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County Commission Stories

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Stew Lilker's

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families. An online newspaper

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Columbia County Commission News

Index of Stories 2012-11-10

aE" 2009 - 2007

Beginning in 2013 County Commission News is combined with County News

County Blows Off Residents Who Wish To Speak: Commissioners Nash and DePratter speak out

Posted December 07, 2012 09:10 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Last night, Columbia County lived up to a reputation that in many parts of the civilized world is met by snickers and worse for the way it conducts its business and treats its citizens. Two board chairs ignored Navy veteran, Sammy Dunn, who sat in the audience with his hand up for 26 minutes before anyone on the Board acknowledged he was alive. Waiting for his turn to speak, newly elected commissioner, Bucky Nash, looked up at Mr. Dunn and said, "I think the public needs to be a

North Florida Broadband Authority: Columbia County Pulls Out of Obama Funded Stimulus Project

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Last night, Columbia County made its voice heard throughout North Central Florida to Washington, DC, to the West Coast and all points in between, when it approved a resolution by Vice Chair Stephen Bailey to withdraw from the troubled Obama Stimulus Funded North Florida Broadband Authority (NFBA). As the Commissioners voiced disappointment that the promise of the NFBA was not met and the unserved and underserved of North Central Florida and Columbia County would not have high

DuPree's $28,000,000 Events Center: Boondoggle in the boondocks put off for another day

Posted October 10, 2012 10:45 pm

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Last night at Columbia County's fair grounds, outgoing Commissioner Jody DuPree couldn't stretch his promised three hour events/convention center presentation much past one hour. His $28,000,000 parting shot at the County Taxpayers, if approved, would give them a debt that would span generations, a place to have a rodeo, and give Ellisville, just a name at the end of an off ramp, some meeting rooms that are now

North Florida Broadband Authority: The NFBA road show traveled to an unprepared Columbia County with misinformation, half truths, and just plain lies

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Last Thursday night the North Florida Broadband Authority's road show, minus the $10,000 a month NFEDP's Jeff Hendry, the man in charge of Community Outreach for the NFBA since 2010, traveled to Columbia County. They came to ask for free tower space and answer questions. Other than a few hardball questions, the County

Columbia County's $28,000,000 Events Center: Com DuPree's parting shot at County taxpayers

Posted October 05, 2012 8:10 pm

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Looking to part Columbia County taxpayers with their money is nothing new for Florida's legendary premier good ole boy county, but the proposed $28,000,000 convention center, which is being pushed by outgoing County Commissioner Jody DuPree and his group of handpicked fellow committee members, may well be the biggest hair brained scheme in the history of North Central Florida.

County Passes $96 mil Budget: 500+ south end families paying millions in inflated fire insurance rates ignored again

Posted September 21, 2012 04:35 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Last night the Columbia County Commission voted for the 6th year in a row to leave south end County residents paying outrageous fire insurance rates because it refuses to put a fire substation or contract with the City of High Springs to supply fire service in the far south end of the county.

Columbia County Florida: Big gov't economics are at home at the county commission

Posted August 18, 2012 05:55 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Columbia County's long standing designation as a Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern means that not only is it considered economically challenged by the state, but most recently Tropical Storm Debby has made it a victim of a natural disaster, which is an additional element of a Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern. With overtime and materials mounting into what must be many hundreds of thousands of dollars, last night the County Commission showed that nothing...

Columbia County Florida, A Rural Area Of Critical Economic Concern: Flooded All Over

Posted July 06, 2012 09:59 am

Last night, Columbia County's governing board met in regular session for the first time since the record three days of monsoon like rains began a little over a week ago, bringing national attention to this north central Florida county, dubbed by the state a "Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern." Board Chairwoman, Scarlet Frisina, sounded water logged herself, as she and the public listened to the reports of County personnel, and representatives from both the state and federal governments, however, it was the words of the public that had folks leaning forward in their seats.

Columbia County Sheriff Patrol Deputies:

Paid less for doing more

Posted June 13, 2012 07:05 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Columbia County's patrol deputies put their lives on the line every time they make a traffic stop or respond to a call. They are the police in green that the public knows up close and personal. Every day many of them make decisions that affect the lives and well-being of the public - decisions that are not reflected in their pay scale.

