Title: Franklin chronicle
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089928/00218
 Material Information
Title: Franklin chronicle
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Russell Roberts
Publication Date: September 5, 2003
Copyright Date: 2003
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Franklin -- Apalachicola
Coordinates: 29.725278 x -84.9925 ( Place of Publication )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089928
Volume ID: VID00218
Source Institution: Florida State University
Holding Location: Florida State University
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

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Volume 12, Number 18 A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER September 5 -18,2003

On St. George Island

Phipps Ventures Unveils General
Plans For Development Of Resort


Meeting at

Clubhouse brings many questions, few

Inside This Issue
12 Pages

Phipps Ventures ....... 1, 9
Redistrict Lawsuit.. 1, 10
Wakulla Man Sues State 1
Contractor Fined .......... 1
Franklin Briefs ....... 2, 10
Editorial & Commentary.
.......................... 3, 4, 10

Plantation Issues............
.................. 3, 4, 5, 9, 11
Visioning Workshop ...... 6
Mission to Equador....... 7
Poet Competition ......... 7
Business Card Directory 9
FCAN .......................... 8
Bookshop ................. 12

Concerned Citizens Are Ready to File Lawsuit

Franklin County

May Face Federal

Litigation Over

Publisher's Note: Relevant correspondence on the redistricting
issue. is published in the Editorial and Commentary section of
this issue, page 10. .

Don Cooper exhibits the master plan

.Dennis Boyle, Michael Wilder and Don Cooper(of the architectural
firm of Cooper, Johnson and Smith, Tampa, Florida) outlined their
plans to develop the 57 acres at Resort Village, the commercial parcel
of land in the middle of the Plantation on the Island, on Thursday,
August 28th at 10:00 a.m.
A large number of drawings and renderings were exhibited to the
approximately 74 Plantation owners specifically invited to the brief-
ing. The lots were labeled as beach lots, bungalow lots, wetlands,,
estate lots, some about ofne-quarter of an acre in size, others up to
1/2 an acre in size. The plan envisioned the hotel to be converted
from 24 rooms to 12 residential units. All other residential lots would
be single family.
Later, during the briefing and questions from the audience, the
"c-word" emerged: Condominiums. There was some stiffening in the
level of rhetoric after that as some in the audience reminded others
that condos were forbidden in past arguments, discussions and liti-
gations involving the Dr. Ben Johnson project, before the property
was purchased by the Phipps interests. Dennis Boyle freely admitted
that the condos would' not be an issue if that became a stumbling
block in the discussions between the Plantation and Resort Village.
They could continue to operate the hotel as a hotel.
The purpose of the meeting, according to Dennis Boyle, was to "take
the mystery out of Resort Village." He designated David Wilder as
director of the project and Don'Cooper as the current architect.
Mr. Cooper explained the four guiding principles the Phipps Ventures
has ordained. These were to (1) set aside land to remain wild; (2)
create a walkable neighborhood with a balanced public and private
life; (3) create an architecture that compliments the natural beauty of
the site and; (4) create a neighborhood center.
In sum, as Dennis Boyle later explained, the Resort Village would
exploit a village concept with commercial buildings located around
the swimming pool complex, with shops on the ground level and liv-
ing quarters on the second level. Considerable discussion on that
point followed with a generalized conclusion that the concept might
be flawed, citing the Plantation "living style" not of neighbors or neigh-
borhoods, but of families living on one acre tracts, with maintained
This may not characterize each and every platted area or village, but
the conclusion goes some distance in explaining the difference be-
tween the Plantation "living style" and what the Resort Village might
strive to become. Many in the audience seemed to agree with the
assertion that one major appeal for property owners was to completely
escape the rigors of the "outside world," including neighbors, and
that the security gate was considered of paramount importance to
that group. Moreover, this was underscored with 'admissions from

Master Plan Review Dennis Boyle
Don Cooper who described his expe ience living for a short time in
Seaside, where there was some sense of community, as opposed to
living in Tampa, where there was little community feeling. Some ar-
gued that this kind of concept would not "sell" to many homebuyers.
The Phipps leadership continued to emphasize that the Resort Vil-
lage development would not duplicate the Seaside development.
On May 23, 2003, Plantation owners Lee Sewell, Manley Siler and
Mike Doyle met with the Phipps leadership in Tallahassee to receive
briefing on the development in Resort Village. The three-hour meet-
ing resulted in a memorandum written by Doyle and submitted to the
Plantation Board of Directors. This document is quoted, in part, to
add to the description of the Resort Village development.
"Four commercial buildings are located around the ex-
isting pool. The commercial uses they contemplate might
be a convenience store, an ice cream shop, and/or a pool
side grill, continued on Page 9

r & r ., -- ** .,
Jerry Thompson (left), Chairman of Concerned Citizens,
Inc. and (right) Robert Rivas, attorney.
As a follow-up to an unanswered 11 July 2003 letter to the Franklin
County Commission, attorney Robert Rivas has sent a letter to the
Franklin County Commission written on behalf of the Concerned Citi-
zens of Franklin County about redistricting. The July 11, 2003 letter
was from the chairperson of the citizens group soliciting their coop-
eration in redistricting, but thus far (as of 2 September) the letter was
unanswered by the Franklin County Commission.
The July letter explained why the Board of County Commissioners is
overdue in redrawing the district lines, and the group has offered
assistance. Jerry Thompson, St. George Island, is chairperson of the
citizen's group. Mr. Rivas, in his recent letter of August 29 directed to
each of the Franklin County Commissioners and their attorney Tho-
mas Michael Shuler, advises the Commissioners that the citizens group
has engaged Mr. Rivas to file a lawsuit in Federal District Court against
each Commissioner, in their official capacities as members of the
Board, to compel the Commission to comply "...with your legal obli-
gation." The suit is scheduled for filing on or about September 18,
Rivas added, "...This letter is not a threat; it is a plea. We write (to)
implore you to do what you are required by law to do in order that
your constituents not be forced to become your adversaries in court."
The Concerned Citizens has prepared a redistricting plan in accor-
dance with the requirements of the law, and would assist the Com-
mission in its implementation.
The lawsuit will be brought under state law and also pursuant to
Section I of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, seeking a declaratory judg-
ment that the plaintiffs have been deprived of their right to the equal
protection of the laws, as guaranteed by the Equal Protection Clause
of the 14th Amendment, by the failure of the Franklin County Com-
mission to ensure that each vote in the county is weighted equally.
The lawsuit will seek a permanent injunction to compel the Franklin
County Commission to redistrict in time for the 2004 elections.
Also, the litigation will seek to require that, if the Commissioners do
not redistrict themselves, that the Court consider a plan proposed by
the plaintiffs, hear from interested parties, and impose a redistricting

Continued on Page 10

Apalachicola Mayoral Race Results

Jack Frye and Boyd W. Howze Jr. both came out as the major win-
ners in last Tuesday's election for Mayor of Apalachicola, forcing a
run-off election between the two candidates slated for September 16th.
A disappointed Lee McKnight came in third trailing Howze by only
three votes. Earl Whitfield was out of the running with only 92 votes
total. The following is the breakdown of the vote totals:
Apalachicola General Election
September 2, 2003

Jack Frye
Boyd W. Howze, Jr.
Lee McKnight
Earl Whitfield
Total Voted




A commission member was heard to say that the black voter turnout
was very low.

