Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.

Columbia County News

Court House Cow Dung Display gets stamp of approval from highest county officials

There is no one who loves a practical joke more than I do!

There is a time and place for everything and such a Post Political prank on public property in front of the Columbia County Court House is most definitely not the proper place for such a political display.

Long time community resident and a former Chair Person of Habitat for Humanity, Barbara Lemley, had her name put on a tomb stone. Her crime, asking questions and putting a campaign sign on her front lawn. She told the Observer, "Of course I feel threatened. They singled me out and I don't know what they are going to do next."

Whoever approved such a display or was involved in the production and implementation of such a display on Public Property should be fired immediately, or if an elected official is involved, they should be removed from public office by the Governor.

I have serious concerns with this unfortunate Post Political Display and request a complete investigation along with corrective action and implementation of procedures to insure that such an event never happens again on public property.

My concerns are as follows:

1) Political Campaign signs used in the display are protected by Federal Law. Who removed these signs and implemented their use in the Post Political Display?

2) Anthrax is a derivative of cattle waste and cattle waste was used in this display on public property. Anthrax is a derivative of cattle waste and the use of cattle waste on public property could pose a potential health issue outlined by Homeland Security. Why wasn't a certified Haz-Mat Team used to remove cattle waste from the front of a public building?

3) A possible discriminatory act singling out one of five local political candidates who lost in the Tuesday 08-24-10. The particular political candidate is known to be highly conversational. There were three other County Commissioner candidates and one candidate for the State Legislator who also lost their election. They were not part of this political display.

4) Are the sub-tomb stones used in the Post Political display on Public Property meant to send a threatening message to the two people whose names appears on them? This could also be construed as a Federal Law violation.

Who is next victim of Columbia County's Good Old Boys?

Who is next person to be singled out in Columbia County for such a distasteful display, an African American or someone of the Jewish or Muslim faith, or some other citizen that does not agree with the political establishment of Columbia County?

Mr. Karl Burkhart, Owner/Editor of the Lake City Journal wrote: "Continuing a long-standing Columbia County political tradition, a mock grave was prepared following an election that may be considered career-ending."

I have read the Lake City Journal website since its inception almost a decade ago and The Lake City Reporter since 1999 and do not recall either vehicle ever reporting such a Post Political event in writing or a combination of the written word in conjunction with photography, nor do I recall such a discriminatory act singling out any candidate who lost an election.

Solving this should be simple if the Sheriff didn't disappear the video tape.

Solving who was involved should be a simple task in the fact the court house contains surveillance camera(s) and should contain video documentation of all those involved in this situation. Destroying of such video would just create and additional legal problem.

It appears that the Lake City Journal's Mr. Burkhardt was advised of this display beforehand. Could he have possibly been one of the "three elderly delinquents?" Mr. Burkhardt wrote: "The mock grave, covered with cow patties, appeared on the Courthouse entrance about 9 p.m. Wednesday. Three elderly delinquents were reported in the area at the time."

Why didn't Mr. Burkhardt call the police?

Why would Mr. Burkhardt be in front of the Columbia Court House on a Wednesday evening, camera in hand, and take a staged photo of the display? Again, if he was not directly involved I'm confident that he knows who was and would most definitely "roll" if confronted with an interview by a Federal Official on this issue.

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

On August 29, 2010 Majik from Lake City wrote:

     I have never seen another's name added to the juvenile Mock grave display, except the candidate that lost and that was not a primary election!  I hope that Mr. Wormer & Lemley can press charges for the display
     If the Sheriff does not want to look into this, then in my opinion that makes him  collusive to the crime/prank as well.  Wouldn't that be dereliction of duty to the citizen's that were added?  They do have rights which is what this county has sorely forgotten.  At the very least I believe there is a FL Statue about defacing a Government Building.
     Shame on those involved in this... You need to grow the hell up!


New Meeting Calendar New

Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.
(1 comment)