Columbia County vs the International Assoc. of Fire Fighters: Union issues again

Posted May 25, 2012 09:30 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. This is a formal hearing before the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission in the case of local number 4895, Columbia County Professional Fire Fighters Association -- International Association of Fire Fighters vs. Columbia County Board of County Commissioners. My name is Suzanne Choppin. I am the designated hearing officer in this case." So began this barely noticed public meeting, which once again pitted Columbia County against the IAFF. (1 comment)

School Board Looking For County Residents To Take Over Cost Of Running District Pool

Posted May 18, 2012 01:55 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Last night at the County Commission meeting, 34 year veteran School Board member Glen Hunter stood in front of the County Commission to convince them to assume the District's aquatic center. He came without any history of usage, maintenance or staff costs and never mentioned how much it cost to run the pool. In legendary Columbia County, this is business as usual.

Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter: He sat by while Deputy violated citizen's rights

Posted May 04, 2012 05:22 pm

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Columbia County never disappoints when it comes to denying someone their Constitutional rights. Last night was no different, when as citizen Jeffery Brown concluded his 10 minute presentation, Sheriff's Deputy John Hatcher, uninvited, walked from the middle of the auditorium and stood a few feet from him. Mr. Brown had received no warnings, was not using fighting words and was being polite. After Mr. Brown had gone 3 minutes over the time (2 comments)

Columbia County Residents and Others Get Reprieve From More Speech Regulation

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Last night Columbia County residents got a reprieve from more restrictive speech regulation. Columbia County Florida never disappoints when it comes to devising rules restricting the rights of its citizens or others to address the County Commission. After the meeting, Assistant County Manager Lisa Roberts explained it was County Manager Dale Williams who came up with the new language. (3 comments)

Ellisville Boondoggle Continues: Columbia County set to offer $5,000 for $159 plot of land

Posted April 19, 2012 08:05 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Tonight's Columbia County Commission docket is a doozy. Topping the bill is a little item on the consent agenda from the County's Utility Committee, the committee in charge of the Ellisville Utility Boondoggle. A little piece of land was overlooked when the County purchased the derelict sewer plant in Ellisville. The purported County Engineer, John Colson, sat in on those meetings and his company, Donald F. Lee and Associates should have done the surveys. The appraised value $159 -- the offer $5,000.

Columbia County's Consent Agenda: A way to give raises to the favored with a never ending contract

Posted April 5, 2012 08:15 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Columbia County and Lake City workers haven't had a raise in years. Tonight, hidden away in the County Commission Consent agenda, is a proposed change in the contract between Donald F. Lee & Associates, Inc. of Lake City and Columbia County. This contract has been in effect since 1991. It expired in 1992. Tonight Donald Lee is seeking raises for some its employees, swapping job titles with another, and creating a new position... Donald Lee has eliminated the position of Survey Technician and replaced it with a Senior Technician at an increase of 44% over the old position.

Dist V Com Scarlet Frisina Breaks Tie: Votes to put residents on hook for $300,000 loan to Suwannee Valley Transit Authority. Collateral -- what's that?

Posted March 02, 2012 07:59 pm

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- Last night, at the Columbia County, County Commission meeting, residents laughed and snickered at Jack Berry protege, District III Commissioner Jody DuPree, after he orchestrated a last minute agenda addition that went around in circles for an hour and a half. Residents were incredulous as County Attorney Marlin Feagle and County Manager Dale Williams couldn't come up with any SVTA collateral that could be used to secure the loan. Finally, Chairwoman Frisina ended the agony with her tie breaking vote.

Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter: In the shadows with shady numbers

Posted February 20, 2012 01:55 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- This past Thursday night, February 16, 2012, Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter once again spent his time at the evening's County Commission meeting sitting out of view in the shadows. In over three years as the County's chief law enforcement officer, he has worked to make himself invisible, rarely addressing the County Commission or the people that elected him and never speaking out against the pitiful pay of his patrol officers. This past Thursday was no different.

Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter Standing Up For His Deputies? The 3 yr tale of the tape

Posted February 20, 2012 01:55 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL -- During the February 16, 2012 County Commission meeting, Commissioner Jody DuPree claimed that Sheriff Mark Hunter is "always tryin to figure out how to get raises for his people. So not at one moment has the Sheriff of Columbia County ever not tried to fight for his people... He has approached this board about that on many occasions." 6 Not really.

Columbia County IT Director Resigns

County beginning search for new IT guru

Posted January 27, 2011 05:35 pm

Columbia County's veteran IT Director, Todd Manning, tendered his resignation this past Wednesday, January 25, 2012. Mr. Manning was the man in charge as the County upgraded its computer network into the 21st century.

