Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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County 5 Reschedule Board Meeting On Night of Lake Shore Hosp Auth Budget Hearing: Why?

Posted September 2, 2014  11:40 am

County 5 confused Florida Association of Counties meetings. They are off to the beach.

Read more about Columbia County's infamous County 5.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Meeting scheduling of Columbia County's infamous County 5 (The 5) has once again given the back seat to Columbia County's residents. In order for The 5 to make a pilgrimage to rub shoulders with other county commissioners at the Florida Association of Counties (FAC), a lobbying group for Florida Counties, it has rescheduled its September 18th board meeting. It appears, that through no fault of its own, the rescheduled County 5 meeting is now at the same time as the Lake Shore Hospital Authority Budget Hearing, the special district encompassing all of the County.

On August 7, 2014, The 5, by a resolution on the Consent Agenda, changed its Thursday, September 18th meeting to Monday, September 15th. There was no mention of the reason for the change. The change was decided in the County's back room, where most of the County's real business is transacted.

The County 5 could not have known that under the direction of Hosp Auth Manager, Jack Berry, the Auth Budget Hearing was about to be rescheduled for Sept. 15th.

During the August 7 meeting, when the Observer questioned the reason for the date change, County Manager Dale Williams volunteered, "We have a number of commissioners that will be out on the [September] 18th. We had an availability of this room on the 15th, so we are requesting that we move it up so that everyone can participate."

The County meeting schedule for Florida's homeless county commission has been set since before the first of the year.

The Observer followed up, "Where are they going to be?"

CM Williams answered, "Some are going to be at the Florida Association of Counties. I believe one was out of town for other reasons."

The Observer, "I don't understand. You can change the meeting so they can go to the Florida Association of Counties, but you can't schedule a budget hearing on the night of a regular County Commission meeting. I don't understand why you have to cancel the meeting. It is not mandatory to go to a Florida Association of Counties meeting."

County 5 Chairman, Ronald Williams, said, "It's important for this County... This is a organizational meetin' where we make a calendar on what we want to put on our agenda for the next legislative session."

Meetings Confused: or a reason to go to the beach?

The September 17-19 FAC meeting is a Policy Conference. The Legislative Conference is scheduled for November 19-21.

Lake Shore Hospital Budget Hearing:
Also Scheduled for September 15

The Lake Shore Hospital Authority Budget Hearing is also scheduled for September 15. This is the same time as The County 5 rescheduled County Commission meeting.

The Authority met on August 11 at which time it cancelled its scheduled September 8 meeting and rescheduled it and its Budget Hearing for September 15.

The Lake Shore Hospital Authority still has not updated its web calendar. It shows the LSHA Board meeting scheduled for September 8.

The September 15 Authority Budget Hearing is not on the Authority calendar. It has been 3 weeks since it was rescheduled.

The proposed Authority budget is also not posted to the Authority website.

Authority Manager Jackson P. "Jack" Berry runs the Authority, which is under the direction of a Governor Scott appointed board. Manager Berry's total package to run a two person office costs the tax payers of Columbia County over $105,000 a year. It is not clear why he cannot keep the Authority website up to date.


Every year they collect millions in taxes.

The infamous County 5 and the Governor Scott appointed Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board: keeping the Columbia County legend alive.


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