Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.

from the publisher

Dear Commissioner Ronald Williams
I trust we are both with the Governor

Dear Commissioner Williams:

I am in receipt of administrative assistant Penny Stanley's emails regarding your wish to meet with me at the county commission offices this week.

Com Ronald Williams
Long time Columbia County Commissioner, Ronald Williams, makes a point.

I regret that I will not be able to meet with you. I am presently dealing with two sick goats, one who's nipple and half an udder has rotted off, another with a cyst in one udder and a case of mastitis, a donkey with a bum leg, and a horse with a cough that just won't seem to go away. Life on the farm can be interesting.

The purpose of your meeting is not clear and as you know, I like to be prepared. I think a meeting at this time would be counterintuitive.

You have already challenged me to a fight during a county commission meeting. It would probably not be in my best interest to meet with you alone to discuss what may be a contentious subject for you.

I believe that you are concerned about future county commission meetings and the rights of those speaking before the board. In that regard I respectfully submit the following:

  1. I have read the commission's rules of procedure for board meetings. You voted to approve them. I presume you know and understand them. I do.
  2. I have read the Attorney General's opinions regarding public meetings. I don't know if you have, but according the County Attorney's billing records of the Commission and every other agency he represents in Columbia County, he has read them about ten thousand times. If you have any questions regarding the AG's opinions, I suggest you contact Mr. Feagle.
  3. I have read the relevant portions of the Florida Statutes and understand them.
  4. I am a life long student of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. I gave up a student deferment sometime after the Bay of Pigs and crawled over H-bombs to protect us from folks who really had weapons of mass destruction and wanted to take away those rights. I value those rights -- I hope you do.
  5.  Regarding the Bill of Rights I respectfully refer you to the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the Fifth - Fourteenth Amendment(s).

Governor Crist set the bar

Gov Charlie Crist
Governor Charlie Crist.
(orig photo)

Commissioner Williams, Governor Crist set the bar after his election, when he said he will impose a higher code of ethics for state officials and make every agency run a top-to-bottom inventory of ways they can be more open and responsive to the public.

I am hoping that during your tenure as Board Chairman you will do the same for Columbia County.

Additionally, during the Governor's inaugural address he said, ''There are some in government who seek to elevate themselves with complexity and jargon ... This is the people's government and clear, plain language will be used to make it open and transparent to all."

I hope that you will try and make Columbia County "open and transparent to all."

The Governor concluded his address, "Finally, we must continue to strive to put government in the service of the people. Of the people, by the people and for the people-powerful words of Abraham Lincoln. Our Constitution requires that our government be open and transparent, and under my administration it will be like never before."

I hope and pray, that during your tenure as Columbia County Board Chairman, you will "strive to put government in the service of the people," and that Columbia County will be "transparent ... like never before."

Commissioner Williams, you have taken an Oath to uphold the Constitution and the Laws. I hope that you will think twice, act once and honor your oath as a servant to the Constitution and to the people of Columbia County. Stew Lilker