Jim Brown Elected Mayor Of Carrabelle

In the Carrabelle mayoral election, James (Jim) N. Brown won out
with 215 votes over Wilburn (Curley) Messer with 178 votes and Mary
E. Daniel with 19 votes. In the September 2, 2003 election out of
about 900 registered voters in the Carrabelle district, 352 people voted
at the polls and 60 cast absentee ballots. There will be no run off
election. In spite of an early morning heavy rain there was a good
voter turn out with about 45% casting ballots.

In Federal Court

Fisherman Ron Crum

Charges Governor

Bush, Fish Commission

With Nazi Tactics

Litigation Asks for Emergency Motion for Injunction
Wakulla County fisherman Ronald Crum, on August 23rd filed an
action against the State of Florida, Governor Jeb Bush, the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC), its Commis-
sion members, and Ken Haddad, the Executive Director seeking an
injunction to stop what he charged as "daily attempts to intimidate
him while he pursues his ... life's major activities."
Crum specifically outlined a list of intimidation events beginning with
an attack by officers from the Florida Wildlife Commission on himself
and his family by hovering the FFWCC agency's helicopter directly
over the Crum home at an altitude "...that caused emotional distress
and fear to Mr. Crum and his family." This occurred on October 16,
2000. The attack on the Crum home was followed by a helicopter
attack on Marvin Thomas in Dickerson Bay, Gulf of Mexico, terroriz-
ing him and physically deafening Mr. Thomas by the concussion of
the propeller blades and loud feedback from the helicopter speaker
system. Crum also alleged that the conduct of the Florida Wildlife
Commission and its law enforcement personnel demonstrated a se-
ries of retaliatory acts against Mr. Crum. This has amounted to "...a
reincarnation of the terror similar to the Holocaust," according to the
legal brief filed In the United States District Court, Northern District
of Florida, Tallahassee on August 23, 2003.
Mr. Crum claimed in the brief that these attacks have diminished his
business to the point he is "...teetering on the edge of not being able
to provide for his family."
Mr. Crum also alleged that he filed a complaint in November 2000
and an investigation was initiated by the Director of Investigations,
Office of the Chief Inspector General from the Governor's Office. The
investigation was assigned to Officer Troelstrup but, the legal brief
alleges, Officer Troelstrup failed to complete the investigation. Crum
asserts that Officer Troelstrup told him (Crum) that his life was threat-
ened and he was 'encouraged' to stop the investigation.
The fly overs of the Crum household have continued and the Florida
Wildlife Commission has placed an enlarged duplication of the Crum
Florida Driver's license in the local Florida Wildlife Commission Of-
fice. Thus, as the brief continued, because of the continued threats
and harassment by the Florida Wildlife Commission, Mr. Crum is
afraid for his safety and the safety of his wife, children and grandchil-
This recent motion is a part of an earlier action against the same
defendants seeking injunctive relief on February 28, 2003, to which
the State of Florida filed a motion to dismiss. Mr. Crum sought in-
junctive relief under the America Disabilities Act of 1990 and the
14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, section (1). At that time,
he asked the Executive Director of the FFWCC, Ken Haddad, to be
allowed and others like him be allowed to use a rectangular 500 square
foot net made of twisted nylon until the Federal Court resolved an
ADA request. Mr. Crum, the plaintiff, alleges that he has not received
a response to his earlier request made to Director Ken Haddad. He
adds that he has "sought reasonable accommodation from the De-
fendant Florida Wildlife Commission" and has been refused.
Thus, the Crum case seeks the Federal Court's decision to allow Mr.
Crum to use the rectangular 500 square foot net constructed to twisted
nylon with a mesh size that allows non-targeted fish to escape alive,
and to order the Florida Wildlife Commission to cease and desist threat-
ening, harassing, and to cease any recurring attempts to intimidate
Mr. Crum and his family.
Retired Judge Charles D. McClure is representing Ronald Crum in
this litigation recently filed.

Franklin County Construction
And Licensing Board Fines

By Harriett Beach
The Franklin County Construc-
tion and Licensing Board met
August 20, 2003, in the Franklin
County Court House Annex at
6:30 p.m. The following Board
members were present: Allan
Roberts, Greg Prickett, Heath Gal-
loway and John Hewitt with Will-
. Jam Poloronis, as chairman of the
meeting. Three non-voting alter-
nate members were also present
to assure that there would be a
A hearing concerning construc-
tion work begun during a period
from January to July, 2003, in
Franklin County without obtain-
ing or posting of permits and done
by Ben Withers, a Licensed Con-
tractor, was the only item on the
agenda for this meeting. Michael
Shuler representing Franklin
County interests and attorney
Nicolas Yonclas representing the
interests of Ben Withers were
present. Robin Brinkley, Building
Official, Chris Giametta, Building
Inspector and Rachel Ward, Plans
Examiner for the Building and
Construction Division of the
Franklin County Planning De-
partment were present to offer
testimony concerning the four
construction projects done by
Chris Giametta, Franklin County
Building Inspector, reported to the
Board that Withers had on four
occasions begun construction
projects in which dirt or fill was
moved or placed without the con-
struction permits either being
obtained or posted. All of the
properties are located on Alliga-
tor Point. One of the properties
cited for work without a permit is
the home of Mrs. Barbara With-
ers, mother of Ben Withers. On
all of the properties there was ei-
ther a Critical Habitat or Critical
Shore Line violation which is a
concern of the Department of
Environmental Protection.
In the discussion about the
projects, the issue was raised as
to who had the authority to issue
permits for filling and grading.
Robin Brinkley said, "The Health
Department issues permits for
septic tanks but the Building and
Construction Department issues
all permits for filling and grading."
Withers reported that his con-
struction firm was only the
sub-contractor on two of the con-
struction sites and the primary
contractor should be responsible,
for obtaining all of the permits for
the projects. In response to one
of the job site complaints, With-
Continued on Page 7

