CCFC Fundraiser Letter to County
Good Afternoon Fellow Franklin County Property Owners:
2016 has been another active year for our Association but marks the first stirrings of a lack of fiscal restraint returning. Six of seven governmental agencies in Franklin County raised their millage rates this year, with only Alligator Point Water going for the rollback rate. The CCFC represents those without a voice on matters of financial propriety, transparency, efficiency and public corruption in Franklin County. We work with Commissioners, Hospital Board and other elected officials throughout the year. If you ever had the feeling that you were powerless to affect change, that’s where we come in. We hold elected officials to account and influence the debate. Let me share with you some the highlights for this past year:
Annual Budget: The budget process went much too smoothly this year. Little introspection, lack of goal setting and a general feeling of “With property values increasing, let’s take some more money” predominated. I personally spoke to three Commissioners about asking for options from the Finance Office to save ½ million dollars on the county’s $50 million budget and received no support. Why? The Sheriff’s Office once again received a substantial raise in budget this year which we could see primarily as personnel cost increases. The issue of double dipping, i.e. Constitutional Officers giving raises to their employees and then taking an additional across the board raise from the County Commission should stick in everyone’s craw more than anything else. Just taking the obvious step of eliminating double raises would have saved the county $150,000. The CCFC believes there could have been a greater reduction in the millage rate, but it was not to be. We thank those that turned out in support for their participation. This is an example of the CCFC saving you money on taxes!
Health Care: A year later and nothing has changed except for a larger deficit. Weems total liabilities stand at $2.4 million and lost $2.335 million this last fiscal year. (before county subsidies) As we stated last year, the Weems Hospital System needs to be depoliticized and a cap put on the cost to the citizens of Franklin County. With Weems currently eating up the capital portion of the Healthcare Trust Fund for operational needs, the current course is unsustainable. The proposed renovation/additions will not change the income matrix appreciably, but will add costs, further exacerbating the problem. Weems clinics are doing even worse both financially and operationally. Weems East is close to collapse and can’t even agree what services to deliver. Promises of a risk sharing partner coming in to bail out the hospital are pipe dreams we fear.
Outreach: Each year I speak with dozens of people in public and private settings explaining the need and mission of our organization. In addition, we answer questions and assist when possible with members’ issues with Franklin County. We were shocked to learn earlier this year how many potentially fraudulent property tax emptions have been filed with the Property Assessor among other questionable practices. There simply are not enough properties paying taxes in Franklin. This costs us all in higher millage rates. In 2017, working with the Property Assessor will be a major push for the CCFC.Annually, we reach out to the community at large 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 (www.abetterfranklin.com), and there are substantial mailing and other expenses to continue the 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
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