Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Lake Shore Hosp Authority

Lake DeSoto Deforestation Complete, "Chainsaw" Jack & Gov Scott's Hosp Auth Board Silent

Looking out before the deforestation and looking in after the chain saws left. Councilwoman Moses was "satisfied" with the new look. There are no plans to renovate.

COLUMBIA COUNTY/LAKE CITY, FL – Monday at Governor Scott's Lake Shore Hospital board meeting, none of the Governor's Board members had a single question about the recent deforestation at the back of the Authority owned hospital on Lake Desoto, except Bd. Member Janet Creel. On Tuesday, the Lake City Community Redevelopment Advisory Board met. The comments at that meeting were attention grabbers, especially that of City Councilwoman Melinda Moses who said she was satisfied with the new look.

The Lake Shore Hospital Authority
Another Record for Rudeness

Monday's July 11, thirty eight minute Hospital Authority meeting set another record for rudeness from the Governor's Board and Authority Manager Jackson P. "Jack" Berry, who turned his back on Columbia County/Lake City resident and business owner Barbara Lemley when she came to the microphone to address the Board.

Before the meeting, Ms. Lemley told the Observer that she intended to address the deforestation and missing monument in the little park in the area of the felled trees.

Manager Berry remained turned away from Ms. Lemley after she returned to her seat.

By the time she had walked to the lectern to address the Board and Manager Berry, Mr. Berry had pivoted his back toward her and put his hand over his face.

After Ms. Lemley returned to her seat she told your reporter that she was so disgusted with Mr. Berry's continued rudeness and Board member complacence that she decided not to bring up the matters. "They obviously approve of his behavior," she said.

The Trees

Go to: Berry (in blue) watching the trees come down in June.

The only mention of the trees during the meeting was during a budget presentation by the Authority's accountant – financial advisor – outside auditor (all one person) Richard Powell.

Board member Janet Creel asked about something concerning the trees, but she spoke so quietly she was barely audible.

Mr. Berry, still looking away from Ms. Lemley, who had returned to her seat, made an unintelligible remark. His hand was in front of his face for the entire meeting.

Tuesday, July 12: Lake City CRAC

On Tuesday evening the City Community Redevelopment Advisory Committee (CRAC) met.

LSHA Bd. Member Brando Biel is the Authority's representative on the committee. Mr. Biel was MIA.

However, Authority Manager Berry appeared at the meeting for a little while. His reason for being in attendance was not explained. The CRAC does not use alternates.

Mr. Berry did clarify his reason for attending the meeting. When the clerk called the roll she called, "Mr. Berry," who responded, "I'm not here."

Mr. Berry sat around for a while, shared no Hospital Authority business; then, without a word, just stood up and left.

If Mr. Berry would have stayed a while longer he may have been able to contribute to the discussion regarding the Authority's deforestation on Lake DeSoto.

Ms. Lemley asked the CRAC, "Is the advisory committee satisfied with the look now that the trees have been removed adjacent to the hospital?"

Without a pause, committee chairperson, Councilwoman Melinda Moses announced, "I am."

Long time Committee member Jeff Simmons added, "It's cleared. That's for sure."

No one else commented. Ms. Lemley followed up, "Are there any plans to improve the appearance of that area?"

Ms. Moses said, "I'm not aware of anything, are you Mr. Johnson?"

Thirty year downtown veteran, Sandra Smith, referring to the City's beautification ordinance, asked of no one in particular, "No beautification?"

City Manager Johnson concluded the discussion, "You're talkin' about where they removed the trees? I don't know what the Hospital Authority's plan is, but I'm sure there's gonna be some improvements over there. That's up to the Hospital Authority Board, not this committee. That's my opinion, but I don't know."

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More LSHA stories are here.

LSHA 8 (clockwise from top):
Koby Adams - political operative and Liz Porter's Chief of staff
Brandon Biel - latest Scott appointee and a young republican on the move
Dr. Waseem Khan - a board member who
lives out of the county
Janet Creel - real estate broker
Ron Foreman - father of the County Atny
Tim Murphy - a nice guy, talented welder, clueless about government
Board Chairwoman Lory Chancy - her main job appears to be not to answer questions and to protect Columbia County's legendary political operative, Jackson P. "Jack" Berry (in the middle).


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