Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online news service

Lake City News


2020-2019-2018 | •  2017-2016-2015

2014-2013 | • 2012-2011 | • 2010-2009

 Lake City News 2021

photo of Lake City Interim City Manager Ami Fields with caption: Interim City ManageInterim Lake City, City Manager Stays Put: Coup Fizzles After Mayor Admits All He Has Is “Hearsay”

Fire Chief Randy Burnham at the July 28 union negotiation.Lake City Fire Chief Randall “Randy” Burnham: A straight-up guy who backed his men 100%

photo of City Council with caption: More confusion at the city counci. Now it's raises for city workersAll City Workers To Get $15hr – Almost; City Council Confused About Other City Raises

Photo of Lake City Interim City Manager Ami Fields with captionCity $60 Mil Budget Hearing Kicks off at 4 pm. Salaries, Staffing, & Other Things May Be Discussed. Will the City Manager Speak Out?

City Councilman Chris Greene reads from his TRIM notice.Councilman Greene Leads Sneak Attack to Cancel Budget Workshop; Important Issues Pushed Aside; Public & Employees Left in the Lurch

Mayor Steve Witt and Councilman Chris Greene with caption: Only Mayor Witt and Councilman Greene recognized the inadequacy of the contractCity Council Approves Ami Fields Interim City Manager Contract (3-2): Contract is Incomplete

City Clerk Audrey Sikes and Fire Chief Randy Burnham with copy: Fire Chief calls a truce with City Clerk Audrey Sikes, withdraws complaint.Fire Chief Calls a Truce With City Clerk, Withdraws Complaint, No Investigation: “I didn’t want to put that burden on the taxpayers.”

A full house in Lake City, City HallReplacing the City Manager:  Pt I – Helfenberger Officially Gone; Foot Dragging City Attorney and City Council Costs Taxpayers Thousands

City Councilman Jake Hill makes a point.Replacing the City Manager: Pt II - Councilman Greene Wants a Headhunter; City Atty Predicts Fields “Likely to be Next City Manager”

Ami FieldsOn the City Docket Tonight: Council to Decide Next Steps For a Permanent City Manager

Lake City, City Hall: Elsa May Cause Evacuation As Winds Rise

City Manager Joe HelfenbergerCity Manager Helfenberger Responds to City Council Allegations: He Will Not Litigate if City Honors His Contract

City Attorney Fred Koberlein Took 'Poetic License' with City Manager Joe Helfenberger’s Suspension Language. How Much Is Too Much?

Columbia Cnty Econ Dev: Water to Plum Creek-Weyerhauser-Mega Industrial Park? 15 Years & Counting

Lake City Utilities back in the game

Eugene Jefferson and Joe Helfengerger with caption: Would the City Manager stay? All eyes were on veteran councilman Eugene JeffersonCity Manager Joe Helfenberger Suspended for 45 Days Pending a Final Resolution for His Removal

Town of Fort White To Get $75k From Columbia County Taxpayers For the Privilege of Providing It With Clean Water

Columbia County Courts and Others Getting Back to Normal, ‘Sort Of’

City Manager Joe Helfenberger Terminates HR Director. Other Directors Ask Him to Reconsider: Public Records and IT Security the Issues

City Attorney Fred Koberlein Invokes the Winnie-the-Pooh ‘Factor’ To Explain Fuzzy Resolution Title & Mystery $84k Prefab Building

Columbia County: Civilian Review of the Sheriff’s Office Nixed – Sheriff Say’s He Does It Himself

Lake City Medical Center Investing Additional $36 Mil In Improvements

Fourth Kayaktivism Event Scheduled for Saturday, May 29, on the Santa Fe River: Depleting the Springs and Plastic is the Issue

City Manager Joe Helfenberger Terminates HR Director. Other Directors Ask Him to Reconsider: Public Records and IT Security the Issues

City Attorney Fred Koberlein Invokes the Winnie-the-Pooh ‘Factor’ To Explain Fuzzy Resolution Title & Mystery $84k Prefab Building

photo of police with caption: a plan for police oversight for Lake City.Lake City Police Advisory Review Board: Councilman Sampson Has a Plan

Lake City Police Advisory Review Board: The Workshop – It Wasn’t Pretty

Mandy Rand Zooming to the cloudLake City IT: 3 Men Couldn’t Do What LC’s Former IT Director ‘Could,' Proving It Takes a Woman

Woman reflected in computer monitor with caption: Gone: women in Lake City IT. Councilman with 5 daughters want a report.With the Departure of Lake City IT Director Mandy Rand, Prof. Florida/N. FL Women Not Surprised at Her Treatment

State of the Art Green House Coming to Lake City. Green Life Farms Will Grow 3 mil Pounds of Environmentally Friendly Produce Yearly

Lake City IT Director Quits - Tells City Manager: “Another attack would destroy my career, jeopardize the City and my family.”

Mother and community activist Bea Faithful Coker addresses the City Council and Chief Gilmore. Columbia County Observer photos and graphicLake City Police Chief Argatha Gilmore Makes It Clear, She Answers to Nobody in Lake City

Olustee - ‘Second Thoughts’: Commissioner Robby Hollingsworth Shows Up At City Council, “It’s kinda’ strange, but here I am.”

Lake City Utility Advisory Committee Back on Track Again. City Administration and Attorney Faux Pas Cause Consternation – Confusion

Lake City – Columbia County, Utility Progress: While They Met About Gas – The Theme Was Cooperation

Daniel Sweat attending his first City meeting, with copy: Daniel Sweat, LC Assistant City Manager, left no stone unturned in his resignation letterAsst. Lake City Manager Daniel Sweat Resigns. His Resignation Letter Will Live as His Legacy About His Views of Lake City and His Co-Workers

Lake City’s Assistant City Manager Under Investigation: Will he dodge the bullet again?

Photo of Olustee battlel obelisk with copy: Olustee Battle Obelisk in a downtown Lake City park, owned by Columbia County. What is the County's next step?Lake City Legal Opinion: Olustee Park – Home of Confederate Monument – Owned By Columbia County

City Councilman Todd Sampson and Commissioner Rocky FordLake City & Columbia County Finally Smoke a Utility Peace Pipe. Agree to Cooperate

Lake City Turns Back the Clock on Utility Cooperation – Digs In For a Utility War: Is it too late for cooperation?

Lake City Residents Looking for Police Oversight By a Civilian Complaint Review Board, Not an Advisory Council

Lake City Vice Mayor Appears Before the County 5 to Discuss City Utility Policy & the City Budget: His Appearance Not Sanctioned by the City Council

Lake City & Columbia County: Finally, On the Cusp of Getting Their Utility Act Together

Lake City's Resolutions, Ordinances Have Issues: City Attorney Koberlein Invents New Legal Term

Lake City Not the Regional Utility Anymore: It's Now Up To the City Council Decide What It Wants the Utility to Be - Time Is Running Out

 • Meeting Calendar