LSHA cans self appreciation
dinner - maybe?
County, FL (Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 08:20am)
Authority Chairman, Marc Vann (center) talks with the
LSHA Board and staff about the self appreciation dinner
as the Lake City's Reporter's Tony Britt, seated in audience, looks on.
During the Lake Shore Hospital Authority December 14,
2009, regular meeting, newly installed Hospital
Authority Chairman, Marc Vann, decided that it would be
a good idea for the Hospital Authority to have a self
appreciation dinner on the taxpayers' tab. This dinner
was to include the Board members, the LSHA staff and
Mr. Vann explained at the December 14th meeting that
they all worked for free. All Board members agreed and
thought that it would be a good idea to have a little off
site gathering time to get to know each other better out
of the public eye and at the public expense. Chairman
Vann agreed to be the point man for this endeavor and
told the Board he would look around for a place to have
this "getting to know you dinner."
At the January 11, 2010 LSHA Board meeting there was
further discussion of the upcoming self appreciation
dinner. Mr. Vann explained that he had arranged with
Tuckers' Restaurant in downtown Lake City to get a good
rate for the Board.
In the typical Columbia County disconnect from the
working families that pay the taxes, Mr. Vann expanded
the Authority guest list to include the outside LSHA
Attorney, Marlin Feagle and his guest; the outside
account/financial advisor/external auditor (no – that is
not a typo -- it is all one person) Richard Powell and
Apparently feeling generous, Mr. Vann looked around
the room and also included a former employee of the
Authority, the Hospital Administrator and her guest, and
not to be left out, the Shands head of facility
maintenance and his guest. Mr. Vann did not invite the
Since the beginning of the "self appreciation"
odyssey, which was not reported either by the Lake City
Reporter or the Lake City Journal, the Observer has been
asking folks around town what they thought of this Board
approved, hair brained expenditure of public funds.
One resident (name withheld) told the Observer, "What
is that? They appreciate themselves?"
One Lake City Official (name withheld) said, "They
can't do that.
Retired nurse, Donna Lindboe, told the Observer,
"This is absolutely the most ridiculous thing I have
ever heard. Only in Columbia County -- that's horrible,
especially with the economy the way it is now. If there
was anybody on that Board with a conscience, they
wouldn't be going out to dinner at the taxpayer
Retired school teacher Rita Hetrick told the
Observer, "They don't understand where their money's
Retired nurse Arlene Craft told the Observer, "That's
the pits. They should pay their own way. They are not
good stewards of our money. If they don't pat themselves
on the back, nobody will."
Your reporter had many more comments, most of which
Tonight at the LSHA meeting, the Board is lining up
to squander more of the money of Columbia County's
working families, as the giant footsteps of the
departed former Chairman, the "good ole boy" in chief of
the LSHA, Jackson Berry, have found new feet to fill
them in Marc Vann.
Tonight the self appreciation dinner is coming up
again. There is a note on the agenda that says
"cancelled." The reason is unknown. Somebody else could
have the room or the Board may have come to its senses.