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Columbia County Observer

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County News

Florida Gateway College President Nixes Legislative Delegation Broadcast & Recording 

FGC President Larry Barrett
Columbia County Observer photo & graphic

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Florida Gateway College President Larry Barrett, Ph.D., decided this afternoon (Sunday) that the College would neither record nor broadcast the legislative delegation meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:00 am.

The legislative delegation meeting is a time for the public, politicians, and elected officials like the County Manager, City Manager, Sheriff, and others to publically make their case for more money or other things to their elected Tallahassee representatives.

Palm Beach State College public safety complex
The Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation met at Palm Beach State College. There was no problem broadcasting and putting that meeting online.

With this year’s meeting being held at Florida Gateway College (FGC) in the College Board Room, there is no reason for FGC not to broadcast and save the meeting for future reference by the public. The College could also record it and ask the County to post it.

Last year’s Delegation meeting was also held in the FGC Board Room, and President Barrett did not record or broadcast that meeting.

This morning, your reporter via text message asked President Barrett if he was “going to simulcast or broadcast” the year’s meeting and then “post it so folks can watch it at another time?”

The meeting is being held at 9:00 am when most folks are working.

Palm Beach State College President Dr. Ava L. Parker
Palm Beach State College President Dr. Ava Parker appeared before the delegation. It is unknown if FGC President Barrett will be attending his delegation meeting.

President Barrett responded that he would check.

Your reporter replied that the meeting would be “broadcast and posted for future reference if you tell them to do it. What staff member is responsible for that decision?”

Three and a half hours later, President Barrett responded, "Unfortunately, the meeting will not be taped. The College is just lending out the space, and we will not be recording it."

At about 6:30 pm, your reporter contacted President Barrett again about the meeting. There was no response.

Your reporter spoke with a few people throughout the day – college students, business people, and high-ranking public officials. It was unanimous that the College should broadcast and record the meeting as a public service.

The College has spent money adding cameras and upgrading the audio system of its boardroom. All are remotely controlled, and past delegations complained that there was no working microphone at the podium. The College fixed that.

The last time the Legislative Delegation met at the County School District Auditorium, the County broadcast and recorded the meeting for future reference. There were no cameras in the facility.

When asked if the County would have broadcast and recorded tomorrow’s Delegation meeting if held at the School District (where the County holds its Commission meetings), County Manager David Kraus told your reporter, "Yes, we did it last time, and of course we would do it again.”


Columbia County, Florida: the legend continues.

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