North Central Florida Water Working Group Gathering Steam: St. John's Dir says -- Spend the money on solutions, not wars

The Suwannee River/St. Johns River Water Management Districts multi county/city working group picked up steam last night as it looked for a direction and method to keep a watchful eye on the region's water resources and the water management districts that by Florida Statute are entrusted to manage them. It was never explained by Columbia County, the facilitators of the event, why the water management districts were intentionally kept from updating the gathering on the joint progress being made by them, the DEP and the State of Georgia. These multijurisdictional issues are the very issues that the group was formed to address.

Suwannee River Water Management District blown off Water Working Group agenda again: Was it an oversight or will they listen?

All the counties and cities represented in the recently formed Water Working Group that are meeting tonight in Columbia County are represented on the board of directors of the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) or the St. Johns Water Management District (SJRWMD). It has yet to be established why the counties don't go to the water management districts and address them directly. That may be answered to night, along with the reason that the directors of the SRWMD and the SJRWMD were refused a place on the

County Commission to have own meeting room

Com DuPree balks at infrastructure neglect

(Posted January 6, 2012 07:50 am)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL-- Last night, the Columbia County, County Commission spent millions in taxpayer dollars and is looking to borrow millions more for various projects throughout the County. The County Staff backed off from its recent practice of providing power point presentations, which provided clear graphical explanations of expenditures, and instead went back to the practice of a lot of talk, followed by slam dunk votes from the Commissioners.

Columbia County -- Will it build a Miracle Field where all the children can play?

Columbia County, FL (Posted November 21, 2011 07:15 am)

It's called a Miracle Field. It is a baseball field where children of all ages, regardless of the challenges they face every day can play and show how special they are. During last Wednesday's Tourist Development Council meeting, hotel owner Nick Patel brought to the TDC the long dormant idea of an ADA baseball field. He told the TDC, "There is one field that can be ADA accessible

County Commission News: Changing of the Guard - Big Red Rules - That's Politics

Columbia County, FL (Posted December 16, 2011 09:15 am)

At last night's Columbia County, County Commission meeting first term commissioner, Scarlet Frisina, was in the driver's seat in her first full meeting as County Commission Chairwoman. For the first time in a long time the tone was relaxed as Commissioner Frisina slammed the door on the yearlong autocratic rule of the DuPree reign. Folks got a chance to speak, questions were answered and the threat of illegal police removal was left at the front door. As the meeting drew to a close, Chairwoman Frisina removed...

Columbia County's Westside Community Center: Previously funded, now in limbo - maybe not a bad idea

Columbia County, FL (Posted December 02, 2011 06:05 pm)

Columbia County's proposed Westside Community Center was initially approved to be built on July 1, 2010 when the County Commission approved the project at a public hearing and determined that it would suit the community's needs to self perform the project. The County claimed this would result in savings to the community, business for local contractors and work for their employees. Commissioner Bailey wants some time before moving forward -- that may not be a bad idea considering the County's recent expenditures

Water Wars - Columbia County FL: County Chairman removes Water Management District Directors from agenda

(Posted Dec 01, 2011 06:25 am) Part II)

This past Tuesday evening the hundreds of people that traveled from as far away as Chiefland, Jacksonville and Keystone Heights and places in-between to come to Lake City for the tri county water powwow were denied the opportunity to hear the Executive Director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, David Still, and the Saint Johns Water Management District make presentations regarding the recent controversial water permit to JEA.

Water Wars - Columbia County FL: Tri County Water Powwow brings out a crowd and sheds light on the issues

Columbia County, FL (Posted December 01, 2011 06:25 am) Part I

Columbia County Florida's homeless County Commission played to a packed house at the School District Administration auditorium Tuesday night as Columbia County called three of the 15 counties represented by the Suwannee River Water Management District together. These three counties, Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee are the three North Central Florida counties which were directly impacted by the May 10, 2011 decision of the Saint Johns River Water Management District to issue a to permit to JEA, the Jacksonville municipal electric, water and sewer utility. This permit allows

Columbia County Florida Redistricting: The public need not apply

Columbia County, FL (Posted November 08, 2011 07:55 am)

Once again, Columbia County Florida's infamous good ol' boy County Commission did not disappoint, as it thumbed its collective nose at the County's 32,000 plus registered voters during its once every ten years redistricting deliberations. At every opportunity the County Commission made sure the public did not comment on the proposals. At times the public could not see the proposals.

