Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.

Lake Shore Hospital Authority

Hospital Authority KO's working families
Republican Chief gets sweetheart deal

Ex Chief Jack BerryIt was business as usual last night at the Lake Shore Hospital Authority, as Columbia County once again lived up to its reputation as one of the last remaining "good old boy" encampments in the south, when the Hospital Authority picked the pockets of Columbia County's working families to benefit the past Republican Chief, Mr. "Free – White – and Over 21" himself -- Jack Berry, hiring him as what appears to be the nation's only part time hospital authority manager. The hospital authority has two employees.

Columbia Bank President and Authority Board member, Bruce Naylor kicked off the discussion about Mr. Berry's proposed contract.

Mr. Naylor explained that he had met with Board Attorney Marlin Feagle and the Authority's inside-outside accountant, Richard Powell, to discuss the Berry contract. The meeting was in March. Mr. Naylor failed to mention that Mr. Berry was also there.

Mr. Naylor was previously charged by the Board with verifying Mr. Berry’s employment and educational background.

Mr. Naylor told the Board, “I did not verify any employment.”

Mr. Berry claimed on his resume that he had "hospital administration" experience while in the military.

During the March meeting the Observer asked Bank President Naylor for a copy of Mr. Berry's DD214. Mr. Naylor told the Observer, "We don't have it and you're not getting it."

Then, during a break in the March meeting the Observer asked Mr. Feagle about Mr. Berry's DD214. Mr. Feagle told the Observer, "Jack say's he has it, but we don't have a copy."

Last night, almost a month later, Columbia Bank President Naylor told the Authority that he knew what a DD214 was and that he was not in the personnel business. He deferred the issue to Mr. Feagle.

Mr. Naylor then went through the proposed contract between Mr. Berry and the Authority.

The contract calls for Mr. Berry to work 3 days a week, or twenty four hours.

Mr. Naylor explained that Mr. Berry was given a 5% increase over the median salary due to Mr. Berry's experience. Mr. Naylor did not explain what that experience was. Mr. Berry's salary for the part time, three day position was boosted to $45,675.

Bank President Naylor also explained that the salary figures were based on what they thought the market was. Mr. Naylor did not explain how many part time Hospital Authority Manager positions were used in his calculations, or if this position even exists.

With the retirement benefits, health insurance benefits "comparable to Columbia County employees" and other benefits the realistic number for the past Republican chief's three day work week should be in the neighborhood of $60,000 a year.

Mr. Berry's 150 day work year translates into the equivalent of $400 a day or $50 per hour, making him in real dollars, the highest paid public employee in Columbia County.

Mr. Feagle explained that Mr. Berry is not required to keep track of his time. "There's no clock punching here or logging of hours."

It is unknown if the LSHA Board, that is the Board appointed by the governor, is ever going to require an employment check or educational check of Mr. Berry's claimed qualifications. 

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

On April 15, 2010, Andie from Lake City wrote:

Shouldn't someone in Tallahassee be made aware of this nepotism. It outrages the public but we are not in the position to correct it. The only change I see from the "good ole boy" syndrome in Lake City would have to be old age and death.

On April 15, 2010, David from Lake City wrote:

let me know how i can help, i want him out of there asap, who do i call/write/petition about this so called good ole boy


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Find out more about the LSHA
 • go to Index of stories
 • go to Mr. Berry's 14 line resume
 • go to the position description
Links about the Hosp Authority Manager
 • The October 26, 2010 description
 • The January 11, 2010 description