Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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County Commission News

Economic Development the Columbia County Way, in their very own words.

As Columbia County does its very best to mangle anything that resembles good government, County Commission Chairman, Jody DuPree, has now come up with a new scheme to keep the public in the dark, violate the County Charter, and most important for Mr. DuPree and the County Commission, keep from having to answer questions.

Columbia County is a municipal corporation valued at over $100,000,000 with approximately 70,000 residents. The County Commissioners are the elected Board of Directors. What would Warren Buffet think of the following conversation? Would he invest here? Would you?

At this past Thursday's County Commission meeting, in a continuing scheme to keep from having to announce their intentions and provide supporting documentation, Chairman DuPree and Commissioner Williams waited until the evening's agenda was completed and then, invoking the famous "Feagle feel like it principle," just added what they felt like discussing and enacting. As in the past, it was obvious that there were conversations going on about the items before the meeting.

The tale of the tape

The agenda is completed and the good ole boys make their move.

The tape (click speaker to listen)


Com Williams:

(Listen carefully, as 32 year veteran Commissioner
Ronald Williams kicks off the conversation and delivers his
three economic development talking points.

At 02:58

(Com DuPree makes a motion purportedly based
on the remarks of Com Williams.

Com DuPree:  "I entertain a motion that the board directs staff to develop a management plan for economic development purposes for I 10 - forty one, forty one exchanges and its connection."

Com Frisina:  "So moved."

At 03:25

(Com Bailey jumps in. Listen for the "sewer system that
has potential." It is common knowledge that the package plant
[sewer] that he is talking about in Ellisville is on its last legs.

At 04:00

(Com Frasina asks how many sites there were originally.)

Com Bailey:  "I think it was five."

Com Frisina:  "He needs to do it for the whole five sites."

Com Williams:  "I said that to start with." 

At 04:58

(Com Frasina asks all five sites be included in the motion.

Com DuPree:  "Do you amend your second?"

Com Williams:  My original conversation was the roadery sites.

At 05:53

Com DePratter:  I feel like we're jumping ahead of the horse here - we just created a new Columbia County Economic Development Department.  I thought that was the task we were giving to them.  Why is the Board jumping in here... ahead of the game? We haven't given this Board a chance and that's what the Board's developed for. We're a little bit ahead of the game... I agree with it - but.

At 05:56

(Com Williams explains)

At 06:44

(Com DuPree explains what he thinks and what he has
been asked about by the mystery people

At 07:18

(Com Bailey explains what he hears from Com Williams.
Mr. Bailey is not sure that a motion is necessary

At 07:52

Com DePratter:  We've made a motion.

(to the Clerk)

I'll have to hear the motion back.

Clerk Markham:  You'll have to get him to clarify, but it was to develop a management plan.

The Observer:  Who?

Unknown speaker:  Just ask.

The Observer:  He said staff. That's what he (DuPree) said.

Com DuPree:  Mr. Lilker - Mr. Lilker.

The Observer:  I'm just trying to understand.

Com DuPree:  You're not part of this discussion, sir.

The Observer:  I'm trying to understand this discussion.

At 08:05

(Com Williams and everybody explains)

At 08:26

(Com DuPree jumps into the fray)

Com DuPree:  Let's make sure we all understand what roles people play around here. Now the role that the Economic Development Board plays is gonna be - they take the direction of this board. They develop plans to accomplish their task. To this day - to this day this board has never done anything to task that ...

(Com DuPree talks for the next two minutes explaining
everything including delivering this memorable line:
"An example of that would be Ellisville. The Board has
already tooken action about TIFT being created in Ellisville."

At 10:21

Com DuPree (concludes): I have a motion and a second.

Com DePratter: I don't know if the motion states that. Does the motion state what you just said then?

Clerk Markham:  The motion is to develop an economic development - to develop a management plan for all five

Com Williams:  Rotary sites

Clerk Markham: Sites

Com DePratter:  From the Economic Development ~inaudible~ ?

Com DuPree:  OK. All in favor say aye.

(It was unanimous)

And there you have it. Economic Development the Columbia County way.


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