Columbia County Florida: Evil spirits are at it again, this time in the CM's annual report

Columbia County, FL (Posted October 9, 2011 07:10 pm)

During the October 6, 2011 Columbia County Commission meeting, evil spirits once again took over Columbia County's infamous good ol' boy County Commission. Long time County Manager Dale Williams appointed a committee based on an event that never happened. He claimed in his Annual Report that facts determined by a committee formed by the Tourist Development Council (TDC) indicated possible revenue opportunities for the County should an "Events Center" be constructed. The facts, reported by the County Manager himself, at a TDC meeting indicated just the opposite. Any events center will have to be subsidized by the county's residents forever.

County Charter Under Attack - County Manager looks to strip internet access of meeting material

Columbia County, FL (Posted October 1, 2011 08:30 am)

Thursday night, September 29, 2011, Columbia County's handpicked Charter Review Commission (CRC), met for its third meeting. Invited to come before the CRC were the five members of the County Commission. County Manager Dale Williams added himself to the agenda. The County Manager's urgent topic, removing the charter provision, that gives the public real time free and unfettered access to the same supporting information used by the County Commission and other County Boards at their public meetings.

Columbia County Passes $91,198,049 Budget without a word of discussion

Columbia County, FL (Posted September 23, 2011 01:55 pm)

The Columbia County Commission as they are about to approve the 2012 budget. Chairman DuPree was the only commissioner who dressed down for the event, coming to the meeting in work boots, jeans and a dungaree shirt. Long time Commissioner, Ron Williams can be seen slouching in his chair way to the left.

Columbia County's 1st Budget Hearing

"I'd like to thank everybody for comin."

Columbia County, FL (Posted September 9, 2011 07:50 am)

Everyone visible in the photo works for the County except for the man seated in the front row. As County Manager Dale Williams, in dark jacket, presents the budget, the Board Chairman is headed to the side door. It is not clear if this was to answer his phone or to spit.

Columbia County passes unfair fire assessments

Small property owners burned again

Columbia County, FL (Posted September 2, 2011 09:45 am)

Columbia County Florida's infamous County Commission once again buried its collective head in the sand last night when, without comment, except for a few misguided words from its chairman, District III's Jody DuPree, they once again passed a fire assessment routine that benefited the family of Dist IV Commissioner Stephen Bailey and many land developers and the rich, famous and well connected in the County.

Columbia County vs. Florida Crown Workforce Board: Here we go again?

Columbia County, FL (Posted August 22, 2011 11:45 pm)

Columbia County, after years of wrangling with the high performing Region 7 Florida Crown Workforce Board, appeared to have finally made peace with the other three counties in the four county Workforce Board region. That was until the August 18th County Commission meeting, when the interlocal agreement, which had been approved weeks ago by the three other counties in the region, made a sudden...

Columbia County's Westside Library Branch

Com DuPree Asks: Keep it open or shut it down?

Columbia County, FL (Posted August 12, 2011 09:15 am)

Yesterday's budget work shop was like most other recent Columbia County meetings, only worse, as only one member of the public attended. Yesterday's hot budget topic was the West Side Library -- Keep it open or shut it down? The Westside branch is approximately 5 miles down US 90 from the main library, which serves as library headquarters and is located in the heart of downtown Lake City. (Photo: Commissioner DuPree asks about the library fund.)

Columbia County votes to buy French

Throws FL based company under the bus

Columbia County, FL (Posted July 8, 2011 10:20 am)

The bizarre actions of Columbia County's infamous County Commission continued last night when they surprised everyone and awarded a five-year trash contract to the second lowest bidder, the French-based company, Veolia Environment, after County Chairman Jody DuPree asked Veolia's representative to testify on the inadequacy of the lowest bidder's proposal, Republic Services, headquartered in Georgia. Waste Pro, the current county trash collector and only Florida-based company in the pack was thrown under the bus, even though they offered to meet the lowest bid. In a 3-2 split, the DuPree contingent (DuPree, Bailey, DePratter) voted to buy French. (Photo: All the carters - see story for caption) (1 comment)

Commissioner DuPree Budget

Work Shops Over - For Now

Columbia County, FL (Posted July 06, 2011 03:40 pm)

One week ago today, June 29, 2011, Columbia County's department heads lined up like obedient little Indians and suffered through the last of the Commissioner DuPree imposed County Commission budget workshops. At least 95% of what the County Commission learned during the three months of meetings could have been learned by reading the different department's power point presentations, rather than having them read to them. The series of workshops served nothing more than to stroke the ego of County Commission Chairman DuPree, who asked 95% of the questions.

