Lake Shore Hosp Auth – On the Docket Tonight: Jackson P. Berry asks for "Rules of Protection"
Authority Manager Berry points his finger at the Observer. File Photo
Posted December 10, 2012 02:15 pm
COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – During the past fiscal year, the secretive Lake Shore Hospital Authority was presided over by Florida Representative Elizabeth Porter's Chief of Staff, Koby Adams. Mr. Adams, in an obvious effort to protect his friend, political operative and Authority Manager, Jackson P. Berry, implemented by fiat, one of the most restrictive public participation policies in Florida. Tonight, Mr. Berry in conjunction with Board Chair, Waseem Kahn, will present even more restrictive rules.
This past June, as it became more apparent that Authority Manager Berry was not good at thinking quickly on his feet, as previously exemplified by his past racist and denigrating public remarks, Koby Adams, by executive fiat ended all extemporaneous and scheduled public comment at the Lake Shore Hospital Authority, a public municipal corporation supported by Columbia County taxpayer dollars.
The public comment section on the Hospital Authority agenda has been a fixture for as long as anyone can remember.
In October, after the gavel was passed to Board member and governor appointed Waseem Kahn, it was expected that the public would once again be allowed to comment. Dr. Kahn kept the Adams fiat in place.
During the November Authority meeting a document was circulated which was called: Lake Shore Hospital Authority Meeting Rules Regarding Public Participation.
In a transparent and further effort to continue shielding the Authority and its unqualified manager, the new rules prepared by Authority Attorney, Marlin Feagle, call for the public to request "no no later than ten (10) calendar days prior to the meeting... [to] be placed upon the agenda."
Equal protection and due process?
Attorney Feagle's "Rules of Protection" further state: The Chair will determine whether the requesting citizen shall be placed upon the agenda.
There are no rules of guidelines for that.
After the conclusion of the November Authority meeting, a meeting in which Authority Manager Berry was missing, Mr. Feagle told the Observer, "The Authority Manager (Berry) asked me to prepare the new rules."
Then the Observer asked Dr. Kahn if he knew anything about these new rules. Dr. Kahn just shook his head in bewilderment.
After last week's County Commission meeting the Observer inquired once again about the request for the new rules. Attorney Feagle said, "Chairman Kahn wants to have some meeting rules. Would you come up with some?"