Tonight, Gov. Scott's & Jack Berry's Lake Shore Hosp. Auth.: What's going on is anybody's guess
Posted Oct. 26, 2015 12:20 pm
Tonight, will someone on the Governor's Board address ADA requirements at the LSHA?
COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – The Lake Shore Hospital Authority, in the heart of downtown Lake City, after bollixing up its meeting schedule for two of the last three years, is holding its monthly meeting tonight – two weeks late. What is going on at the meeting is anybody's guess, as Manager Jackson P. "Jack" Berry and Gov. Scott's handpicked Board refuse to see that the agendas are published to the Authority's website, or anywhere.
Last LSHA meeting cancelled at the 12th hour
After the cancellation of the October 12, 2015, Lake Shore Hosp. Auth. meeting, (Gov. Scott's Hand-Picked Lake Shore Hospital Authority: Trouble Following the Law, Again) the Lake City Reporter wrote about the event.
On October 13, 2015, the Lake City Reporter (LCR), the Lake City/Columbia County daily newspaper recently known as the Lake City Regurgitator, a local version of the old Pravda, reported in an article with the byline of "From staff reports" that the Authority's Jack Berry "said the meetings are normally advertised well in advance, but it did not happen in this case."
A confidential source advised the Observer that the LCR was not advised of the meeting cancellation, but discovered the cancellation when they showed up at the front door or the Authority.
Manager Berry, who is demonstrably challenged by email, did not send out any notices, nor did he advertise the meeting cancellation on the Authority's website, facts conveniently omitted by the LCR. It is unknown whether this lack of notice caused anyone at the south end of the county, a 30+ mile distance from the Authority, to drive roundtrip for nothing.
"Unintentional Oversight" or Incompetence?
For 2013-14 the Authority meetings were not advertised, at all.
The Authority's request to advertise the meeting schedule was sent to the LCR in December 2013 and the newspaper never advertised the meetings. Apparently Mr. Berry did not check.
The failure to advertise was discovered late in 2014 and in October of 2014 the Authority advertised its meetings through September 2015 as required. The law requires the Authority to advertise its meetings for its fiscal year, which runs from October 1 through September 31.
The Sunshine law also requires public meetings to be publicized.
Mr. Berry has been affiliated with the Authority since 2005. He appears to be the only official in Columbia County that forgets to advertise his agency's meetings.
The LCR wrote that Mr. Berry said, "... it was an unintentional oversight."
Authority Bylaws: they make it clear
The Authority bylaws make it clear that the dates of its meetings are to be set "at its organization meeting in October."
The Authority minutes indicate that the Authority Board has never publically approved its meeting schedules at its organization meetings.
The LCR did not report if it asked Mr. Berry where he learned the meeting had not been advertised.
Jack Berry, has no problem showing his distain for ADA or the Observer: file photo
What is going on at tonight's meeting remains anybody's guess. At 9 am this morning, the LSHA agenda was still nowhere to be found on the Authority's website – in clear violation of the law. (See: Gov. Scott's Lake Shore Hosp Auth Has Public Dancing in the Dark, Again)
Run like a secret society, Governor Scott's handpicked Authority Board and its Manager, Jackson P. "Jack" Berry continue to make every effort to keep the public in the dark about its public business.
Additionally, floating on a sea of cash with millions in the bank, the Authority worries more about raises to its three overpaid employees than it does about handicapped accessibility.
The front door and other parts of the Authority Hdq. are still not handicapped accessible.
Photo credit: Mirror U.K., rexfeatures.com