County Commission Slams Taxpayers:

Residents on hook for roads in subdivisions with no homes

Columbia County, FL (Posted June 17, 2011 08:07 am)

Columbia County's infamous County Commission didn't disappoint last night when it approved an ordinance making County taxpayers subject to maintain roads in subdivisions with few or no homes. While many counties in Florida form special taxing districts, which require homeowners in subdivisions to pay for the maintenance of their own roads, Columbia County continues to subject all taxpayers to maintain the roads of the few.

Here they go again: The Columbia County

Good ol' Boy $1,519,600 mitigation do over

Columbia County, FL (Posted June 01, 2011 05:59 pm)

Last night at the Columbia County, County Commission meeting, the stampede to fork over $1,519,600 of County tax payer dollars to the County Manager's best friend, Bayfield's Sam Oosterhoudt, for wetland mitigation bank credits continued at a full gallop. That nobody knew how many credits the County needed or when they would be available made absolutely no difference to Columbia County's notorious good ol' boy County Commission, which plans most of its business under the cover of darkness to take care of somebody's friend. (Photo: Commissioner DuPree)

Columbia County Florida: The $1,519,600

mitigation amnesia challenge

Florida's infamous Columbia County, long known throughout the state as the home of anything goes Good ol' Boy politics and corruption, out did themselves at last Thursday's May 19, 2011, County Commission meeting, when the Board suffered another one of its famous bouts of collective amnesia, this time to the tune of $1,519,600. The Board rallied around its chairman, Commissioner Jody DuPree, who after months of negotiating with the County Manager's best friend, claimed that he was not negotiating at all. (Photo: Jody DuPree)

Columbia County privatizes EMS -- Com DePratter: It's "Economic Development."

Columbia County, FL (Posted May 23, 2011 04:20 am)

This past Thursday night, May 19, 2011, Columbia County's infamous and unprepared County Commission, while disregarding ongoing union negotiations and avoiding and discouraging input and participation from both the public and the County's EMS workers, took one hour and forty-five minutes to eliminate 20 years of loyal service and threw Columbia County's EMS first responders under the bus.

Columbia County Commissioner accuses citizen of "Plunderin around" his personal equipment.

Columbia County, FL (Posted April 29, 2011 10:07 am)

In Columbia County Florida, whenever one thinks the legendary good ol' boy County Commission has reached a new low, they pull a rabbit out of a hat, never disappoint, and outdo themselves. Last Thursday's County Commission meeting was no exception, unless one counts the meeting before or some of the ones before that.

Columbia County - EMS Union Face Off

County refusing to back off pay cut

Columbia County, FL (Posted April 28, 2011 02:50 pm)

For the first time in six months, yesterday afternoon at 3 PM, the County EMS paramedics, represented by Lance Hill and the County, represented by outside council, Mike Grogan, faced off at the negotiating table. After a series of charges and counter charges, the sides got down to brass tacks.

Pop Warner Football scores a $10,000

touchdown as County funds tighten

Columbia County, FL (Posted April 23, 2011 08:15 am)

With budgetary woes facing county governments across the state and the nation, this past Thursday evening, the County Commission decided to fund Pop Warner football for 2010 and 2011 with old county money. After Pastor Alvin Baker's spirited appeal to the Commission, the Commissioners, without a scintilla of financial material from the requesting Richardson Community Center -- Annie Mattox Park North, Inc., voted to give the group $10,000.

Columbia County EMS -- What is it about no cost that the County does not get?

Columbia County, FL (Posted April 21, 2011 09:40 am)

For years, Columbia County's good ol' boys have intentionally been running EMS at a deficit. The County gave away the profitable side of the ambulance business. They were not straight with either Lake City or the County residents, never telling them that EMS could have been run at no cost to the County.

Columbia County Commission Nixes

Buy Local Reinvest Day Proclamation

Columbia County, FL (Posted April 08, 2011 10:20 am)

Communities all over the country are supporting buy local campaigns. Last night, Ms.Val Leitner, the president of Blue Oven Kitchens, a nonprofit kitchen incubator serving the 10 county area of north-central Florida, addressed the Columbia County Commission and asked them to support a Buy Local campaign with a Re-Invest Day proclamation. She was turned down cold.

