Florida Crown Invitation
Com Langford steps up – it takes a woman
Columbia County, FL (posted
March 15, 2010, at 07:55am)
A little over a year ago, with the country and the
region suffering a catastrophic financial meltdown not
seen since the
Great Depression and with unemployment soaring in
County Commissioner, Jody DuPree, in
what many consider one of the most thoughtless,
unconscionable and unsupported acts in the history of
Columbia County, pulled a motion out of his jacket
pocket – a
motion that was typed earlier in the day by the
staff of County Manager, Dale Williams – and threw one
of the nation's top performing workforce boards into
On March 5, 2009 the Columbia County Commission
moved to withdraw from the Florida Crown Consortium.
For almost a year, based on the actions of Com DuPree
and unanimously endorsed by the rest of the Columbia
County Commission, the
Florida Crown Consortium, which is the legislative
arm of the four counties in Workforce Region 7 (Columbia
– until it withdrew, Dixie, Gilchrist, and Union) has
been unrepresented in the region.
Florida Crown is the
employment and job training agency for Columbia
County, as well as the three other counties in Region 7.
Over the past year Region 7 and the state have been
forced to squander tens of thousands of dollars based on
the initial "rabbit in the hat" motion by Columbia
County Com DuPree.
Columbia County has never paid the
invoice for the thousand plus pages of copies
supplied by Florida Crown – money that could have been
spent helping to put people back to work. Florida Crown
research costs to accumulate the information. It is
unknown if anyone from the county ever read the
Gilchrist County Commissioner, Sharon Langford
On February 16th and 17th of 2010, both FCWB
Consortium Chairperson, Commissioner Sharon Langford of
Gilchrest County and Larry Thompson, Chairperson of the
Workforce Board sent letters (Ms.
Mr. Thompson) to Columbia County Commissioner Ronald
Williams inviting him unconditionally to the March 23rd
meetings at Florida Crown.
On March 5, 2010, exactly one year to the day that
Columbia County moved to withdraw from Florida Crown,
Consortium Chairperson, Sharon Langford, the past
chairperson of the Gilchrist County Commission, sent
Columbia County Commissioner, Ronald Williams an
unconditional invitation "to rejoin the Consortium
as a full and equal member."
Com Langford further stated, "I have prepared a
by which Columbia County can rejoin the Consortium and
we are prepared to seat you at the March 23rd meeting,
if you so desire."
This past Friday, March12th, your reporter spoke with
It turns out that Ms. Langford is used to solving
problems. Besides being the Florida Crown Consortium
Chairperson and the past Chair of the Gilchrist County
Commission, she is a math teacher and is now the math
coach of the Gilchrist County school district, whose
High School is rated as one of the best in Florida and
Ms. Langford told the Observer, "It is my hope and I
believe that I can speak for the rest of the consortium
members, that Columbia County will return to become a
member of the consortium -- I just hope that they will."
This Thursday evening, the Columbia County Commission
is scheduled to meet. One would expect this item will be
on the meeting agenda.