Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Lake City News

City Council 6 pm Tonight: Will This Be Another Popcorn Night As Lake City Weighs In On Issues That Affect Its Reputation Across FL?

Photo: Prateek-Katyal via Pexels | Columbia County Observer Graphic

LAKE CITY, FL – Tonight, the public is bracing for another Lake City popcorn extravaganza, the kind of entertainment that Lake City – Columbia County residents and Floridians have come to expect from a City Council that goes over the edge, pays no attention to its most basic rules of decorum and is officiated by a Mayor who is constantly bullied or under attack by a former drug kingpin and community activist who at times seems to be running the meetings and recently has begun instructing the Mayor how to vote.

Tonight’s City Agenda

One should keep an eye on three items during tonight's meeting.

Item 10: An Airport Lease Agreement With No Fair Market Value

Item 10 Authorizes a lease agreement with Jayviation, Inc. for leasing a parking lot located at the Lake City Gateway Airport for a month-to-month term.

It is tough to find, but the backup material reveals that Jayviation is seeking approval to lease a parking lot (43,450 sq ft) at the City Airport for $300 a month or .00690 cents a square foot.

There is no reference to fair market value, which seems to be more than seven-one-hundred-thousandths of a cent per square foot.

The City's latest airport manager, Ed Brunnell, maybe at the meeting to explain.

Googling Jayviation, Inc. reveals nothing substaitial about the company.

Item 12: Requesting an AG opinion on the appointment of Sylvester Warren to the P&Z

City Councilman Todd Sampson is seeking Council member support to request an Attorney General Opinion (AGO) regarding the appointment of Sylvester Warren, a federally convicted felon without clemency, to be seated on the City’s Planning & Zoning board (P&Z).

During the last Council meeting, City Attorney Todd Kennon ignored the Council's published rules of procedure and decorum, jumping into Council conversations like he was discussing the issue at a local bar and grill.

Mr. Kennon previously usurped City Clerk Audrey Sikes’ authority to prepare the agenda and told the Clerk’s Office not to include his opinion with the agenda backup or supporting material, robbing the public of its right to know the pendency of issues before the City Council.

See: City Attorney Finds Council Appointment of Sylvester Warren to P&Z Unconstitutional, Then Keeps His Opinion Out of the Public Eye

Mr. Kennon’s legal opinion is here. The Observer added the highlighting. It is this version of the opinion that one may find on some local FaceBooker’s FB pages without attribution.

Long story short: City Attorney Kennon found that Sylvester Warren's appointment to the P&Z did not meet Florida's constitutional muster.

One of the highlights of the Warren appointment conversation during the June 5 Council meeting was Councilwoman Young complaining there was no supporting information.

If it makes it to the discussion stage, this conversation should be interesting. Tonight's agenda includes the opinion.

Item 13: Interaction between the City Clerk, the City Attorney, and the City Council – Whatever that means – no supporting info

This item appears on the agenda this way -- Possible Action: Interaction between City Clerk and City Attorney; Interaction between City Clerk, City Attorney, and the City Council.

Agenda item 13 was added to the agenda by City Councilwoman Chevella Young. The item includes no supporting information.

For a week before the item appeared on the City's agenda, an agenda which is generally finalized at the 12th hour, it was all over the street that what Ms. Young had in mind was to remove (as in fire) two of the three Council’s contracted individuals: City Clerk Audrey Sikes and City Attorney Todd Kennon.

However, this is not stated on the agenda, there is no supporting information, and the City has an approved policy (2009) called Council-Employee Interactions.

The City Council has three direct hires: City Manager, City Clerk, and City Attorney. Only the City Clerk is a City Charter Officer.

One of the highlights of the policy, which  has been ignored more often than not by the City Council and the Mayor, is the included Harassment Policy which states [abridged]

It is the policy that the Council and employees strive to create an operating environment that is productive and free from intimidation, hostility, or other adversity. This includes harassment of any sort - verbal, physical, visual.

As described in the agenda, Councilwoman Young's item description is misleading if its actual intent is to terminate Ms. Sikes and Mr. Kennon.

Once again, the people of Lake City and elsewhere would have no idea of the true intent of another agenda item in Lake City's agenda, or more adequately described as a "bag of tricks."

Item 14: Attorney Bills – Brought to the agenda by Councilwoman Young

Ms. Young is calling for a "discussion and possible action." The point of the item will be unknown until the meeting, and the action is anybody's guess.

“Anybody’s guess” is not a fair way to treat the public.

This item included the attorney billing backup material. It is not a pretty sight, except for Danielle Adams, who is the only attorney who appears to try and not bundle her billing, a procedure frowned upon by those who are experts in legal billing auditing.


Lake City has been failing in transparency and accountability.

Tune in tonight to view the infamous Lake City City Council in action.

The meeting begins at 6 pm and can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC28Eyfa2Uogc-8VTWqafG3w

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.