected officials to take more than two minutes and actually listen to those they represent?

Public participation is the key to not only a strong community, but a strong nation and if we limit that participation we are doing a huge disservice to both. This is just one of the reasons I have decided to run for Columbia County Commissioner of District 2.

If I am provided the opportunity to serve you, I will work hard to make sure you are heard, so that both your neighbors and I can hear what you have to say.

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