Withers Response
To The Licensing

The Ben Withers response to the
Franklin County Licensing Board
was to ask for a rehearing or clari-
fication, as indicated in his legal
brief August 29th.
"Motion For Rehearing
And/Or Clarification
Ben Withers, through under-
signed counsel, moves the Board
for a rehearing or alternatively, for
clarification of its ruling of August
20, 2003, and as grounds, states
as follows: 1. Personnel from the
Building Department testified at
the hearing that Mr. Withers' ac-
tions were in violation of the Criti-
cal Shoreline Ordinance, No.
87-1. That testimony may not
have been accurate. Subsequent
conversations with Building De-
partment officials reveal that
there are no maps delineating the
areas supposedly within the Criti-
cal Shoreline District and that it
is unclear whether the areas
where Mr. Withers was suppos-
edly working 'at the pertinent
times are even subject to the Criti-
cal Shoreline Ordinance. More-
over, even if a violation of the Criti-
cal Shoreline Ordinance was in-
volved, this Board had no juris-
diction to consider any such vio-
lation, but rather, the enforce-
ment of the Ordinance lies with
the Franklin County Commission,
2. The record is not clear what the
Board found Mr, Withers culpable
or guilty of. There were four
charges brought against him, and
from the tenor of the discussion,
it appears that three of them were
suspect in their merit.
Although it is true that Mr. With-
ers admitted to being wrong on
one of the charges (the "Buford
job"), it is unfair to have a "record"
transferred to the State Construc-
tion Industry Licensing Board
when it is not known whether he
was responsible, culpable or
guilty of four charges or one
charge. Further, to the extent that
this Board wants contractors to
know what they can and cannot
do, there should be some clarity
in the Board's actions. For in-
stance, with the record as it now
exists, Mr. Withers does not know
whether he would be in violation
again if he did the work under the
same circumstances as the three
non-Buford jobs.

Continued on Page 7

Page 2 5 September 2003


The Franklin Chronicle



September 2, 2003
Present: Commissioner
Cheryl Sanders;
Commissioner Jimmy
Mosconis; Commissioner
Clarence Williams and
Commissioner Bevin
Putnal; Absent:
Commissioner Eddie

Veterans Service
William Scott appeared before the
Commissioners to request that
his requested budget for 2004 be
restored. Commissioner Jimmy
Mosconis suggested he meet with
Alan Pierce to work out a possible
solution and be present at the
budget review meeting, Septem-
ber 8, 2003, at 5:30 p.m.

Superintendent of Public
Herbert Chipman reported to the
Commissioners that he was in
"desperate need" of another
fulltime employee. There might be
contingency money available in
the remaining budget. The discus-
sion on a "new hire" was contin-
ued until the meeting of 21 Sep-
tember 2003.

Solid Waste Director
Van Johnson reported that Chris-
topher Spann, Eastpoint, has,
been hired to fill the vacant posi-
tion in the Solid Waste Depart-

Little League Football
The 2003 Little League Football
& Cheerleading season started on
August 25th. This year's season
combines more than 140 boys
and girls from the Carrabelle,
Eastpoint and Apalachicola com-
munities that will represent
Franklin County in the Big Bend.
The kids will play together, with
kids. of there own age groups ,to
make up three divisions.
The Pee Wee Division consists of
kids that are between the ages of
11 & 12. The Tiny Mite Division
consists of kids that are 9 & 10.
And the Teeny Mite Division con-
sists of kids that are between the
ages of 7 & 8.
To make this season a success,
Mrs. ,Joanne Gander, Franklin
SCounty School Superintendent, is
considering the donation of buses
to transport the kids to their away
games. It was requested'that the
Board help, by approval of an
$1,100 expenditure from Parks &
Recreation budget to pay for cer-
tified game officials. Such officials
are required for the Franklin
County League to participate in
the Big Bend.
The Board approved a motion
authorizing the Parks and Recre-
ation Director to expend Parks
and Recreation funds to pay for
certified officials to officiate at the
Little League Football home

County Extension Director
Bill Mahan reported on clam
aquaculture workshops recently
held. A clam farming workshop
titled 'The Basics of Processing
and Marketing Clams," was
taught on August 21 at the FSU
Marine Lab. Topics covered in-
cluded: "State & Federal Licenses
and Processing Plant Require-
ments (tags, time/temperature
matrix, HACCP)" by Dan Cavins,
FL Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services (DACS), Divi-
sion of Aquaculture; "Marketing
Promotional Efforts for Farm-
Raised Clams," by Tom Thomas,
DACS Division of Marketing, Bu-
reau of Seafood and Aquaculture
Marketing; and "Clam Production
and Distribution of Sales In
Florida," by Leslie Sturmer,
UF-IFAS, Shellfish Aquaculture
Extension Program.
On August 22, a similar workshop
was held for the certified shellfish
dealers in the Franklin, Gulf &
Wakulla County area to discuss
developing a local clam market-
ing and distribution system. Both
workshops went very well and the
dealer's meeting included a clam
cook-off between Tom Thomas
and Leslie Sturmer. The next
planned clam farming activity is
to work with the Apalachicola Bay
Chamber of Commerce to hold a
"chiefs, clam sampler" featuring
Alligator Harbor Clams.
Mahan also told the Commission-

ers about the recent ISSC meet-
ing in Portland, Oregon. The
meeting went well for Florida with
no major changes being approved
by the Conference that will have
any negative impacts on the
state's oyster industry. Some of
the proposed changes to the ISSC
guidelines of interest to the states
shellfish industry included: pro-
posal: 03-105, Marine Biotoxin
Monitoring; 01-224, Establish-
ment of New PHT Dealer Classifi-
cation; 03-211, Place decision tree
for receiving shellfish from
non-MOU countries into the Na-
tional Shellfish Sanitation
Program's Guidance Documents;
and 03-212, Increasing the PHT
guideline of less than 3 MPN of
Vv to 30 MPN as non-detectable.

There were no bids received for
the removal and replacement of
eleven metal doors and frames at
Weems Memorial Hospital.

Invasive Plants
Brian Martin of the Division of
Forestry appeared to continue his
talk on the use of herbicides by
the Division of Forestry in
Franklin County.

Public Hearing
A public hearing on a land use
change and rezoning for .081
acres located-.in Carrabelle was
SummerCamp Planned
Unit Development
The SummerCamp PUD was ap-
proved by the Board of Franklin
County Commissioners in a
unanimous vote, contingent upon
a review of some last-minute lan-
guage changes having to do with
the role of the Franklin County
Planner. Eight persons, including
St. Joe's Billy Buzzett, spoke to
the issue, most of whom endorsed
the changes made to the plan.
The provision allowing the Plan-


ner to approve "minor changes"
disturbed two speakers, so the
Commission made their approval
contingent upon that provision
being removed from the Plan.
SummerCamp will include 499
residential dwellings, small-scale
neighborhood goods and services,
with lands devoted to conserva-
tion, recreation and open space.
There will be an advanced waste-
water treatment plant (AWWT)
and central water facilities. The
development will be located on a
parcel of land in the vicinity of the
intersection of U.S. 98 and U.S.
319 in Franklin County.

County Attorney
Thomas Michael S.huler requested
and received approval to have the
Sumatra Cemetery surveyed and
plots identified. He- also received
approval to' respond to the Rob-
ert.Rivas letter concerning redis-
tricting and to report back to the
Commissioners a recommenda-
tion on redistricting issues raised
in the Rivas letter.
Skip Carmichael and Mike Lake
appeared as part of the Counsel's

Michael Lake
'report to the Commission. uom-
missioner Cheryl Sanders tore
into Mr. Carmichael about the
question of taking disabled pa-
tients directly to Tallahassee,
where their doctors were located,
instead of Weems Hospital. He
responded that normally, patients
would be taken anywhere they
preferred IF they were not in a
life-threatening situation. Other-
wise, the standing orders were to
transport them to Weems where
emergency aid was available to
stabilize them for further trans-
Michael Lake, Weems Leasee, ap-
peared to answer questions con-
cerning overdue taxes, an issue
brought forward by Jimmy Har-
ris at the last meeting. Mr. Shuler

Billy Buzzett
repqrte.dthat a substantial por-
tiodnof the 'taxes have been paid
, aid arrangements were irT pro
ceq.s.o. pa.\1ng off the balance. Mr-<
Lake reported on the hospitalin-
dicating that he had plans to build
a new facility, likely in the center
of the county between Eastpoint
and Carrabelle. This plan in-
cluded 61,000 square feet of
space, perhaps located up High-
way 65. He mentioned that his tax
bills were not directed to the cor-
rect address or party.

Ministerial Association
pastor James Williams appeared
on behalf of the Apalachicola Min-
isterial Association requesting the
restoration of their budgeted
funding for 2004, rescinded on a
motion by Eddie Creamer last
meeting. Jimmy Mosconis and
others explained that the separa-
tion of powers doctrine in local
and other government prohibited
legislating money to a church, ei-
ther "direct or indirect." They plan
to appear at the Budget Review
on September 8, 2003, at 5:30

Director of Administrative
County Planner Alan Pierce in-
formed the Board that Steve
Jernigan, annex architect, and
James Rogers, annex contractor,
continued to work together tod try
and solve the mildew problem in
the annex. "One area of concern
is whether the windows have been
installed properly. Another area
is the air conditioning system and
whether it is running long enough
to take the moisture out of the
air," he said.
Michael Shuler is interested in
going to a one-day seminar on the
legalities of mold and mildew
problems if the Board would like
to send him. The seminar is in
Tallahassee, and Michael will go
at his own expense if the Board
will cover, the cost of the seminar
registration fee. The cost of the
seminar is approximately $300.
The Board approved sending both
the Counsel and County engineer.
The Board authorized accepting
the low bid from Architectural
Products for the shuttering of the
Senior Citizen Center. Miles
Anderson, Division of Emergency
Management, who is paying for
the installation rejected that bid
as not being complete, and rec-
ommends the Board accept the
low bid from Wind-Tech Products
instead. The Board, accepted the
bid from Wind-Tech for $22,774.
With regard to dredging of the
Eastpoint channel, Mr. Pierce
spoke with a number of people
this past week, including Terry
Jangula, Corps of Engineers,
Mike Sole, DEP, and Bobby Pick-
les, Rep. Allen Boyd's aide. "Mr.
Sole said they met with the Corps
on August 7 and have agreed to
let the Corps submit a dredging
plan which includes open water
disposal on the breakwater.
Terry Jangula says they are work-
ing on that, and he will provide irn
writing to the Board an assurance
that funds allocated for the dredg-
ing of the Eastpoint channel will
be spent on the Eastpoint chan-
nel regardless of what fiscal year
- it actually gets dredged. He as-
sured Mr. Pierce by telephone on

Thursday, but the Board wants it
in writing. Bobby Pickles has of-
fered to intervene if things do not
move along at a steady pace this
fall. Mike Sole will no longer be
handling the project for DEP as
he is being transferred to another
With regard to the Alligator Point
Emergency Shoreline Stabiliza-
tion Project, Mr. Pierce said, 'This
is the project that was offered to
be done by the Corps with no cash
match required by the county so
long as construction and design
costs stayed below a certain level.
Over a year ago the Corps, with
Stephen Carter as the head, pro-
posed a vinyl sheet pile revetment
to protect the most vulnerable
parts of the Alligator Point Road.
The residents on the Point ob-
jected to the initial design because
while the proposal would protect
the Road it was going to be put-
ting more structures in the water
which would make the ultimate
goal of re-creating the beach
much more difficult.
"The Board asked for the project
to be re-designed. The Corps is
working on the redesign, which
now is limited to extending the
eastern end of the existing gran-
ite revetment some 1000 feet. In
a telephone conference Thursday
I was informed that there is not
enough room to work within the
existing county right-of-way," said
In order for the project to be con-
structed the Corps needs to have
control of the beach area for about
700 feet east of where My Blue
Heaven used to stand. Most of
those lots have washed away but
some small sections might still be
in existence and those property
owners are going to need to give
the county legal control in over
whatever remains. The county
has already paid for a recent sur-
vey of the area so the Planning
Office is going to contact those
affected property owners.
Independent of this emergency
action to protect the Road, other
developments are occurring that
may be beneficial to Alligator
Point. Other sections of the Corps
are working with the Northwest
Florida Water Management Dis-
trict and DEP to relocate some of
the dredged river sand that is cur-



Open 24 Hours Friday and Sati
Breakfast: 5 a.m..-11 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.'- 3 p.m.
Dinner: 3 p.m. -11 p.m.
Authentic Flavor of Old Mexico

rently stockpiled up the River to
locations along the coast. The two
most favored places are the
Stump Hole in Gulf County, and
Alligator Point in Franklin
County. Alligator Point is slightly
more preferred. As long as the
River stays up, some of that sand
could be moved within six to eight
The county is continuing to de-
sign a series of T-groins for Alli-
gator Point which would stabilize
the shoreline and then also help
keep any River sand on Alligator
Point. The Board approved sub-
mitting a DEP Florida Beach Man-
agement Grant for the completion
of the design of the T-groins and
the beginning construction of the
groins. The design has already
begun on the T-groins but this
grant, if awarded, would complete
the design and begin construc-
There is a matching requirement
with the DEP grant. The match-
ing for the initial design phase
used the federal Coastal Impact
Assistance Program funds the
county received. If the county is
successful in obtaining Phase 2
funds, the county may have to use
the Bald Point Trust Fund, but
that can be debated if the county
receives the Phase 2 grant.
The Board approved submission
of Phase 2 DEP Florida Beach
Management Grant through the
current consultants, Mike
Dembrowski, and Preble-Rish

GIS System
"Ms. Doris Pendleton, Property
Appraiser, and I discussed last
week the possibility of changing
the way Ms. Pendleton had
planned to finish her GIS System.
Currently, Ms. Pendleton was
planning to go out for bid to com-
Continued on Page 11


is thetime t
subscibe o th

Mexican Restaurant
105 Highway 98
Eastpoint, FL 32328
Phone: 850-670-5900

'5 .L.

72.430% APY*^

SummerCamp Overview

Mike's vaint Located at the intersection of
S. "319 &a98, Medart
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3140 Coastal Highway MV #12153
Crawfordville, PL 32327
(850) 926-6181 REC HECKM


The Franklin Chronicle


5 September 2003 Page 3


Beware The Righteous Wrath!

To all of the people who spoke on my behalf and supported me when
the Franklin County Commissioners attempted to remove me from
the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission on July 1,
2003, 1 offer my appreciation and apologies. As of September 3, 2003,
1 have resigned from the appointed position of alternate member of
the Planning and Zoning Commission. The County Commissioners,
at their meeting on July 15, 2003 passed a motion that as an alter-
nate member of the P&Z Commission I was not to vote nor take an
active part in the P&Z proceedings unless they lacked a quorum.
When I was appointed in March 200 1, Alan Pierce sent me a letter
stating that I was appointed as an alternate member and had all the
privileges as a member. He specified in the letter that I could vote,
make motions and participate in all discussions. (see copy of letter)
Since the County Commissioners backed down from removing me
from the P&Z Board on July 1, 2003, they needed another way to
vent their wrath over my "Franklin County Tribes" article. By backing
down they avoided a lawsuit. Gail Dodds and Mary Lou Short righ-
teously pursued the issue for the Commissioners.
At the July 8, 2003, P&Z meeting, Chairman, Dodds and Vice Chair-
man, Short took the first 15 minutes of the regular meeting to repri-
mand me. The focus of the reprimand was a letter I had written in
March expressing several concerns about the leadership of the. P&Z
Board. The major concern was about the lack of an organized and
formal procedure for the P&Z Board to handle the requests of the
public. (Ms Dodds had not objected to the letter back in March.)
The other item they objected to was a written (e-mail) statement that
I had not voted for Dodds and Short as Board officers in June but
had abstained from voting. I felt that the same person should not
continuously remain in office for so long. Ms Dodds has been Chair-
man of the P&Z board for more than 6 years. I also objected to the
fact that the voice vote was not audible for either yea or nay but Ms.
Dodds declared that she had received a unanimous vote to be Chair-
man again without asking if anyone wished to abstain.
During the reprimand, Dodds and Short righteously informed me that
the Board is not required to have any organized and formal proce-
dures for their meetings. Dodds went on to refer to me as a "bitch"
before.the 30 people waiting to make their requests before the P&Z
Board. She also told the audience that I had been "nothing but a
troublemaker since I came on the board." I guess since I did not al-
ways agree with Dodds and Short, and would question items under
discussion, that makes me a troublemaker. By chance, several out of
county reporters were in the audience and notes were made of Dodds'
and Shorts' angry self-righteous tirade against me. The reporters were
impressed with the inappropriate caliber of the Franklin County P&Z
Board leadership.
On July 15, 2003, at the County Commissioners meeting, P&Z Chair-
man, Dodds carried her complaint against me to the Commissioners
who quickly voted that as alternate member, I could not take part in
the P&Z meetings or sit with the other board members unless they
lacked a quorum. Neatly done The Commissioners, Dodds and Short
now had their personal vindication.
I have taken very seriously my position on the P&Z Board, have tried
to be prepared for all the meetings and have volunteered to work on
any special projects that might benefit Franklin County. When I be-
came a writer for the Franklin Chronicle, I put a restriction on my
reporting and writing about P&Z meetings since I sat on the P&Z
Board. Now that I have no voice on the P&Z Board, a resignation from
the Board will free me to report and write. My thanks again to every-
one who has supported me.
Harriett Beach

"Antiques and old toys cheerfully
bought and sold."

2 (2enu ree


i 850-670-1687 (OFFICE)
o/ V Facsimile 850-670-1685
",j e-mail: hoffer531@gtcom.net


Vol. 12, No. 18

St. George Plantation

Mr. Tom W. Hoffer
P.O. Box 950
Eastpoint, FL 32328
Dear Mr. Hoffer:
I have asked our general manager to have the documents you requested as-
sembled for you. I hope that you will appreciate that this represents a great
deal of clerical work and may take a few days to complete. He will contact you
to inform you of its progress. You will also be asked to sign an agreement not
to publish any of the documents.
Like you, I am not pleased with the level of assessments the board has found
it necessary to levy for the last two years; remember that we are owners too. I
wonder, though, if you are aware of the financial state of the Plantation that
the board elected in 2000 found. In case you are not, I will provide just a few
In 1995, all the reserves that had been accumulated for the capital mainte-
nance of commons (street paving, swimming pool repair. clubhouse repair,
tennis courts, etc.) were converted to the operating fund so that assessments
would not have to be increased. In the following two years, the Plantation
entered into several lawsuits against various parties and the complete repav-
ing of Leisure Lane was undertaken. Judgments against the Plantation in the
lawsuits were material, and those judgments and the repaving required mas-
sive borrowing. Assessments were not increased. Instead, in 1996 a line of
credit was opened with a local bank and the Plantation was run for the next
five years on low assessments and steadily increasing borrowed funds.
By mid 2001 the Plantation was over one million dollars in debt, all capital
reserves were gone, a significant number of streets were in desperate need of
paving, and many other capital projects that should have been funded from
reserves were needed. The board elected in 2000 resolved to bite the bullet
and do the fiscally responsible thing. All borrowing on the line of credit was
halted. A program of repaying the most degraded streets and repair of other
infrastructure was begun. The capital repairof o their infrastructure was be-
gun. These capital improvements, as well as the day-to-day operation of the
Association, had to be funded from current income. The only possible way
was the substantial increase in assessments you refer to.
We are presently about halfway through the program of the return to financial
health. At the 2001 annual meeting we were able to announce that the Plan-
tation is not a party to any legal action. The last of the revolving line debt has
been paid. On January 9 of 2004 the last of the debt on Leisure Lane will be
paid. Our budget for 2004 will (I hope) contain the first payments in the re-
building of our capital reserves. When the funding of these reserves reaches
adequate levels to sustain our commons without committing operating funds,
I will, if I am still a director, be one of the most ardent proponents of a de-
crease in assessments. Until then I remain committed to the course of fiscal
prudence adopted by the last three boards of directors.
Finally, I'll address your concerns on the draft budget for 2004 that you have
seen. The document you refer to in your letter is the "project wish list" our
Treasurer used as a starting point for comment in the budget workshop she
held a few weeks ago. It is in no way a final budget; it is the summation of all
the numbers that members, staff, and directors gave her as being things we
would like to do if money were no object. These numbers will be scrutinized
and pared through several rounds of meetings and negotiations to come up
with the final budget. My personal hope and aim is that the final budget will
be balanced, responsible, and require no Increase in assessments.
Boyd Ellison
Vice President

Response to Mr. Ellison:
Thank you for your letter. I think the body of the letter contains use-
ful background information to help our readers understand the cur-
rent problems of the POA, a gated community. There are more of
these enclaves coming into Franklin County and it is important to
understand the problems encountered by these "private entities"
loosely regulated by state law.
You did not mention some aspects of what caused the debt initially,
and as a member of this association, I can offer my opinion of that
matter. A number of individual members who controlled the Board of
Directors decided to litigate, and in the hiring of out-of-county attor-
neys, plus a misguided "macho" attitude, put the Association
into many lawsuits, most of whicft the Association lost. This was
done even against the advice of a lawyer President who could not
say enough about not going to court over various agreements
and situations. In the conclusion of these litigations, the Asso-
ciation was left with not only large legal bills, but judgments that
had to be paid to the "winners" of these lawsuits.
With regard to the balance of your letter, I would respond to your
comments in this way. Instead of having the various Directors place
their "wish lists" in the budget, why not reorient them entirely, and
ask them where would they cut the budget, recognizing that these
are hard times for everyone, including those of us having to pay higher
property taxes.

