April, 2009

on Monday, 07 September 2015. Posted in News from the President

Cats and Dogs
The best show in town is arguably the Board of County Commissioner Meetings. Last month the long awaited kickoff for Franklin County's Economic Development Commission were dashed on the rocks of payback. Despite unanimous approval in earlier meetings this time was different. Apparently Commissioner Jackel dared to ask that the county get an updated appraisal before purchasing the land of someone closely tied to Commissioner Parrish. Cries of its "free grant money, so why do you care?" rang out, forcing a tabling of the proposed purchase; at least for now. But that wasn't the end of it, after first voting for it, three of the commissioners demanded another vote to kill the Economic Development Committee without discussion or reason given. It left everyone in the room stunned and speechless. Only Commissioners Sanders and Jackel were in support. Friends, let me ask you a question: Does this show the true loyalties and colors of some of our Commissioners?

Franklin County Tax Digest
We visited with the Property Appraiser earlier in the month. She was gracious and answered all our questions. What is apparent is that the County Tax Digest is going to take a nosedive this year. The Property Appraiser estimates 30%, we think a bit less. However, these reductions will be spotty and definitely not across the board. There have been more foreclosures so far this year than all of last year. Times are tough.

There are really two kinds of county-wide assessments:

  1. The millage rate imposed by the BOCC and which includes all the constitutional officers.
  2. The millage rate imposed by the School Board.

Your Association has just completed a study of county employee head counts in surrounding counties and other small coastal counties for comparison. We'll publish those results on this web site in the next couple of weeks pending verification. However, at least initially, the figures show Franklin County with the largest overall head count per capita in general, particularly in the constitutional offices. The county has to decide between substantial cuts in people, a substantial millage rate increase, hitting the reserve again or a combination of the three. I believe everyone is comfortable with the reality that Franklin County is to receive little if any "stimulus" money. I do however sense that several of the Commissioners are seriously looking at cost cutting this year, more than in the past. The problem with hitting the reserves is that next year could be worse than this year! At some point, you have to live within your means.

Our School System
The School District is another matter. New Superintendant Nina Marks has publicly expressed that maintaining jobs is her number one concern. With the school portion of your taxes greater than the County portion and with no real way of focusing a spotlight on the excesses of the Distinct, the CCFC expects little budget cutting and a large increase in the millage rate later this year. We believe in education. But, at around $17,000 per student in the consolidated school, with truly abysmal graduation rates and scores, someone needs to be held accountable. "It's for the children" is worn like a suit of armor designed to defeat anyone who questions the bureaucracy. Teachers are great, bureaucracy is bad. Let's demand results and cut excess costs. How can anyone really argue against that? Parents must step up to the plate on this issue. They have more standing than anyone else. Each child deserves a 21st century education!

CCFC Needs Your Financial Help
Finally, it's membership renewal time again. We need $35,000 in membership dues to fund all of our activities this year. Your generous membership dues (not tax deductible) are necessary to accomplish our goals. We hope you agree that your participation, if only writing a check, is an invaluable aid to protecting your property rights and your wallet in Franklin County. Average dues have been about $100 with minimum dues of $25 per person. Please send your check today to the address below. If you either joined or paid your dues after November first, you are good for this year. There is strength in numbers, so we ask you to help us recruit new members to the CCFC. Together we CAN and ARE making a difference. Please pull out your checkbook today while it is fresh in your mind!

Thank you,

Allan J. Feifer

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