New York weighs in on Commissioner

DuPree's pool

(Posted April 4, 2011 04:45 am)

After reading, Columbia County Commissioner's pool remains a death trap - State turns deaf ear, this article it has really opened up my eyes. While I was considering moving to northern Florida and after reading what goes on in Columbia County, I can honestly say Columbia County is not on my lists of best places to live, but rather sounds like a County to stay away from. 6 just may be saving an innocent person from a tragedy down the road.

Columbia County Commissioner's pool remains a death trap - State turns deaf ear

Columbia County, FL (Posted April 1, 2011 08:55 am)

The Observer's recent coverage of the unfenced pool in Columbia County Commissioner Jody DuPree's yard has brought many comments, calls and communication with the Observer and the State. 6 The office of newly elected Attorney General, Pam Bondi, advised in a boiler plate response to a local resident that... 6 Gov Scott's office, while initially appearing to take an interest in this issue, has fallen silent.

County Commissioner DuPree's Pool: A back yard death trap

Columbia County, FL (Posted March 17, 2011 06:00 am)

Florida has some of the toughest pool safety regulations in the world, for good reason. In the Sunshine State, "drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in and around the home for children under the age of five." If a child falls into your pool, because of Florida's attractive nuisance law, not having a fence around the pool is the same as leaving a loaded 47 Magnum on your front steps for a child to pick up. For the majority of folks, this would seem to make sense. For County Commissioner Jody DuPree and Columbia County Building Inspector, Harry Dicks, they seem to have other ideas.

Columbia County leaves residents in the dark: Appearance at Suwannee River Water Management kept secret

Columbia County, FL (Posted March 8, 2011 08:55 am)

Even the innocuous gets swept under the carpet in Columbia County. One would think that even in the legendary Columbia County a presentation to the Water Management District would be public knowledge. This morning at 9 AM, County Manager Dale Williams is scheduled to make a presentation, on behalf of the County Commission to the Water Management District. The County wouldn't acknowledge this was going on until 04:10 pm yesterday afternoon.

Columbia County EMS - The county ranking committee meets - Union disqualified

Columbia County, FL (Posted March 02, 2011 07:35 am)

Yesterday morning Columbia County's EMS qualifications ranking committee met to rank the four responders to replace the County's EMS ambulance service. The four responders, in the order of their rankings were: Lifeguard Ambulance; Century Ambulance; Rural Metro Corporation; Columbia County EMS Association. The Columbia County EMS Association, the folks that have been providing EMS service to the county for twenty years, was considered nonresponsive. 6 Mark Kazmerski, former County Commission candidate, EMS expert and flight medic said, ""Someone has an ax to grind with EMS. Someone on that board has an ax to grind."

Privatizing EMS - Not the right thing to do

The Union Speaks

Columbia County, FL (Posted Feb 16, 2011 07:55 am)

I am here tonight to speak on behalf of the Columbia County EMS Association, IAFF Local 3510. At the last board meeting this Commission unanimously voted to move towards the privatizing of this county's EMS services. We are against this move. My purpose here tonight is to provide additional information for your consideration concerning your decision to privatize EMS.

Columbia County EMS - Public or Private

An expert speaks

Columbia County, FL (Posted Feb 16, 2011 07:55 am)

I am active on local, state and national EMS the councils. As business manager with a national air medical company my job is interacting with EMS and hospital management throughout a twelve county region in north east Florida. Mr. Grogan may be an experienced labor attorney, but an expert on EMS operations he is not. His statements two weeks ago were not only inaccurate, but key points concerning the issue were left out.

Florida Gov looking to keep jobs in Florida

Columbia County looking to send them away

Columbia County, FL (Posted Feb 15, 2011 10:55 am)

While Florida Governor Rick Scott is looking to create jobs in Florida, the good ole boys of the Columbia County Commission are working to ship them to South Carolina. Up for approval on tonight's consent agenda is a contract with a company whose web presence is boiler plate mumbo jumbo and whose contract requires a virtual oath of secrecy for the county. In a county where the words -- open, transparent, and accountable are like words of a foreign language, this would appear to be a perfect match.

