Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

Columbia County/Lake City

Blanche on Lake City Docket: City Manager Johnson Fails to post Council agenda – Leaves public in dark

The City finally posted the agenda late Sunday morning. This is not the first time that City Manager Johnson has left the public in the dark about its upcoming business. This time it appears to be intentional.

LAKE CITY, FL – Taking a page from Gov. Scott's Lake Shore Hospital Authority's Jackson P. "Jack" Berry, City Manager Wendell Johnson failed to post the City agenda on the City's website for Monday's scheduled meeting. It was only after the Observer pressed the City that the City Manager finally saw to it that the agenda was posted – at approximately 10:45 this morning (after the Observer's initial news post at 10:35 am). The agenda was supposed to have been posted Friday and then Saturday night.

Beginning at 6:48 pm on Friday, after the Observer didn't receive its usual email with Monday night's agenda attached, your reporter tried to obtain the agenda for City Council meeting.

Links to Blanche stories are here.

Many Observer readers look for the City agenda to be posted by Saturday morning.

Meeting time change: not sent either

As it turned out, sometime last week the City also sent out a notice that there would be a presentation by Integrity Development Partners on Monday evening at 5:30 pm. The Observer has always received those. This also mysteriously didn't arrive from the City Manager's office.

Something Fishy or Just Bad Government?

This Monday night, at 5:15 pm, the Lake Shore Hospital Authority has its final Budget Hearing scheduled.

Previously, on September 3, a communication from the City Manager's Office stated that the Blanche Presentation was "scheduled for Monday, September 21, at 5:45 p.m. in the Council Chambers." It would have been tight, but the Governor's LSHA Board members and anyone who attended the Authority's Budget hearing would have been able to go down the block to attend the Integrity presentation as it began.

The City Manager had months to plan this. Was it just bad planning?

Getting the Information:
City Clerk Audrey Sikes. She tried.

A graphic received from the City appears to show that the agenda was emailed out after the close of business on Friday, precluding anyone who may have been interested in receiving it or viewing it on the City website from contacting the City before Monday, the date of the meeting. This is right out of the Lake Shore Hospital Authority playbook.

Beginning at 6:48 pm, Friday the 18th, when it became evident that the City's agenda was not arriving and it was not posted on the City's website, your reporter tried to obtain it for Saturday morning, or Saturday. The email chain of text messages between the City Clerk, Audrey Sikes, and your reporter speaks for itself

09/18/2015 Friday September 18

06:48 pm  From: Stew
Sorry 2 bother u: did city send out agendas 4 Monday? I have received NADA.

7:07 pm  From: Audrey
Yes you should have it. I just resent it to both your emails. Please let me know
if you don't have it.

08:09 pm  From: Audrey
Did they come through?


09:58 am  From: Stew
Good morning. I have received nada at either email. Hope someone else has. U may wish to call - or not.

10:27  From: Audrey
sent png image of email box

10:47 am  From: Stew
I c ur attachmnt. Did not receive it. Chkd city website. Not there. Mayb u could
forward it -- or not. Stew PS>

10:49 am  From: Stew
PS> chkd. City mail not blocked anywhere. More than 1 ave. for me to receive. Just one of those things :--) Enjoy the day.

11:25 am  From: Stew
U have mail. Now that's it. I will deal with it later on. Appreciate your interest.
Enjoy the weekend. Stew

02:12 pm  From: Audrey
You still don't have it?

04:14 pm  From: Stew
Just got back in. NADA. Have cked spam, jam, and the ham. It is nowhere.
Something is not right. Maybe Jack has cast a spell?

04:19 pm  From: Stew
PS> Keep in mind, I have been receiving Katy's, Joyce's, and Joyce O'Connel's
stuff. U may have a IT problemo. Can u forward from ur cell?

04:51 pm  From: Audrey
I have tried to forward from my cell. The original message came from Katy not me. I'll have to check on it Monday when I get in. Nothing else I can do. We forwarded it to IT for posting to website Friday as well. I will keep trying from my phone but it just keeps sitting in my outbox.

05:12 pm  From: Stew
Yes. U R the Queen of the Universe. Appreciate the try. Not your fault. Would
be no problem if posted to City Website, but it is not. Doesn't seem

05:15 pm  From: Stew
like City Manager is eating his spinach. He must be eating with Jack. Now I will
have to explain to readers. Enjoy the weekend :--)

07:09 pm  From: Audrey
I got a hold of the IT director he's going to get that [p]ousted tonight he said.

07:56 pm  From: Stew
Thanks. We'll c if it gets there. I am hearing from unhappy readers. They r used to sat morning. Sunday morning will have 2 do. I will let it hang till then.

08:00 pm  From: Stew
PS> I hope after all this effort it is worth it. Monday is supposed to be the

09/20/2015 Sunday Morning

09:58 am  From: Stew
Good morning. I have received nada at either email. Hope someone else has. U may wish to call - or not.

City Manager Wendell Johnson and Pravda

City Manager Johnson knows how to manipulate the news and the Lake City Reporter, Columbia County/Lake City's "hometown newspaper," a U.S. version of Pravda, doesn't mind being manipulated or doing the manipulating.

It was not a surprise to see in the "hometown" paper an announcement that the $20 million project is up for a vote on Monday night.

The details are being kept under wraps.

Comments (to add a comment go here)

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.


Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.


The CRA Master Plan is available here. (25Mb)


Links to Blanche stories are here.