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Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake City

City Manager Candidates On Tap in City Hall 6pm Tonight: Who will be interviewed?


Background Checks of the Semi-Final 9 Available in Story

LAKE CITY, FL – A special meeting has been called for tonight at 6 pm in City Hall to whittle down the list of the 9 city manager semi finalists. By the conclusion of the meeting, the City Council will have decided which candidates to interview.

Mostly In the Dark

For years the City Council has followed the self imposed minimalist rule of giving the public minimal notice and minimal supporting information for its meetings.

While past City Manager Wendell Johnson made it universally known that he could have supporting information available to the public two weeks in advance of its meetings, a few years ago City Councilwoman and school teacher/administrator Melinda Moses said she didn't see any problem providing the information to the public the way the City had always done it: on the Friday evening before the City Council meetings on Monday.

The rest of the City Council didn't balk and the public has been left holding the bag ever since.

Tonight's Important Meeting


Home page of City Website: zero notice of special meeting            Click here to enlarge

A look at the City home page gives no mention of the special meeting held tonight.

Delving further into the City's website, the agenda material – the background checks have not been posted.


Agenda and supporting material not posted for the public by the end of business the day before the meeting

The City practice flies in the face of what is known as SB50, a law which mandates that the public be given the opportunity to comment before decisions are made by a governing body.

It is not clear how the public is supposed to comment if it doesn't have timely access to the same material before the meetings that the Council members are employing to make their decisions.

Sunshine Law Violation

 Top 13 Apps. (alphabetically)

City Councilmen Jefferson and Hill speak so softly many times they can't be heard or understood. City Attorney Fred Koberlein, Jr., also falls into that category, with the added bonus that many times all that is visible behind his giant laptop screen is only his eyes and the top of his head. If one lip-reads, one is out of luck when it comes to understanding what Mr. Koberlein is saying.

Acting City Manager Grayson Cason also cannot be heard.

12th Hour Information

Background Checks:
• available here.

They are alphabetical. You may read them online or download them.
Courtesy of the Observer

At 5:02 pm yesterday, May 8, 2018 the City Clerk's Office sent out the agenda material to the media and others for tonight's meeting. The Clerk's Office does not prepare the information, it only sends it out.

Included in the 156 pages of information was the background checks for the 9 candidates under consideration. The City made no effort to make it easy for the public to find the individual candidate information and glommed it all together.

It was reported to the Observer that the information was available to Council members late last Friday. It is not clear why this information was not posted on the City website and the material has still not been posted to the City website at the time of the posting of this article.

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