Columbia County operating outside the law

Here they go again

Columbia County, FL (Posted Feb 14, 2011 06:15 am)

Columbia County, long thought by many to be the premier law breaking and corrupt county in Florida, has shown again that the concept of "reasonable notice" for public meetings - for the county's good ole boys - means no notice at all... Ms. Roberts has asked that the County Commission approve her and Com DuPree's recommendations at the February 15th Commission meeting, even though the recommendations were made out of the Sunshine.

Columbia County's hit man takes aim at EMS

County looks to bust the union and bust out Lake City

Columbia County, FL (Posted Feb 04, 2011 09:23 am)

Last night, Mike Grogan, the county's long time labor attorney and union busting hired gun, took aim at the county's unionized EMS workers and the City of Lake City. The county's newest commissioner, Rusty DePratter, joined the silent march to send the county's EMS workers to the gallows and at the same time, leave the county's Lake City residents without County EMS. Mr. Grogan came to the meeting with a nine minute prepared presentation. During that time, not one positive word passed his lips regarding county EMS or its crews. (Photo: Mike Grogan addresses the Board)

County fathers leave most in dark about $750,000 CDBG residential rehab grant

Columbia County, FL (Posted Feb 02, 2011 11:11 am / last line updated 12:55 pm)

Last night in Mason City, Columbia County held an informational meeting. The purpose: To explain that some folks may be eligible for CDBG grant money to repair their houses (and mobile homes) and that there is also money available for water meter hookups in Ellisville. No one knew how much money was available; there weren't enough applications for the attendees; there were no handouts; there was no power point or presentation explaining the program and there wasn't a map... no one explained how much money was being shifted from the $750,000 Federal Grant into the coffers of the NFRPLC and away from the rehab...

County Commission grants ambulance monopoly. Eliminates competition again

Columbia County, FL (Posted Jan 24, 2011 11:59 pm)

Last Thursday night, January 20th, Columbia County's legendary good ole boys continued a tradition by awarding another monopoly to Century Ambulance. The Commissioners' mouths were zipped tight when this item came up for a vote. Once again, the Commission inflated the cost of ambulance service for anyone in Columbia County, giving them no choice but to use Century Ambulance for transport. A few months ago, Century Ambulance gave the County a gift worth, according to the County, $17,586.

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

Columbia County, FL (Posted Jan 24, 2011 06:15 am)

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

County & IDA Drop the Ball - Again

IDA meeting cancelled last minute - public not advised

Columbia County, FL (Posted Jan 05, 2011 07:10 am)

The Columbia County Commission and the Industrial Development Authority, the County's engines of economic development have been dropping the ball for years, missing and losing one business opportunity after the next. 6 Facilitated by the departing IDA's Gina Reynolds, the IDA took over a year to establish an overpriced and ineffectual web presence. The amateurs, who manage both the

County Jettisons Lake City Committees

Com DuPree decrees "No County participation"

Columbia County, FL (Posted Dec 20, 2010 10:59 am)

At the Thursday, December 16th Columbia County Commission meeting, newly elected County Commission Chairman, Jody DuPree, decreed that County Commissioners will "no longer serve on any City [of] Lake City committees." Lake City is the County seat and known throughout Florida as the capitol of Columbia County. Com Stephen Bailey moved the appointments and non appointments and the rest of the Commission voted along in lockstep.

Ladies night at the County Commission

Columbia County, FL (Posted Dec 06, 2010 08:58 am)

This past Thursday evening, the Columbia County, County Commission showed once again that its good old boys still have issues when it comes to dealing with women. The first two ladies made it through the gauntlet, but the third, Columbia County Commissioner Scarlet Frisina was snubbed again. (To hear the audio go to the rest of the story) (file photo)

Columbia County IDA

Continues sub par under County management

Columbia County, FL (Posted Nov 29, 2010 01:08 pm)

Newly under the auspices of County Manager Dale Williams, the IDA has gotten worse. Now, the IDA is incapable of servicing its own web presence and it shows.

