Contact Us


Concerned Citizens of
Franklin County, Inc.
PO Box 990
Eastpoint, Florida32328
(850) 653-5571

CCFC-County Summertime Happenings

on Monday, 05 August 2019.

Summertime Flying By

Hello Friends:

It was a very busy July for the CCFC. The twin battles of the yearly Budget Workshop and the next phase of the Weems saga consumed the month. We can bring you some good news on the county budget front and some disheartening news on the Weems front.

There was a determination this year to hold the line on costs. Whether the CCFC helped fan the flames of conservatism or not, there was a distinct desire to reign in any additional spending. While we could always argue that taxes could be lowered, we’ll take the win and move on. In spite of a visit by a category 4-5 hurricane, property values increased the most that they have in over 10 years, up 7.42 percent. Last year’s millage rate was 6.2679 with the rollback rate of 5.9040. The actual adopted rate was 5.9494 very close to that rolled back rate. We could take potshots at the current year’s increase having been unnecessary, but we will leave it alone. We’ll hit it again next year and try to keep the county from leasing new dump trucks every year as a tremendous fiscal waste and we will try to work even earlier on rationalizing a county budget that is only available for scrutiny three or four days before the hearing. The millage rate will be on your TRIM statement coming out shortly. Depending on where you live in the county, expect your tax bill to remain close to last year’s. There are very big differences in assessed values between Alligator Point and Carrabelle for example with Alligator Point being hit with significant increases that will reflect in higher net taxes. Have the Property Appraisers number on quick dial for your appeal.

If there were a hospital for hospitals, Weems would be in its Intensive Care Ward. What I am about to tell you is unbelievable but totally true. I am using numbers generated by Weems or from other county records. The latest financial numbers available are from June. Weems lost $276,731 before subsidies in June and $82,871 after subsidies. That is to say a net cash loss. So far this fiscal year Weems has lost $2,249,620 before all the assistance they are given and $683,097 afterwards. By the end of September, by their own projections they will have lost $944,297. To put this in perspective, they will have consumed nearly the entire Healthcare Trust Fund Tax for Operations with nothing left over for the many other capital needs, or for building any new or remodeled facility. The total number of “Inpatient Days” for June was 7. That’s not a misprint…seven. That means for the majority of the month, the facility beds were empty of patients. Don’t allow hospital management to gloss over this stark reality with tales of four hour observations being counted as “stays”. The hospital owes $1.6 million in current accounts and its cash is being depleted daily. Look for Weems to be asking for county financial support soon as it has in the past.

Now, to the real tragedy. The push to build a new/remodeled facility continues in spite of an inability to even understand how much it will cost or where the money will come to make the notes for the next 40 years. In December, the hospital CEO, HD Cannington, famous for the number of hospitals that have failed under his leadership, asked for$50,000 in December to get a best and final number to allow Commissioners to make a once and for all decision to move forward or not. At a Workshop on Friday the 26th July, I spoke to the Commissioners and advised them that roughly $1.5 million had been spent to date (noted on county ledger as “Work in Progress”) and we were still a long way from knowing what the project will cost. Unbelievably, the County voted 4-1 to spend another $221,000 to get a final number and a GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price) to essentially replace Weems with an updated version of today’s Weems. No new services, no Doctors, no specialists. Place your bets on what the final price will be. $12 million, $14 million or as high as $17 million? No one knows today. We witnessed the CEO and the Architect previously arguing about what was going to be required with the architect warning of much greater requirements/cost than Mr. Cannington.

While we are apparently getting our licks in Mr. and Ms. Taxpayer, let me let you in on something the County Chairman will explode about. Right now, Mr. Cannington is negotiating with the next prospective Doctor to consider coming to Weems. Salary of $225,000, sign on bonus, moving expenses, living support for a while. Well, where is Weems going to get the money to make this happen? I understand their planning to come to the County Commission for more help! Remember your Oliver Twist? “The assistants were paralyzed with wonder; the boys with fear. “What!" said the master at length, in a faint voice? "Please, sir," replied Oliver, "I want some more." And so it goes.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please let your Commissioners know that you support dumping Weems as was promised last year by every single commissioner. Can this really go on much longer?

Wait for the next shoe to drop in August…it’s a doozy.


Thank you.

Allan J. Feifer
President
Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc.
ABetterFranklin.com

Still haven’t paid your 2019 Dues? We really need your support to continue on with the work we undertake for you. Thank you for past and continued support. Send us a check today (please write your email address on the check) at the address below while you are still thinking about us. Not a member? No problem, click on… http://www.abetterfranklin.com/index.php/join-ccfc to join today. We depend on your support! Membership dues are not tax deductible.

Thank you for your current and past support!


Sincerely,

Allan J. Feifer
President
Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc.
P.O. Box 990
Eastpoint, Florida 32328
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ABetterFranklin.com
(850) 653-5571

“The Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc. serves as a citizens’ advocate to ensure that our Franklin County governments are more open, affordable, efficient, and responsive to our citizens. The organization seeks to hold public officials accountable for their actions in the administration of their duties and in their fiduciary responsibilities to the taxpayers.”

Commissioner Contacts:

Commissioner Bert Boldt - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 519-4966

Commissioner Smokey Parrish - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 653-8790

Commissioner Ricky Jones - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 653-8861

Chairman Noah Lockley - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 653-4452

Commissioner William Massey - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 653-8861

Please feel free to redistribute this email to your friends!