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Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake Shore Hosp Authority

Gov. Scott's LSHA Board Out of Compliance on Eve of Final Budget Hearing: Refuses to post budget

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Gov. Scott's Lake Shore Hospital Authority is out of compliance again: this time during budget time. Nobody tells the Lake Shore Hospital Authority Manager, Jackson P. "Jack" Berry what to do. This time it is the rules governing Florida's special district, of which the Lake Shore Hospital Authority is one.

The Special District Handbook produced by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity provides the following regarding general budget requirements:

With the exception of the water management districts, all special districts must comply with the following budget requirements: (the Handbook goes through six general items, the final one being "Website Requirements.")

 In law, the word "must" means exactly that. It doesn't "maybe," or "when one gets around to it." It is a word that leaves out all discretion.

The Handbook then lists the following website requirements, which are not difficult to understand:

 The tentative budget must be posted on the special district's official website at least two days before the budget hearing held pursuant to Section 200.065, Florida Statutes - Method of Fixing Millage, or other law, to consider such budget. The final adopted budget must be posted on the special district's official website within 30 days after adoption.

As of September 21, the day of the final Authority budget hearing, a look at the LSHA website reveals the following:

1)  The current tentative LSHA budget is not posted to the Authority website.

2)  The 2015 Authority budget, which was adopted last year, is not posted on the Authority website

Epilogue

Governor Scott's Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board, and its infamous Manager, Jackson P. "Jack" Berry, don't believe in compliance.

 Unfortunately, the Public Records Law is not the Authority's only casualty, as it now thumbs its collective nose at its mandated fiduciary responsibility to provide its budgets on the Authority's website for its taxpayers and anyone else who would like to view these public documents.

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