Sheriff puts car power before manpower

Gets a $171,580 good old boy give back

Columbia County, FL (Posted Nov 22, 2010 02:47 am)

Columbia County's good old boys slid $171,580 back to Sheriff Mark Hunter, who after being blown off at the November 4th County Commission meeting, was mysteriously absent from last Thursday's meeting. 6 The Sheriff has the most budgetary latitude of any Constitutional Officer and can move his money around virtually without oversight. 6 The $488,660 Sheriff Hunter claims to have spent on vehicles in 2009 appears to be an all time Columbia County record.

analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:26 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:0 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:0 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? NO - the issue of prison or incarceration was NOT mentioned in this article .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:8 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:9 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:0 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:5 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:2 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:0 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:2
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related 50%
[news] [concept]

drug ngo  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda 75%
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme5 propaganda theme6 propaganda theme8 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 70%
[news] [concept]

"disaster" "threat" "death" "stroke" "accidental"8Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 75%
[news] [concept]

"Community" "Communities" "the country" "the nation"9Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
propaganda_theme5 : drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugschildren

propaganda theme5 60%
[news] [concept]

"child" "children"5Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5)
Think of the children
propaganda_theme6 : drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; wardemonize, war, epidemic

propaganda theme6 60%
[news] [concept]

"Evil"2Demonize, War (propaganda theme 6)
List of Wars on Concepts
Perpetual war
The Failed War on Drugs (2012)
propaganda_theme8 : dissent opposed

propaganda theme8 50%
[news] [concept]

secret evidence Dissent Attacked (propaganda theme 8)
From Martin Luther King to Anonymous, governments target dissenters not just "bad guys" (2014)
 drug ngo 50%
[news] [concept]
drug reform ngo  
 drug reform ngo 50%
[news] [concept]
ramp Drug Reform Organization link database
 ramp 50%
[news] [concept]
 oft-mentioned government prohibitionist

govt prohib other 90%
[news] [concept]

"Pam Bondi"1A Drug War Carol, page 18
 NSA/DEA/local PD - Spying and Lying Scandal

secret evidence 50%
[news] [concept]

"traffic stop" "secret"
Routine Traffic Stop? Anonymous Tip? - DEA Manual Coaches Government Prosecutors to Lie in Court to Evade Truth about NSA Tapping Domestic Phone Content, to Bust People for Pot (2014)
Justice Dept to Notify Defendants on Surveillance (2013)
DEA SOD (Special Operations Division)
Brady disclosure
Fruit of the poisonous tree
NSA Listening to Rumrunners During Prohibition I (2014)
All Your Communications in Eternal Dragnet, Searched for Keywords (2014)
How NSA, DEA and Your Local Police Illegally Collude to use Wiretap Content, to Bust You for Pot (2014)
Secret Police Search Engine for DEA/NSA/Local PD - Target: Your Real-Time Wiretap Transcripts (2014)
Secret Law (2016)
 youth 60%
[news] [concept]
propaganda theme5
[news] [concept]
 aggrandizing government

[news] [concept]

"expert" "Authority"9Statism: the Most Dangerous Religion (2014 video)
What is Statism?
Conservapedia: Statism
Wikipedia: Statolatry
Bought Priesthood
Worship of the U. S. Government (2011)
Bureaucratic Thrust
Tyranny of Experts
The Threat of Authority (2012)
The Media As Enablers of Government Lies
The Statist Mindset (Jacob Hornberger, 2011)
Thinking Critically about Experts and Authority
'Scientific' evidence for FDA-approved drugs isn't so scientific, it turns out (2014)
The Intellectual Gravy Train (2015)
[news] [concept]
"committee meets" "meeting" "meetings" "meet" "meets"39TAKE ACTION - Here's how!
Delphi Technique - Fake Consensus (2016)

st:0.02 fo:0 s:0.02 d:0 c:0 db:0.12 a:2.47 m:0.75 t:3.74 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

media charts

Bot's analysis of: "The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse" the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Demand Reduction Section, May 2014
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    article tags


    meeting concept - scheduled meeting, talk, or conference
    aggrandizement concept - terms of aggrandizement (of government)
    school concept
    youth concept
    secret_evidence concept - secret anti-drug (read: anti-pot) police trained to "recreate" -- lie about -- evidence in court, in order to hide wholesale NSA domestic spying on the people, and then lying about it; the laundering of espionage techniques -- listening to phone call content and net use -- to bust ordinary people in America for "drugs" -- pot --, under the guise of "fighting terror."
    govt_prohib_other concept - prohibitionist who gets (or has gotten in the past) a government paycheck or money to bolster prohibition, but mentioned in many non-drug-related articles, too
    ramp concept - Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP)
    drug_reform_ngo concept - drug policy reform organization
    drug_ngo concept
    propaganda_theme8 concept
    propaganda_theme6 concept - drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; war
    propaganda_theme5 concept - drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugs
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition