Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Lake Shore Hosp Authority

Gov. Scott's Lake Shore Hosp Auth Bd: Web Design on the Docket Tonight – Another Rubber Stamp?

$4,950 so the indigent can view the website on their iPhones?

The present website on an iPhone.
          Click to enlarge

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – On the Lake Shore Hosp Auth docket tonight are two items of public interest: one under "unfinished business" labeled "website update;" the other "action item" labeled "website." Historically, the Authority provides no other information to the public. Tonight is no exception. It is not clear what the Governor appointed Board will be reviewing, nor on what they are voting.

During the November 10, 2014 Authority meeting Board Chair Lory Chancy told the Board, "We do need to update our webpage and put it on our new digital format with our new server that offers digital."

It is not clear what she was talking about.

Authority Manager, Jack Berry, added, "This webpage that we have now has been there since 2007 or eight. It's time to upgrade it and make it more user-friendly for the public. Make it easier to operate and we got a proposal on it. There is only one company that I know of that does this in this area."

A quick search using Google produced website designers in Lake City. Board member Stephen Douglas's company uses a Lake City web designer.

The present website on an iPad.
                             Click to enlarge

Manager Berry advised the Board that a proposal was handed out earlier to the Board from DirectionWorks, the firm that originally designed the Authority's website. The fee was $4,950.

After the Board shuffled through its papers, Board member and Rep. Elizabeth Porter's chief legislative aide, Koby Adams asked, "Bell, Florida?"

Manager Berry replied, "Yup. She [Terry Gray - DirectionWorks]  designed our first website and I think it was about $4,000, if I remember correctly, so she hadn't gone up much since 2007 or eight -- whenever it was."

More LSHA stories are here.

An examination of the Authority minutes documents that the "Website Design" was approved on March 10, 2008 for $800. The motion read: Bruce Naylor made a motion to contract with Terry Gray, DirectionWorks, for $800.00 for website design.  Dr. Robin Hall seconded the motion.  All were in favor.

On November 18, 2014, the Observer requested the contract(s) between DirectionWorks and the Lake Shore Hosp. Auth.

Authority Manager Berry responded, "There is no written contract."

The DirectionWorks quote is $50 under the Authority's $5,000 threshold to go out for quotes.

Board member Marc Vann inquired, "What are we tryin' to accomplish with this?"

Manager Berry responded, "We'll be able to put our applications and all online. People can fill out the applications -- bring em' in to us. And I mean - we'll be able to put all the public records out there."

There is nothing inhibiting the Authority from putting its applications or public records online now with the present website.

Mr. Adams interjected, "Let me interject. We're now with indigent people. How many of them are going to have a computer to fill out an application?"

Manager Berry on the Authority Clients

Manager Berry answered, "You would be surprised. They can't afford the healthcare, but they can sure afford cell phones and computers."

Mr. Adams followed up, "Are we gonna be able -- If I wanna get on there and get all my information -- I can just go click and download it and print it off?"

Manager Berry, "As a matter of fact, that's what we're headed for."

Last month the Observer posted what was verifiably available to the Board. There is nothing stopping Manager Berry from doing this now, except lack of knowledge and will.

DirectionWorks' Gray told the Observer that the upgraded website would be friendlier for use with iPhones and iPads.

The Observer could find no one that found the present Authority website rendering on those popular Apple products objectionable. The most common remark was, "What's wrong with that?"

Tonight at about 5:15 pm, Governor Scott's Board will decide whether to spend almost $5,000 to upgrade the Authority website, as it investigates the sale of the hospital.

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