Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake City

City Manager Grayson Cason: Mostly Couldn't Be Heard, Agenda Material Incomplete for $296k Job

LAKE CITY, FL – Columbia County and Lake City have one thing in common: a school district that does not teach the importance of effective government. Both local governments have been plagued by elected officials and appointed ones, all alumni of the Columbia County School District that come to public meetings and just cannot be heard or understood.

Monday night in City Hall was City Manager Grayson Cason's turn to be generally incomprehensible to members of the audience from barely 12 feet away.

The agenda backup material was also incomplete for an estimated $296,000 repair to City Hall.

The Attorney General

Almost half a century ago the Florida Attorney General's Office advised that discussions of public business which are audible only to “a select few” may violate the “openness” requirement of the law.

In relevant part the Attorney General wrote:

I cannot help but observe that discussions among city council members and staff members that are audible only to a select few ... might not satisfy the "openness" requirement of the Sunshine Law... I am of the view that the city council might well be advised to avoid even the appearance of impropriety by expending all efforts to conform to the spirit as well as the letter of the Sunshine Law.

City Manager Cason

City Manager Cason was barely audible, nothing new with Lake City's City Managers, as he began his presentation regarding a $296,000 repair to City Hall.

Then the air-conditioning kicked in and City Manager Cason's words were swallowed up until Chief Gilmore finally shut off the air-conditioning, which helped.

City Manager Cason was asking for an additional $17,000 to hire a structural engineer and architect to perform a general assessment of the building facade and western section of the second and third floor of City Hall. The mortar supporting the bricks has decayed to the point causing a safety concern to employees and citizens walking throughout the area.

According to the documents presented to the City Council and made available to the public on Friday, 3 pages titled "Attachment A",  laid out the substance and price breakdown of the engineering proposal and was what the Council was being asked to approve.

The attachment was not attached to the resolution. If anyone noticed it was not attached, they did not mention it. It passed unanimously.

The $296,000 Repair

City Manager Cason did not mention the vendor who provided the $296,000 estimate to repair City Hall.

A search of the City Website and Demand Star did not reveal that any bids for this service were made  or requested publically.

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