Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

County News

Charter Review Commission Drama: Veteran of Two Cycles, Audrey Bullard Resigns

Image of charter in background. Photos of Audrey Bullard and Sandra Smith

Read about the last CRC beginning here: Charter Review Commission up and running despite County being homeless
July, 15, 2011

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – In both 2006 and 2012, Audrey Bullard brought a touch of class and experience to the Columbia County Charter review process. Her sudden resignation yesterday morning, one day after the County 5 approved her appointment, was a surprise.

Ms. Bullard has been part of the Columbia County Charter review process since reviews began in 2006.

In both 2006 and 2012 she was appointed to the Charter Review Commission by District 1 commissioner Ronald Williams.

Audrey Bullard during the 2102 charter review process.
Audrey Bullard during the 2012 Charter Review Cycle. (Observer)

Ms. Bullard is a business woman, Florida Certified Public Accountant, and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration.

She is also a major land owner in Columbia County.

In 2006 Ms. Bullard supported the "Enhanced Public Notice" amendment which required the County post its agendas and supporting material on the County's website.

The Amendment was approved during the general election with over 80% approval.

During the 2012 Charter Revision Cycle, then County Chair Jody DuPree's appointee, Jackson P. "Jack" Berry, introduced what became known as the "Berry Amendment," which was intended to rescind the requirement of the County to post its agenda material on the County website.

County Manager Dale Williams came before the Commission and spoke on behalf of the Berry Amendment.

Ms. Bullard, as well as most of the other CRC members rejected the Berry Amendment and it never made it to the general election.

Charter Review Enabling  Resolution
Last minute change caused confusion

Sandra Smith at a recent Lake City, City Council meeting.
Sandra Smith brings decades of institutional knowledge to the Commission.

This past Thursday evening's June 20 County 5 resolution establishing the CRC becomes effective on June 30. Neither the resolution, the County Charter, nor the Florida Statutes give any direction regarding the seating of alternates. This is clearly a local decision by the County 5.

Before the resolution was passed, it was amended to include Sandra Smith and Sandra Buck-Camp as alternates. The amendment did not state what seat they would fill in the event of a resignation, nor did the amendment state who appointed them.

However, it was clear during the meeting that the 12th hour appointments by Commissioner Williams and Commissioner Nash were Ms. Smith and Ms. Buck-Camp respectively.

Commissioner Toby Witt did not appoint an alternate.

While it is possible for the County 5 to meet in a special meeting before July 1 to straighten out the confusion regarding which alternate gets seated where and when, this may not happen as the County Attorney announced during the meeting that he was leaving on vacation for two weeks.

Before he left for vacation, County Attorney Foreman advised Ms. Smith of Ms. Bullard's resignation and advised she would be filling the vacated District 1 seat.

Ms. Smith will bring over three decades of institutional knowledge regarding Lake City and Columbia County to the CRC.

While her style is the opposite of Ms. Bullard's, Ms. Smith will be a valuable addition to the CRC.


Photos of the five Columbia County Commissioners: Williams, Ford, Nash, Witt, Murphy
After thought: two women alternates picked at the 12th hour.

From the beginning, the County 5 did not take the charter review seriously.

As is clear from the preceding article, Charter Review Commission Appointments Tonight, No County Outreach or At-Large Members, if it wasn't for the work of County Attorney Foreman and Ms. Stanley in the board office, the required nominations may not have been made in time for this past Thursday's meeting.

The snickers in the audience may be a wake-up call for the infamous County 5, that it needs to pay closer attention to the people's business, but this is Columbia County.

Comments  (to add a comment go here) 

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Meeting Calendar
No need to be confused - Find links to agendas and where your participation is welcome.

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