September 5, 2003

Publisher Tom W. Hoffer
Contributors Sue Cronkite
........... Rene Topping
........... Eunice Hartmann
Sales Lisa Szczepaniak
Advertising Design
and Production Artist .. Diane Beauvais Dyal
Production Associates Andy Dyal
........... Lisa Szczepaniak
Director of Circulation Andy Dyal
Circulation Associates Jerry Weber
............ Joe D. Terrell
Citizen's Advisory Group
Rand Edelstein Alligator Point
Karen Cox-Dennis Apalachicola
Rene Topping Carrabelle
David Butler Carrabelle
Elizabeth and Jim Sisung Eastpoint
Bedford and Eugenia Watkins.............. Eastpoint
George Thompson Eastpoint
Pat Morrison St. George Island
Dominic and Vilma Baragona .............. St. George Island
Back Issues
For current subscribers, back issues of the Chronicle are
available free, in single copies, if in stock, and a fee for
postage and handling. For example a 10 page issue would
cost $2.00 postpaid. Please write directly to the Chronicle
for price quotes if you seek several different or similar
issues. In-county subscriptions are $16.96 including tax.
Out-of-county subscriptions are $22.26 including tax.

Changes in subscription addresses must be sent to the
Chronicle in writing.
All contents Copyright 2003
Franklin Chronicle, Inc.

Quality Fasteners & Innovative Tools To Make Tough Jobs Easy
"If You Can't Screw It, Just Sh/oot It!"
September 4th and 5th
Hot dogs, hamburgers, raffle,
direct factory reps on hand to answer your questions.
374 U.S. Highway 98 Eastpoint, FL 32328 670-4444

The reductions achieved thus far are commendable, but after all this
was accomplished by bleeding the membership with the highest
dues in the Association's history.
One gets the overall impression that the Board of Directors knows
nothing other than to continue to spend money. In the recent budget
review I attended, few of the Directors worked-really worked-to find
budgetary items to cut, and thereby reduce the assessments. Donna
Butterfield was a decided and distinguished exception. Moreover, the
Board completely ignored the context of these high assessments and
decided to continue the same high levels for another year. That money
will more than pay the debt of the Association, even a reduced
level of assessments would accomplish this. Then, there is the
continuing concern for some kind of reserve fund for emergency use.
A small fund may be useful, but not the war chest envisioned, put-
ting the burden of building a reserve unfairly and exclusively on the
backs of the current, not future, members of the association.
There is plenty of fat in the budget and after some argument the
second bike path down Leisure Lane was cut, wisely. This probably
should have been dismissed before making it a budget item anyway,
as the liability alone for the Association would be very large if this
plan were adopted.
The $50,000 set aside for asking a consultant's advice about the con-
dition of the clubhouse is the worst boondoggle that raises questions
in my mind if the Board members have enough intelligence to make
decisions in the operation of the Association. As Tommy Day told
you, even one of your key employees who was here when this facility
was built can offer an accurate evaluation probably without charge.
Then there is the problem of "farming out" accounting and legal func-
tions to out-of-county places that are known for high rates. Refer-
ences were made to "associations our size" as if the POA in the Plan-
tation must follow some kind of trail of other associations in terms of
expensing operations. This is bureaucratic nonsense symptomatic of
amateur orientations and simplistic reasoning. I have heard these
comments more than once from the Treasurer that makes me feel her
head is in St. Petersburg instead of the panhandle, and facing the
reality of that. So, I would give the Board a D- for the budgetary work
this year because the expenses were not cut down well enough, and
the spend, spend, spend orientation of most of the Directors remains
unchanged. I think most on the Board ought to be replaced and soon.
Tom W. Hoffer
Member, 1976

The 2004 Plantation Homeowners

Association Budget

A Report and Commentary By Tom W. Hoffer
Member Since 1976
Not only is the 2004 budget projected to $1,316,226-an all time
record-but it is also $176,162 over the 2003 budget. The. building
of a continued bureaucracy drives on! Cap Ex means Capital Expen-
ditures. At the top of the list is the burdensome airport, reduced by
one-half, but still a figure of $25,000. This benefits about 14
homeowners or lotowners living in the Plantation. The boondoggle
clubhouse evaluation of $50,000 is still there, although the board did
reduce that by one-half. New security equipment is being ordered
involving bar codes, but nothing is indicated if this will cut any labor
costs at the front gate. Much of the shift time has two persons on
duty there. Under "Debt-Interest," the amount has been reduced over
2003. This is one benefit of bleeding white the membership with dues
at all-time highs. Under the rubric "legal" and "general legal" there
are still staggering amounts reserved to legal matters, totaling in this
budget to $43,000. Another confusion point is auditing, shown in
three lines totaling $29,000. This seems a tad high for auditing the
2004 budget. The Homeowners will be paying for their own propa-
ganda as the monthly newsletter will be resumed, according to Boyd
Ellison, Vice-President. That will involve $19,200 for the newsletter
itself, and a portion of $39,600 for mailing and printing. This section
Is still confusing.
The Board was not sure where to place the $150,000 depreciation
but it will be recorded as "surplus" eventually;
Insurance costs appear reasonable given the wide-.open liability the
Association has, although the section reserved for Directors and Of-
ficers is merely to save their hides in the event they are sued person-
ally, or have personal liabilities.

