Live Oak —
The Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce prides itself on service to the community; both our current and prospective businesses, residents and visitors. We feel our members and our community deserve a Chamber that reflects the personality of the community and we also pride ourselves in Southern hospitality.
The Chamber has served Suwannee County for over 66 years and our main goal is working together for the economic success of the total community. Everything we do is a means to that end. We are an advocate for our members by helping the business community identify and respond to challenges and by advancing the civic and social interests of our community. We provide opportunities for networking by hosting Business After Hours, ribbon cuttings, mixers, and providing programs for businesses. We participate in the Shop at Home Campaign to promote shopping at our local businesses. The Chamber works at maintaining awareness of key issues at the local, state, and federal levels that would affect our local economy. We also work to support growth, increase tourism and promote local attractions and events. We have sponsored the annual Christmas on the Square event for 27 years. We know that anytime we can bring visitors to our area they are potential customers for our local business community.
Responding to information requests is one of the most important ways that we can support our community and our Chamber membership. On a daily basis the staff answers requests for telephone numbers, and for information on local restaurants, accommodations, recreation and vacation facilities, special activities and events, demographics, and requests for relocation packets. Each year the Chamber office mails out hundreds of responses to requests for information that have come through the Chamber office or are generated from the Suwannee County Tourist Development Council.
The Chamber is led by a Board of Directors that is very active in their service to the community and is available to help in any way that they can. The current board is made up of these community leaders:
John Burley, Chairman of the Board
TD Bank 364-5528
Carolyn Spilatore, Immediate Past Chairperson
Amy Johnson, Treasurer
Parks Johnson Agency 362-6286
Peggy Maloney, Secretary
Three Rivers Medical 935-1607
The Jordan Agency 362-4724
J. Sherman Frier 362-4629
Suwannee Foundation for Excellence in Education 647-4617.
McCrimons Office Systems 362-2171
Poole Realty 362-4539
Dairy Queen 362-7009
Each of the board members is available to talk with you about our Chamber and our community. We welcome input from members and non-members alike.
If you haven’t done so, take the opportunity to come and visit our new office in Historic City Hall. The City of Live Oak has done an excellent job in the restoration of this beautiful building. Susan, our Chamber Member Services Director, and I both welcome the opportunity to talk with you about Suwannee County past, present, and future! Susan, being a lifelong resident, has a wealth of information and is one of our most important assets! We look forward to talking with you.
Dennis Cason, President
Suwannee County Economic Alliance
Many months ago the Live Oak City Council formed a committee to review our City Charter. This is a process that should take place every 7-10 years to ensure the guide to running our City remains current with the times. The City Charter is like the Constitution for the City of Live Oak. The committee consisted of five volunteers: Jimmy McCullers, Tommy Jefferson, Jeffrey Boatright, John Hale, and Tom Daniels.
I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank them for their commitment and invaluable service to the City of Live Oak and its residents. I attended the final meeting of the Charter Review Committee this past Monday night only as a silent observer. It was refreshing to see a final product come together for the committee after months of hard work and multiple public hearings. I must say that they jumped in with both feet and are proposing some necessary changes. I hope those that vote in our upcoming spring elections will seriously consider the items which will be on their ballots regarding our charter.
I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to the committee members. I apologize for the actions of Mayor Nobles. He asked the chairman for permission to address the committee and used that opportunity to belittle their efforts and even imply that they were stupid. It was a jaw-dropping experience to hear the Mayor reduce himself to the level of a child on a school playground. I call on him to return to a level of professionalism commensurate with that of the Office of Mayor and apologize to the committee members.
If you would like to hear the recording of the meeting, you can find it at cityofliveoak.org under the Audio of Meetings tab.
Adam M. Prins 386-590-5224
A letter to the Charter Review Committee
City of Live Oak
Charter Review Committee Members: Jimmy McCullers, John Hale, Tom Daniels, Jeffry Boatright, Tommy Jefferson
In the performance of your duties as the Live Oak Charter Review Committee, your recommendations have effectively violated the three most basic and precious principles on which our American democratic system is based; (the three branches of government, division of powers and the system of checks and balances). In making your recommendations, you have effectively ignored and trashed these basic frameworks on which every level of government in our country is based. Your recommendations would, in all practical purposes, effectively abolish the executive (administrative) branch of government in our city. Our government would be reduced to a “one man show”. The division of power would no longer exist. The principle that I feel is very important is the system of checks and balances. Your recommendations would nullify any oversight of what is done by the legislative branch (Council). This is dangerous. Your actions would allow for a system where the legislative branch would have no oversight or accountability over them and would allow the Council to act without impunity, checks or oversight what so ever. Your actions would lead the Mayor’s office to slaughter.
This whole Charter review process was initiated to satisfy a personal vendetta against me and to promote the personal agenda of some. My review of the recommendations by the Committee shows that every recommendation made, targets the Mayor. It is clearly intended to be a “hatchet Job” on the Mayor’s office and is directed at me personally. There is no other way to explain your actions. You can’t tell me that there was not one other thing in the Charter that needed addressing, not one. Should these recommendations be accepted by the Council, it would serve as an example as to exactly why the checks and balances and oversights are needed in our city government. You can’t have the fox guarding the chicken house.
Again, to “gut” the Mayor’s office of oversight is incomprehensible and certainly dangerous to the effective and transparent operation of city government. During my thirty-six years of service as an elected public official, I have never seen such a blatant and flagrant attack on a public official and the democratic process. James Madison, Ben Franklin as well as the other framers of our democratic process and government will roll over in their graves if these recommendations are enacted. You can stop this blood-letting.
In your zeal to strip me of any authority, you have destroyed the credibility of the Committee. Your actions have made a joke and farce of the review process. For this to continue, it will serve as an embarrassment to the committee and a travesty and insult to the residents of Live Oak. They are not stupid.
Garth Nobles Jr.
Mayor and private citizen