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More County Charter Review Commission Drama: Ozell Graham Drops Out – Glenel Bowden In

Lake City resident and appointment to the Columbia County Charter Review Commission
Glenel Bowden, pictured above, has a wealth of diversified life's experience in Lake City and beyond. His appointment to the Commission is scheduled to be approved on July 18.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – More confusion at the County Charter Review Commission (CRC) as it continues to have trouble getting off the launching pad.

Early yesterday evening your reporter confirmed with longtime District 1 Commissioner Ronald Williams that another of his picks for the CRC chose not to serve on the Commission.


As reported earlier, Charter Review Commission Appointments Tonight - No County Outreach or At-Large Members, the CRC 2020 election cycle got off to a bumpy start.

June 20, 2019 -- Columbia County's infamous County 5 ran the Charter Review Commission (CRC) appointments right down to the wire, giving Florida's only elected county attorney a case of agita, as the July 1 deadline approached. While reaching out across the County to recruit members, including members at-large was discussed early on, newly elected District 2 Commissioner Rocky Ford put the kibosh on that idea in May.

Matters seemed to be straightened out when on June 21, Commissioner Williams' approved nomination, Audrey Bullard resigned: Charter Review Commission Drama: Veteran of Two Cycles, Audrey Bullard Resigns

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.

On Thursday, June 27, the County's mainstream print media ran an article which quoted  Ozell Graham, Commissioner Williams' long time friend and CRC approved nomination as stating, "I did not put in an application and have not had any conversation in reference to the charter commission. I am not going to serve this time.”

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

The article did not state who, how or when the contact was made with Mr. Graham.

Applications are not required to be appointed to the CRC.

On Thursday, after the County had an on-again off-again special meeting planned for today (Friday) to deal with the CRC replacement isssues, County Attorney Foreman, who is on vacation, wrote in an email to the County that he had not received any notification from Mr. Graham regarding his resignation and he viewed the situation not to rise to the level of an emergency, as everything could be straightened out on July 18 during the next meeting of The 5.

Mr. Foreman did not mention that the section in the CRC enabling resolution regarding the appointments of alternates is in conflict with the method of appointments in the Florida statutes.

Mr. Foreman wrote in his correspondence that he had "received what I view to be reasonable questions about how this replacement process should work. I have adopted the Board's consensus as it was announced to me."

The problem is that the consensus appears to be in conflict with the facts and the consensus was never written down anywhere, which can make things very vague.

Mr. Foreman also requested that during the July 18 meeting the board formally adopt a "replacement process."

Commissioner Williams Weighed Yesterday Evening

Commissioner Ronald Williams
Commissioner Williams earlier this year while presiding over the board.

During a face to face conversation with Commissioner Williams early yesterday evening your reporter said that he didn't understand why his long time friend Ozell Graham would go to the paper without speaking to him first.

Commissioner Williams sort of smiled and just shook his head and said that he wasn't sure "if Ozell knew he was on the record."

Commissioner Williams also mentioned, "I spoke to him in November about it [the CRC appointment]."

Commissioner Williams added that "Ozell is busy on his farm" and wouldn't have time.

The Commissioner's New Nomination Glenel Bowden

Commissioner Williams said, "I am going to appoint Glenel Bowden to the Commission. He doesn't know it yet and if you speak to him let him know that I am going to call him."

Your reporter sent a text to Mr. Bowden which said in part that Commissioner Williams was going to appoint him to the Charter Review Commission. "Will you accept that nomination?"

A little over an hour later Mr. Bowden wrote, "Yes, I have the time and desire to serve our community."

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