Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Lake Shore Hosp Authority

Gov. Scott's LSHA Board Has 8 Minute Meeting: Refuses to post meeting agenda – Why?

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COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Governor Scott's Lake Shore Hospital Authority remains dug in. Last night, the Authority Board met for its September meeting. It breezed through it in a record setting eight minutes. While Hospital Authority Manager Berry and Board Chair Lory Chancy continue to not post its meeting agenda, or any of the supporting documentation, to the LSHA website, the rest of the Governor's out-of-touch Board shrugs, with its newest cherry-picked member, Dr. Ron Foreman, marching in step with the rest.

For practical purposes, the Authority agenda is available to the public only minutes before the meeting.

Last night, moments after the meeting was gaveled to order, Chairwoman Chancy asked for "public comments."

Manager Berry: he doesn't want the public to be informed and neither does Governor Scott's handpicked board.

Neither Governor Scott's Board, nor its commander – Jackson P. "Jack" Berry, accept general questions. From time to time, a member of the public might ask, but years ago the Board decided not to answer questions and only accept comments on agenda items. Not knowing what is on the agenda can make this difficult.

Emailing Authority Manager Berry a question elicits a response that he only responds to public record requests, if he responds at all, even though not responding is a violation of his contract.

A Scheme

While Manager Berry will email an agenda to members of the public, he generally waits, either until the last minute, or until after the meeting, to forward the requested information, making intelligent comments on agenda items virtually impossible.

Vague: the rule of thumb of the Governor's Board

The rule of thumb for a Lake Shore Hospital Authority agenda is: vague – the vaguer the better.

The Authority's document center (in the old days this was known as a copy machine) converts all documents into digital images. Mr. Berry decides whether to email the documents; save them as pdf digital files; or print them onto paper.

In last night's agenda, under new business, were the following: Renew Contract Agreement for Professional Services and Landscape Contract.

That was all the information made available to the public.

Generally, Scott's Board gets the supporting information, but Scott's Board members also won't make it available to the public – before or after the Board meetings.

In a concerted effort not to digitize any of the information, so as not to have to email it to anyone, the $55/hr Berry drives around the county, hand delivering copies of the information to the Governor's handpicked Board.

Professional Services Contract

The Professional Services Contract Renewal was for consulting services. It is not clear if the contract had expired or if the contract could or could not be renewed, or if the Governor's Board had a copy. None asked any questions about the contract or the contractor. Manager Berry did not mention the name of the firm.

Manager Berry told the Board, "We need to renew this. It was due to be renewed in February, but it just got on the back burner."


Governor Scott's Columbia County Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board: the legend continues.

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