Continued on Page 4

Tim Jordan, Lic. Real Estate Broker: /,-
^ 984-0001 850-567-9296 146 Highway 98
or P.O. Box 556, Panacea, FL 32346
ASSOCIATES: Marsha Tucker: 850-251-1286 Jerry Peters: 850-566-4124
Mike Gale: 850-567-2227 Janis David: 850-570-1145
Joseph White: 850-570-6677 Linda Peters: 850-566-4156 Gene Maxey: 850-566-6857
Josh Brown: 850-567-9429 Richard Trogdon: 850-528-5223
Carole Dunn: 850-570-0058 Mike Delaney: 850-524-7325
Call us for a complete list of properties. Beach rentals & sales. _
web address: www.obrealty.com e-mail: obr@obrealty.com

* Gulf FrontI Large beautiful lot near Bald Point State Park Preserve within Coastal Barrier Act
designation. The surf, sand and sea oats provide a serene setting for your dream home. $399,000.
Possible owner financing. 39FWL.
* Hidden Harbor! Alligator Point's newest Gated Subdivision! Lots are bayfront, creekfront, and
bay to creek! All are 1 +/- acres w/beach access, canoe launch and community pier. Lots starting at
just $155,000! 45FWL.
* Lanark Village! Two high-dry lots adjoining. Paved frontage. $29,000 each or $52,000 for both.
e St. George Islandl High and dry wooded lot on Nedley St. Lot size 90' x 135' (1/4 acre). Walk to
beach or bay. Buy now before prices go up! $119,900. 102FAL.
*Alligator Point Bayfrontl Rsh from the back deck of this 2BR/1.5BA, CHA, fully equipped kitchen.
Great view! Great buy! Just $230,000. 140FWH.
* Alligator Pointl Large duplex on the beach at Alligator Point. 2BR/1 BAeach side w/shared screen
porch. Completely furnished and currently under rental program. Great buy for the investor or 2
families that want to enjoy beach front living. Just $549,000. 142FWH.
* AlligatorPoint! 3BR/2BA home on Gulf Drive w/ unobstructed view of gulf. A great value w/ large
screened porch, outside shower, storage room, large corner lot and much morel Just $299,000.
To view all of our sales listings and beach rentals go to: 143FWH.

95 Highway 98
Eastpoint, FL 32328
(850) 670-1499

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Paee 4 5 September 2003


The Franklin Chronicle


Homeowners from Page 3

Under Maintenance and Repairs, the clubhouse category emerges
again. It is not altogether clear what the $10,230 for Leisure Lane
.would pay for, given personnel costs are registered in yet another
-.category. At least, the 2004 Maintenance budget is lower over 2003.
"The 2004 budget for personnel has risen over 2003 by $167,091.
-:With very little consultation with the membership, a new general
-manager was hired at $63,000 plus FICA (social security matching
payments and retirement, and health plan). Yet barely five years ear-
lier the position drew down $30,000 or so. This escalation remains to
:be explained rationally. Especially since the Board always manages
to "micro-manage" the General Manager. Someone who really has
corporate experience opined recently that the Board should give the
General manager the budget, and let him alone until year's end when
he is to be held accountable to that budget. The Association has never
done this., nor does this writer necessarily advocate this change in
:method. Some Directors see themselves as corporate-types when all
' they do is rubber stamp budget proposals without much investiga-
tion or challenge.
So, there is still some fat in this budget. The membership can cer-
tainly challenge these decisions at the annual meeting if they plan for
it. As far as that is concerned, a recall of the entire Board is possible
at that time as well, if the membership gets organized. Far fetched?
Maybe. Some additional revelations are forthcoming, I'm told.


Cap Ex
Airport .
Leisure Lane
Pool .
Tennis courts

' ':.iBe




Maintenance shop -5,000
Exterior Lighting --
like path 15,000
,dmln equipment -
aint equipment
ecudrity equipment .*. 20,000
deserves study 29,0
"- .... :. *.. 291,000

Debt Reduction-Principal
Leisure Lane
Revolving line
Tennis court

Leisure Lane
Revolving line
Tennis court

/ 9k,875







20,000 :




126,175 30,203



30,000 13,102


Community memberships
Advertising, membership, ti

General legal
Special projects
Legai -,
,- Audit
Accounting services
,ccountina exn~na
Bank fees .. -
Board li6etings
Association meetings
ACC meetings.
Other committee meetings
ACC- .
Other printing
Printing :
Personal expense reimbursal
ACC professional expenses
Total Administrative





18,000 33.000
20,000 15.000
1,000 f0.
25,000 14,40Q..

22,200 39bo.

87,200 122,500


Equipment & Other Assets
* Admin equip
Maint equipment 2,000
Leased equipment 5,000
Security equipment 5,900
ACC equipment
Other equipment
Total equipment & other asset' 12,900

- Airport
Property,casualty,fire & Lie
Wind & Flood
Directors & officers
Total Insurance

Maintenance & Repairs
Contract Janitorial
Contingent trash hauling
Leisure Lane
Office equipment
Exterior lighting
Bike path
Power equipment
Total Maint & Repairs










1,000 1,000
80,750 53,480

Julia Mae Will Be Missed In Carrabelle

A Personal Memory of a Dear Friend
By Rene Topping
J was sad when I saw in the obituaries in the Democrat that Julia Mae
Putnal that passed away on August 23 at age 79. 1 knew she had
been very ill but somehow I always felt she would overcome it. Her
passing leaves a large hole in my heart for I have considered her my
friend for all the days ever since 1977 when my husband and I had
chosen this little town in which to retire.
I met Julia Mae when she managed a restaurant on the waterside,
west of where the condominiums are now. The restaurant was oppo-
site the Triangle Park (now Veteran Park.) The restaurant was owned
by Tom Crum.
She came around and asked us if everything was O.K. We told her the
food was great, but she had filled our plates too full. She just said
"Next time you come in, tell the waitress you want just one serving."
They used to give you one of the "divided boxes to so" as plates. We
soon divided our helping by tearing off the lid, making two dishes.
She worked in several restaurants as manager/cook but when she
bought Norm's (I believe Town House) It was small bar and it did all
kind of snacks, pizzas, all manner of sandwiches, etc. and it had a
large parking place, and that was how the name of Julia Mae's began
to get out of Franklin County. We both followed her there and we were
happy when she built it into full service.
The food that Julia Mae served up was always good and the fish was
guaranteed to be really fresh as her husband Lynn D. Putnal brought
in the catch of the day. She soon had made such a name for herself
that people who owned a plane would fly in from as far away as At-
lanta landing on Carrabelle Airfield for lunch at Julia Mae's.
We always told our guests when they came to visit that she certainly
knew how to cook. She had a way with pies, they were just like a slice
of heaven. Her sister is still using Julia Mae's recipe to this day.

Tri-River Talks

End; Issues

Headed Back To
Federal Court

Unless the three states agree on
another plan, and soon, the long
tri-state talks about sharing wa-
ter of the Apalachicola-Chatta-
hoochee-Flint river system appear
to be headed back to Federal
Court. The legal agreement that
established the talks among the
Governors of Alabama, Georgia
and Florida expired at midnight,


Donates To

Local Schools

Putt-N-Fuss Fun Park. of
Eastpoint donated $150 to five
Franklin County Schools from the
Putt for Shirts Fundraiser held in.
August. The money was divided"
between Chapman Elementary
School, ABC Charter School,
Apalachicola High School, Brown
Elementary School, and the
Carrabelle Schools. It is being
used to help needy parents by the
new mandatory school uniform
shirts. Anyone ,needing financial
assistance in purchasing shirts
should contact their local school.
Thank you to those who came out
and helped support the Putt for
Shirts Fundraiser.

