CCFC-New Franklin County Leadership

on Saturday, 03 December 2022.

Change is in the Air

Dear Readers:

Voters turned away both a freshman and a longtime Commissioner in last month’s election. It should now be obvious that people voted for change. Two Commissioners were up for re-election and two were shot down hard.

I have been regularly attending and reporting on county commission meetings for almost twenty years. I believe there were several reasons for the outcome of this election. Diminished public trust, the decisions county leadership has taken, higher taxes for many, and, a lack of openness to name a few. The CCFC got started many years ago at another time when sitting Commissioners thought there would be no end to future large tax increases, and, they spent and taxed accordingly.

But then, widespread spending cutbacks became necessary. Investors left the county, property values cratered and conflicts occurred between a significant number of citizens and county leadership. State leadership began to see Franklin County as a problem child since we were trailing in terms of economic development, educational attainment, and personal income.

Today, the demand for change expressed by the voters gave citizens as well as the CCFC a new bite at the apple. One new Commissioner is fired up and full of high energy on behalf of the county and the returning Commissioner brings an excellent institutional county memory together with, crucial statewide connections, strong leadership skills, and tenacity. Together, these new commissioners have the potential to carve a better, more productive, and more responsive path forward.

They also speak about having a vision. But, just what should that vision be or include? Here are a few suggestions that could make an important difference for the citizens of Franklin County and would be an easy and good place to start:

  1. Invite the citizens back to county meetings. Make it friendly. Get rid of the rule preventing Commissioners from asking a question or making a comment during Citizen's Comments. No stern or formal requirements should allow dialog between the speaker and the Commission. Let’s increase the number of citizens engaging with the commissioners at their meetings from none to 3 citizens and get back to 5-10 citizens, as it was in the past.
  2. Have meetings at convenient times and places for our citizens.
  3. Finalize the agenda the Friday before so the People can engage with Commissioners before the meeting and understand what will be discussed.
  4. Scrap the current county engagement policy. Get rid of the Speakers Card requirement that is supposed to be delivered in advance of a meeting when currently, the agenda is not finalized nor publicized until the last minute.
  5. Establish independent Advisory Boards for vital assets or priorities so that the Commission can hear fresh opinions from an often very knowledgeable public. There is potential for a much-needed Airport Advisory Board, Workforce Housing Council, and a real Economic Development Council to help better plan for the future of the county.
  6. Consider the use of a limited Consent Agenda that could result in shortened meetings. Franklin County has grown past the point of discussing often trivial matters for small dollars or policies that could be better managed. As is done elsewhere, with great success, any Commissioner could pull an item from the Consent Agenda and it will then be discussed as before. This should benefit everyone.

Sometimes opportunities to change static systems only come around once in a great while. The election results have shown that voters want change and that change may allow us to build out better. We are living in a time of great economic uncertainty. Prudent, proactive leadership at our local level is needed now more than ever. I hope you will engage with your own Commissioner and share your thoughts and perhaps discuss some of ours.

Change is inevitable. Nothing that lives can remain static forever. Franklin County must preserve what works and is special while looking to a future that will inevitably come, wanted or not. If we don’t meet those challenges now, then when?

As to the CCFC: If you have any questions or concerns, or if we can help you in any way in pursuit of our established goals, please reach out to us! Join us at our website at

We hope you will help support the CCFC as it continues the battle for a better, more representative, and transparent government for Franklin County. You can support our efforts through your membership dues, (not tax deductible). Our annual membership drive is underway this month! Please send your contributions to the address below.

Thank you.

Allan J. Feifer

Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc.
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.
(850) 653-5571

Commissioner Contacts:

Commissioner Cheryl Sanders - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 850-697-2534

Commissioner Ottice Amison - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 850-653-7860

Commissioner Ricky Jones - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 850-670-4427

Chairman Noah Lockley - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 850-653-4452

Commissioner Jessica Ward - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 850-323-0325

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