Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Lake Shore Hosp Authority

In 2014 Blacks Don't Vote On The Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board: There Are None

Now the whole Board "is free, white, and over twenty-one"

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – On October 6, 2008, present Lake Shore Hospital Manager, Jackson P. "Jack" Berry, was Chairman of the Lake Shore Hospital Authority (LSHA). Mr. Berry, who had repeatedly demonstrated that he did not like answering questions, had been stonewalling this reporter's questions for some time.

On the night of October 6, 2008, your reporter posed a question about the accounting practices of the Authority Board, referencing the fact that the Authority's outside auditor was also its accountant.

When no one would answer the question, your reporter asked, "Mr. Chairman, is anybody allowed to answer any of these questions at these meetings?”

Mr. Berry responded, "If they’re free, white and over twenty-one."

When the Observer questioned the remark Mr. Berry said, “Mr. Lilker, your time is up.”


Six years later the Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board still won't answer questions.

Now the Board is all white, free, and over twenty-one.

Since at least 1996, there has always been an African American representative on the LSHA Board.

The only statistics the Authority used to release publically were the number of its clients. Manager Berry, with the support of the Board, stopped doing that at the last meeting. It is thought that African American clients represent about 50% of its client base.

On the Anniversary of the murder of voting rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner black folks now don't have to worry about voting on the Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board: There are none.


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LSHA stories are here. (scroll down to the first two stories for more information on "Free, white and over twenty-one."


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