Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online news service

Lake City News

Councilman Chris Greene:  Vacations-Work Should Not Determine Lawful City Meeting Schedule

City Councilman Chris Greene

LAKE CITY, FL – Lake City Councilman Chris Greene, during the last City Council meeting said, "This Council should not rework our schedule for my work schedule." A few weeks before, the City Council did just that.


Related City Articles:
Councilman Greene:  Vacations-Work Should Not Determine Lawful City Meeting Schedule
January 21, 2020
City Manager Straightening Out City Meeting Scheduling Mess
City Attorney - Zero Direction

Jan 7, 2020
New City Atny Fred Koberlein: What Did He Say? Mayor Steve Witt:  We Will Get a Transcript
September 20, 2016
City Attorney Interviews – Flatlined – Completely Inaudible: City Violates Statute
September 19, 2016
City Atny Slot Goes to Koberlein, Councilman Elect Hill Ignored, Public Records Issue

September 1, 2016

Twenty-one years ago, the City Code, by ordinance, established the first and third Monday of every month to be the meeting days of the Lake City, City Council.

Current City Councilman Eugene Jefferson voted for the ordinance in 1999.

Other than the changing of the meeting times, the ordinance and City Code have remained the same: meetings are to be held on the first and third Monday of every month.

A City ordinance is the law of the City.

On December 16, 2019, the City staff and the Council hop-scotched its way through various meeting dates to accommodate City Councilman Chris Greene's work schedule, completely ignoring the City ordinance, and without any vote, reset the meetings for days other than the first and third Mondays.

Neither the City Council, nor the City staff, took into account that other municipal county or regional meetings may have been scheduled and occurring on the changed days.

City Attorney Fred Koberlein, Jr., sat silent and never advised the City Council of the City ordinance requiring Council meetings to be on the first and third Monday of the month: a 21 year old ordinance that until the hiring of Fred Koberlein, Jr., as City Attorney, appears to have been rigorously followed.

City Council: January 13, 2020

During the January 13, 2020, City Council meeting, your reporter said that the City Council and City staff should follow the City meeting ordinance and it would be unlawful not to, pointing out what City Attorney Koberlein should have pointed out a month ago. "The city council shall hold regular meetings on the first and third Monday of each month..."

Councilman Greene Steps Up to the Plate

Without hesitation and without pause, Councilman Greene addressed the City Council, "I agree with him [your reporter], a hundred percent. This Council should not rework our schedule for my work schedule. I don't think that I've ever said that we have to do that at all. We can accommodate one another and work within the law. Absolutely, I want to be as accommodating to anybody as possible, but I don't want this Council to do anything that we are not authorized to do to accommodate somebody's work schedule – mine or anybody else's or vacation schedule."

Councilman Greene concluded, "If that was the appearance of anything that I said, I want to be crystal clear that that is not my direction. I will follow what the council does, not the other way around."

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.

Meeting Calendar
No need to be confused - Find links to agendas and where your participation is welcome.

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