December 25, 2007
We hope this message catches you on or just after Christmas and that you are having the best of times. Family is so important this time of year and I hope that 2007 has been a wonderful year for you. Our membership now stands at 500 plus. We're excited that so many of you have supported us in fighting for fair taxation, openness in government and efficiency in delivering government services.
I attended the last Franklin County Commission meeting of the year last week and I am sorry to say we've taken a step back in the openness area. Newly appointed Chairman Noah Lockley has abolished evening Commission meetings. Lockley was against them when nighttime meetings were proposed and he killed them first chance he got as the new Chairman. As a consequence, fewer citizens will get the chance to address their leadership. This is a step back.
Thanks to you the CCFC has had a great year. Here are just a few of our accomplishments in 2007:
- We've gone from 40 members at the end of 2006 to over 500 today!
- The CCFC orchestrated the largest turnout (over 300 people) at a budget workshop in County history.
- We successfully held down calls for a budget increase and worked hard for a 9% millage rate reduction both in the public eye and behind the scenes.
- The CCFC has created several citizen run committees that look at budgets, county-wide voting and other important areas of concern.
- We sponsored two county wide meetings that were both well attended.
- Your Association has testified before a Florida State House Committee and in doing so has developed state level access.
- Many Letters to the Editor have been published in the local newspaper to highlight issues of concern and interest to Franklin County citizens.
- Your Association has spent thousands of dollars running issue ads to keep citizens informed and to draw attention to the misguided decisions, outright folly and sometimes just plain old abuse that is all too often the story of local politics.
- The CCFC has been the voice of the people asking why the will of the people was ignored in the non-binding referendum that called for county-wide voting.
- We have co-sponsored the Northwest Florida Taxpayer's Alliance to help give us a voice with other regional counties and to understand their needs, history, strategies and successes better.
- On the State scene we have had conversations with movers and shakers from within our great State and who share our thoughts, concerns and issues.
- A great deal of our success is owed to a small cadre of our membership that has worked tirelessly trying to connect the dots of spending, appraisals and taxation in order to answer that overriding question: "What the heck do they do with all that money!"
- Your Board meets every month to meet the challenges facing us.
All of us feel blessed to live in God's country and have an overriding desire to give something back. It would be so easy to just look the other way and not make waves.
None of us are paid, or stand to reap any benefits beyond that which we all receive if we can help bring into being a Franklin County devoid of waste and suspected fraud and corruption.
Most of the people I deal with at Franklin County are normal honest citizens that resent the waste of their money and see on a daily basis the results of inefficient or worse county leadership.
I promise you that 2008 will bring with it no small number of surprises, outrages and disclosures.
The Board and I wish every one of you a great holiday season and a prosperous and safe 2008 and thank each of you for your support.
Allan J. Feifer, President, CCFC