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

Attention Frankling County Propery Owners!

on Tuesday, 10 December 2019.

A Special Message to Franklin County Property Owners:

2019 has again been extremely active for the CCFC and Franklin County government. Commissioners modestly raised taxes this year, with the school Board lowering the millage rate. Taxes grew a little bit based on increased values that varied by where you live. We bring analyses and information to budget hearings and to those putting budgets together behind-the-scenes to spotlight areas that could be better managed to avoid increases, on you, the taxpayer. Both the school system and Franklin County experienced a flood of money as a consequence of Hurricane Michael. Millions of unanticipated dollars plussed up many accounts without matching expenditures. We have never seen the county as Flush with the budget rising from $51 million to $59 million. Factoid; Wakulla County with approximately triple the population takes in only $9 million in ad valorem vs. Franklin’s $12 million!

The CCFC represents those without a voice on matters of financial propriety, and seeks to secure transparency, efficiency and eliminate public corruption in Franklin County. Felt that you were powerless to affect change? That’s where we come in. We work with Commissioners, Hospital Board and other elected officials throughout the year. We hold elected officials to account and raise our voices to influence their deliberations and outcomes.

What the CCFC is not, is a champion of any kind of social justice or politics that some would like us to make part of our message. We are non-partisan and stand solely on the side of the taxpayer who wants to understand and have confidence in the numbers and objectives of their local government as well as, ensure public officials are looking out for the best interests of ALL Franklin County citizens.

Please feel free to share this letter with your friends; encourage them to learn more about the work of the Concerned Citizens and to join the CCFC as new members. It is only through strength of numbers that we will achieve the kind of respect that we need to influence the debate.

Let me share with you some of this year’s CCFC efforts on behalf of best practices to achieve and guarantee transparency and a fiscally responsible, fair and accountable government for Franklin County.

  1. We have attended almost all County Commission Meetings in 2019. When appropriate and possible UNDER THE SEVERELY RESTRICTIVE PUBLIC COMMENT RULES) we speak up with facts, concerns and alternatives which may be accepted later in deliberations.
  2. After years of work on Healthcare in Franklin County, the CCFC has brought a landmark option for the Commission and to the County as a whole. There are four choices that will be decided on in the near future:
  1. Accept the Sacred Heart proposal which ends risk and expense going forward and achieves a state-of-the-art facility, management, staffing and equipage with Sacred Heart by becoming part of their extensive healthcare system. Estimated one time cost to Franklin County $7.5 million based on its proposal and then the county exits the healthcare business.
  2. Accept the Alliant proposal to manage the Healthcare system for a fee and have them guide us as to what to build and when. Add and pay for new services along with that financial risk. Note: Alliant has stated that a new facility will have to be built (an economic necessity) but it can’t be a standalone ER according to state regulations.
  3. Do Nothing and Continue to operate the Healthcare System as is with the existing Hospital Board and County Commission oversight and then build a new $14-$17-million facility run by the county with 100% risk acceptance, both financial and liability.
  4. The County closes Weems and exits the healthcare business completely or continues to maintain its clinics.
  1. The Association frequently attends Hospital Board Meetings to primarily listen to reports and budget facts as presented. We will ask questions while pushing for accountability and logic in the expenditures for Weems Hospital operations. We hope Commissioners will finally take the CCFC’s suggestion to enter into a more sensible and successful risk-sharing partnership with Sacred Heart Hospital. This can end the county’s liability and provide a long-promised new facility, supported by the existing hospital tax, and which may be more centrally located for all residents of Franklin County. Our Association was instrumental in seeking to have the then current CEO resign after various improprieties and practices were disclosed and made available to county leaders.
  2. The CCFC constantly researches best ideas and business practices, sharing them with County Departments and Constitutional Officers.
  3. We have been very involved in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Our county’s small voting size precludes us from securing some resources that bigger counties achieve. As CCFC President, I have personally spoken to Federal, State and local leaders to further smart solutions and to find funding to carry out same.
  4. We expect (sadly not always successfully) that public meetings be held with decorum and respect toward the citizenry. We ask that the public be heard before a vote is held on each agenda item as was the rule as recently as 2017. (The county currently enforces a three minute limit for each spokesperson’s public comment and only at the beginning of each meeting.) We continually drive this point home as it is essential to public confidence.
  5. We reach out through emails such as these and contribute Letters to the Editor and Guest Columns to the Apalachicola Times on a frequent basis. We receive and appreciate taxpayer feedback from many people who call, write or just spread our words on behalf of good government when taxpayer voices need to be heard.
  6. The CCFC continues to work with law enforcement on issues of suspected public corruption. We work with the Property Appraiser on issues of questionable assessments and exemptions. We work with Constitutional Officers to continually present positive, alternative, good-business methods and alternatives.
  7. We engage professionals (lawyers, investigators, additional accountants) to further our mission of good, honest, representative government for Franklin County.
  8. CCFC built, maintains and operates an independent website (www.ABetterFranklin.com). We incur substantial mailing and other expenses to help bring taxpayers the news, behavior, decisions and actions of Franklin County Commissioners, elected Constitutional officers and other leadership.

Annually, we reach out to the community for help in meeting the financial challenges of continuing our work.

Many members support us with dues payment of $100 or more to ensure our continued success. But we will successfully and carefully put into action whatever you can contribute (perhaps $25, $50, $75) which will allow our year-round work to continue. We need your financial help to ensure that good government in Franklin County can and will become a reality.

Please support our important work efforts made on your behalf by putting your membership dues contribution in the mail today! While it is top-of-mind please act now and make your check payable to the CCFC and mail it to P.O. Box 990, Eastpoint Florida 32328. (Dues are not tax deductible)

Thank you for your generous support.

Sincerely,
Allan J. Feifer

President
Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc.