Good ole boy and former Republican Chief gets
Hospital Authority Nod
County, FL (Posted March 9, 2010 at 09:55 am)
Former Authority Chairman Berry makes a point at his
interview. During his tenure as Authority Chairman, Mr.
banned photographs at Authority meetings.
No one was surprised last night when the former
Columbia County Republican Chief and Hospital Authority
Chairman, Jack Berry, was hired by his old board to be
the Authority's first paid manager, just months after
resigning from the Lake Shore Hospital Authority. The Authority has two employees.
In Columbia County, where impropriety or the
appearance of impropriety takes a back seat to no one,
former Authority Chairman Berry, who in other parts of
the civilized world would have been taken out of
consideration for his racist remarks, his secretive
ways, his obliteration of the state's Sunshine Laws, his
animosity toward the handicapped or his misplaced belief
that Republican Party rules trump the County Charter,
the Florida Statutes and the Constitution of the United
States, was ranked number one last night in a vote that
surprised no one.
The march to the position
Authority Chairman Marc Vann along with veteran
Authority staff member Sue Fraze and Richard Powell, the
inside accountant, outside auditor and financial advisor
for the Authority, tally the votes for the position.
On December 10, 2007, Mr. Berry, then the Chairman of
the Authority, began paving the way for the position of
a paid executive director for the Authority. The
Authority had one employee.
After bobbing to the surface a few times between 2008
and August of 2009, on August 10, 2009, during the
Authority's illegal budget workshop, Chairman Berry,
surfaced once again, like the
white whale, with his executive director
position. This time the die was cast and the position
was here to stay. The Authority now had two employees.
The following month, during the September 14, 2009
Board meeting, Dr. Waseem Khan discussed an Executive
Director job description. This is not mentioned anywhere
in the Authority's September minutes.
At the conclusion of the September 14th Board
meeting, after the Executive Director job description
was discussed, suddenly and without warning, Chairman
Berry announced that he would be submitting his
resignation from the LSHA Board, effective Friday,
October 9, 2009.
At the October 12, 2009, Board meeting, Dr. Khan
distributed an Executive Director job description to the
The fix – was it in?
During the Authority's subsequent meetings there were
a few rounds of discussions, hemming and hawing, and
board member Naylor's now familiar "where's the plan"
In January, the Board changed the official title of
the Executive Director to the Authority Manager. Not
much else changed, except that now, as typically goes on
in Columbia County, after Chairman Vann explained the
uselessness of his college degree, it was determined
that a college degree would not be required for the job,
which would pay anywhere between $38,000 if it were part
time, or $80,000 if it were full time. The Hospital
Authority still had two employees.
A retired US
military Colonel and a personnel expert, told the
That is an absolute abomination on
that resume. That is an insult to everyone in Columbia
County. I would also like to know what Army MOS code
pertained to hospital administration and what rank he
was. I have to stop now or I will stroke out.
The job position was advertised, the resumes were
submitted, the interviews proceeded, and last night the
position was awarded to the recently resigned Authority
Board Chairman, Jack Berry.
Because of the recent scandal in Lake City regarding
the educational claims of the past city manager, the
Authority Board made sure it checked and announced that
it did check all the educational references of the
It is unknown if the Board requested Mr. Berry's
which would have verified the claim on his
fourteen line resume that he had Hospital
Administration experience and education. No one asked
about this at his interview.
All the present Board members, save for one, had Mr.
Berry in the top spot. Board member Pattison, who was
against the position, was absent from the meeting.
No one was surprised as business goes on as usual in
Florida's infamous Columbia County.
(Correction March 9
at 11:25am - photo added)