Good Afternoon Fellow Franklin County Property Owners:
2015 has been another great year for our Association and marks another year of continued fiscal restraint. We want to remind all Franklin County citizens that the Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc. represents those without a voice on matters of financial propriety, transparency, efficiency and public corruption in Franklin County. We work with the County Commission, Hospital Board and other elected officials throughout the year. Many of you have probably had the feeling that you are powerless to affect our leadership. That’s where we come in. We hold elected officials to account and influence the debate. Let me share with you just some of the highlights for this past year:
Annual Budget: The budget process went much more smoothly this year, mirroring last year’s. The Sheriff’s Office did receive a substantial raise in budget this year which we believe was probably not justified with lower costs in several areas, such as fuel. However, with the prepared budget presented to Commissioners and with better State funding, most of the Commissioners were inclined to take the “win” with a slightly below rollback millage rate. The CCFC believes there could have been a greater reduction in the millage rate, but it was not to be. I was pleased at the turnout by CCFC members at the Budget Workshop. Thanks to all that attended. This is an example of the CCFC saving you money on taxes!
Health Care: The Commission recently approved moving forward with an over $10 million project to improve Weems. A ballot initiative that mandated a new hospital drives an agenda that is unjustified and unaffordable. Sources state a new hospital would cost in excess of $35 million. The truth is that no one really knows what is to be built, but it won’t be a new hospital. Our understanding is that Architects are to be given a go ahead to design something to available funding; we just don’t know what that will be at this time. Mike Cooper, Weems current CEO, is very competent and knowledgeable. Our problem is one of demographics and economics. Weems loses over $1.5 million a year (before county subsidies) and there are legitimate concerns and cautions going forward both as to costs and quality of the healthcare delivered locally. The CCFC will closely follow developments and will influence the debate. All options should be on the table. The last thing we all want is for the citizens of Franklin County to be paying for a mistake for the next 40 years. The CCFC believes that the hospital needs to be removed from County control and to be associated with a stronger system with more resources.
Outreach: Each year I speak with dozens of people in public and private settings explaining the need and mission of our organization. We are working with our county-wide Property Assessor on inconsistent property assessments concerning mobile homes and long-lasting, inconsistent property tax records. We assisted citizens and businesses with issues with the East Point Water and Sewer district, leading ultimately to a long-sought change in management. We have worked this year with Lanark Village concerning a series of thefts that have devastated fund-raising support of their local Association.
Annually, we reach out to current and past members, and other property owners for help in meeting the financial challenges of continuing the work of the CCFC. We engage professionals to further our mission (lawyers, accountants and investigators) we maintain and operate our website, and there are substantial mailing and other expenses to continue our work. Many members support us with dues payment of $100 or more to ensure our continued success. But whatever you can contribute, perhaps $25, $50, $75, will allow our year round work to ensure that good government for Franklin County becomes a reality. Please support our important work by citizens and for citizens by putting your check in the mail today! Make your check payable to the CCFC and mail it to P.O. Box 990, Eastpoint Florida 32328 while it is top of mind. Please feel free to share this letter with your friends; encourage them to join the CCFC. We represent you and you alone.
Thank you for your generous support. Dues are not deductible for income tax purposes.
Allan J. Feifer—President
Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc.
P.O. Box 990
Eastpoint, Florida 32328
ABetterFranklin.com (850) 653-5571