Stew Lilker’s 

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper



WEATHER:  Today Tonight
City Council - Tonight - 7pm
AgendaAgenda Packet

Happy Birthday Clean Water Act: Legislation Turns 42 Saturday

The lower Santa Fe River, Columbia County. (Photo: SRWMD)

Tourist Development Council Meets - Number 4 Pick Recommended to The 5 - Nobody Smiling

Posted October 16, 2014  09:21 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Yesterday's high noon meeting of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) gave no surprise when the TDC was presented with a choice to either buck up against the County 5 (The 5) again, and seek a qualified TDC Director with tourism, sports, and vacation experience, or to go along with The 5's flexed muscle appointment of Paula Vann, the daughter-in-law of one of Columbia County's premier good ole' boys, Marc Vann.
(Photo: Hotel Owner Mahendra Patel, along with everyone else, was not smiling about the recommendation to hire Paula Vann.)

Lake City Branded: "Gateway to Florida" Changed
Committee Approves Logos & Signage

Lake Shore Hosp Auth: Berry Calls Cops - Again
LCPD: "They can kick out whoever they want."

Lake Shore Hosp Auth: Jack Berry Takes Credit  Lake City Reporter Prints Lie

Ex Employee: "You published lies in your paper"

Ex employee, Sue Fraze

North FL Broadband Authority:  The Termination   Bad Feelings – No Kind Words – Broke

County Economic Development Advisory Board  Talks of Tennis – Double Faults Into Disarray

Posted October 9, 2014  09:35 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Yesterday's Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) meeting double faulted into a meltdown of disarray as the members questioned the purpose and direction of the Advisory Board. Newly hired Economic Development Director, Glen Hunter, who had been under fire for being involved in meetings regarding grandiose plans for a tennis center, tried to clear the air without much success. In a bizarre action, Mr. Hunter asked the EDAB to approve the 2015 Economic Development Budget, a budget which had been approved by the County 5 last month.

North Florida Broadband Authority
$30,000,000 Stimulus Project On Death Row

North Florida Broadband Authority:
Lake City Manager Wendell Johnson Recommends 'Abandon Ship'

Did The 5 Drop the Ball: Will County Web Designer-Programmer Be Lured Away By Fair Pay?

Posted October 3, 2014  11:59 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Last night, after months of backroom dealing and squandering tens of thousands on useless and unused salary studies, the County 5 once again had on the table the salary of the County's in-house programmer/web designer. After working in the shadows for months, The 5 finally reached an agreement that could be publically discussed. Sitting on a stash of cash estimated to be about $40,000,000, The 5 finally agreed to change the job title and admitted that the employee had been doing much more than for what he was hired. The unanimous raise was barely competitive and represents .029% of the county's cash stash.

Funding To Protect Ichetucknee Springs
Tax Dollars Doing What They Are Supposed To Do

Posted October 2, 2014  07:15 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Businesses in the City of Lake City and Columbia County will protect the Ichetucknee Springs through a water conservation initiative funded by Springs Grants funding paid for with tax dollars. The grant funding was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Scott. According to the Water Management District, "The project is estimated to save 32 million gallons per year, benefitting the Ichetucknee Springs as well as other springs in the Lower Santa Fe River."

Looking For A Career Change?
Tech Jobs Leading the Way

Florida's New Normals?:
Ray Rice, Jameis Winston, Rick Scott

Hospital Auth Budget Presentation a Bust; Loyalty Deserves Money; Meeting Goes Deep South Ugly

The 5 Pass $104,911,711 Budget Without A Word
Pass on Nash Gas; $10k Salary Increases; More

Hosp Auth Gives $1,000 Cash Bonuses - Just Tip of the Iceberg:  Berry Hires Away 12 Yr. LC Chamber Employee To Replace Deposed Veteran

Lake Shore Hosp Authority
Salaries Over Time: the tale of the tape

Lake Shore Hosp Auth Chairman Tosses Resident: Tells Her, "Keep your mouth closed"

Lake Shore Hosp Auth: Violation of the Law and Public Trust Requires Action By the State Attorney

Illegal meeting on tap for tonight

Man's best friend rescued - then becomes boys best friend 

•  Meeting Calendar

Bill Day's Latest Cartoon

Crist's Electric Fan: Did it short circuit Scott's reelection plans?

"Koch Sisters" Use Notorious Name as Platform

FSU’s Presidential ‘Choice’: Florida Cronyism Really Works

County Jail Gets New Customers

FSU Presidential Search: a Farce

Sunshine State Ranks Low in Happiness

Good News: Gas Down Again Last Week

Calls for More Funding for Childhood Cancer Research

BP Found "Grossly Negligent" in 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

Needed: Higher Education, Not Higher Student Debt

EEOC Sues Two Florida Firms for Sexual Harassment:
Alleged - Farmworker Women Subjected to Rape, Coerced Sex, Groping and Verbal Abuse

For The Dogs: It's Time to Separate Greyhound Racing From Other Gambling

Scott Leading Crist In AARP Voter Survey

Robin Williams' Star Power Shines Light on Suicide, Depression

Bogus Allegations:
The Injustice of Guilty until Proven Innocent