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Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake City News

City Leaves Public in the Dark About Pending Issues at Council Meeting Tonight


City Manager Helfenberger

LAKE CITY, FL – Tonight in City Hall, the City Council has an extensive agenda with 14 ordinances and 9 resolutions on the docket. The agenda with all supporting information is 406 pages and has not been made available on the internet. Neither has the short version.

Florida law mandates that the public be given the right to comment.

Specifically, FL statute 286.0114 (Senate Bill 50) states in relevant part:

Members of the public shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a proposition before a board or commission. The opportunity to be heard need not occur at the same meeting at which the board or commission takes official action on the proposition if the opportunity occurs at a meeting that is during the decision-making process and is within reasonable proximity in time before the meeting at which the board or commission takes the official action. This section does not prohibit a board or commission from maintaining orderly conduct or proper decorum in a public meeting. The opportunity to be heard is subject to rules or policies adopted by the board or commission, as provided in subsection (4).

In order to be able to comment intelligently, the public needs access to the information and the time to review it.

The City has made neither this evening's short agenda, nor the complete agenda packet available on the City website, leaving the public in the dark.

At approximately 5:30 pm on Friday evening, March 1, City Clerk Audrey Sikes sent via drop box the 406 page agenda packet with all supporting information to the media and various City officials.

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Tonight's March 4, 2019 Agenda.

The meeting begins at 6:00 pm.