Jeff Galloway

Real Fstate News

Jeff Galloway Receives
National Recognition
Jeff Galloway, REALTOR, Pru-
dential Resort Realty, St. George
Island Office, was acclaimed as
16th of the top 50 residential
salespeople in the country by'
REALTOR@ Magazine. Jeffs Top
Solo Performer recognition was
based on $65 million in sales, the
result of 115 transaction sides
closed in 2002.
Prudential Resort Realty presi-
dent, Rose Drye, comments, "Jeff
is a veritable whirlwind of activ-
ity. His energy and intelligence are
surpassed only by his motivation
to please his clients and investors,
He has earned state, regional and
now national recognition as a top
producer in the real estate indus-
Jeff, his wife Shelly and children
Katie, Ryan and Jessica are resi-
dents of St, George Island. When
he's not at the office you will find
him at the children's school ac-
tivities, entertaining friends, boat-
ing or kayaking. Contact Jeff at
850-927-2666, ext. 126 or
REALTOR@ Magazine, print and
online, is the official publication
of the National Association of
REALTORS, a trade organization
consisting of 1,485 local associa-
tions and 876,195 REALTORs@

She called me one day to see the catch she and Dr. George Sands, (he
was also a great human being) had gone down to the stubs, a place
that was opposite to the Crooked River Light House and the fish liked
the stubs of the old pier. She said that they had been worked hard as
the fish were really biting. They both held up a string better that I had
seen before and both of them were happy as sand clams.
She called me one Saturday night about seven o'clock, saying "You
want a good picture? Governor Bob Graham is standing in line along
with his wife, children and guards outside the restaurant." Don't you
know that in a moment I grabbed up my camera and my pad and
sure enough when I got there, there was Florida's Governor patiently
waiting for a table.
When we got inside Julia Mae wanted to have her picture taken with
Governor Bob. He reached up and sat her down with his arm around
her neck. Only in Carrabelle could you see this and only a lady such
as Julia Mae could have got away with it. Bob Graham said that he
liked to come to Carrabelle and-never missed eating at Julia Mae's.
On August 16, 1964, she hosted a Democratic Political rally and she
made free food for outside in her parking lot and despite the free food
many went inside to get out of the August heat, There was over 450
people there and she told me: "This is one of my best days."
The Carrabelle Area Chamber of Commerce had their Christmas Din-
ner and at the end of the evening Julia Mae tore up the bill. She said,
"This is my Christmas gift for my fellow members."
She was frank about everything. She was the luckiest woman when it
came to raffle tickets. I was President of the Franklin County Hu-
mane Society and I was in her place selling raffle tickets. She had
won three times in a row. That was good for her, but not too good for

Continued on Page 5







* THE HOUSE: 2,100 square feet, heated or cooled, with cathedral living area, study, kitchen, four bedrooms
and three bathrooms, and sun deck. There is enormous rental potential with this design, permitting separate
area for the landlord.
* POST AND BEAM CONSTRUCTION: 41 pilings extend through each floor, holding up the roof system.
None of the exterior walls are load-bearing. There are three levels in this home built to last. Post and Beam
construction is the best and superb design for any building reposing on a pile of sand. 2100 square feet heated
and cooled. One of the last homes built on St. George Island by Mason Bean..
* ELEVATOR: by Sedgewick installed by Mowrey Elevators. Joined with a concrete ramp used for wheel-
chair accessibility to the living level. Can also function as a dumbwaiter and is especially useful for transport-
ing wood to the wood burning stove in the living area. The stove will adequately heat the house in the coldest
* CEILING FANS: In bedrooms and living areas.'
* PROJECTION ROOM AND MINIATURE THEATRE OR STUDY: Prewired for a music system or film
and TV soundtracks.
* SOLID-CORE DOORS: Throughout the house: New fiberglass doors for the exterior openings.
* CEMENT TILE ROOF: Guaranteed in writing for 50 years (when built, 1989); no fire hazard here as in the
case of wood cedar-shake shingles.
* CYPRESS SIDING: Cut into board and batton design; impervious to the harshest salt-infested Gulf winds.
* TILED KITCHEN AND BATHROOM: On the living level; one-half bath stubbed out in the loft area.
One-half bath at the utility level.
* MOTHER-IN-LAW FACILITIES: Are available at the utility level with plans; concrete foundation already
in place for a wall system and other alterations.
* FRAMING: Of floors incorporates library loads in the study, bedrooms and third level loft which is the
largest sleeping room, 16 feet square.
* AN ENGINEERED FACILITY: For the floor system and the entire structure to carry above-average loads.
* HEAT PUMP AND AIR CONDITIONING: Split-plan design by Ollie Gunn and Trane (General Electric).
* EXTERIOR WALLS: Incorporating six-inch studs for greater insulation; None of the exterior or interior
walls in this home are load-bearing. Augered pilings were installed in this
house instead of driven pilings.
.,. Forty-one 8x8" poles extend from the
ground to the roof in a classic post-
and-beam design, the recommended
,i : mode for any island construction on
trai". sand.

Suncoast Realty
Sam Gilbert
224 Franklin Boulevard .
St. George Island, FL 32328 "" ,
www.uncommonflorida.com .
800/341-2021 850/927-2282 .

The Franklin Chronicle


-5 September 2003 Page 5

Julia Mae from Page 4
my raffle ticket sales. Everybody asked me "Has Julia Mae bought
any tickets?" when I said, "Yes." They wouldn't buy a ticket.
She came over to me and she was in a real tiff. "How come you won't
sell me a ticket?" I tried to explain. The next thing I heard around
town that Julia Mae was going to have me deported back to England.
I told her that I was an American so she would have a hard time doing
that. She was also quick to be her old self and we made up, because
neither of us was really tiffed with one another.
When she sold her business to Tim and Lisa Baroody in 1991 she
still could not retire. She started to go to all of the other restaurants
who were glad to have her as cook.
The story became one of her favorite stories about the two of us. So I
was not surprised to hear her calling me from the kitchen at the IGA.
She wanted me to tell the story of when "Julia Mae was going to have
Rene sent back to England."
When the Concerned Citizens of Franklin County was having it's cel-
ebration dinner it had been Julia Mae's chosen for all the things she
had done. She was right there in the midst of a happy crowd, after
she had done her cooking. She relished the news that the Judge ruled
for the Concerned Citizens in the in 1985 redistricting. He had also
approved, the census taken by "Margaret's Marauders," (Margaret
Holton and her workers) despite the fact that some census takers
had used the back of an envelope. Then the finishing touch: the
Franklin County Commission had to pay all the Concerned Citizens
$10,000 legal fees.
She was known by all of the political officials who dropped by from
time to time. State representatives would listen to her as to how they
were doing.
She was proud when her son, Bevin Lynn was chosen for Commis-
sioner for District 5 and still holds that seat to this day.
She was always ready to donate food to a lot of the organizations
when they needed funds. She helped the Humane Society when I was
"tin-cupping" all over Franklin County to raise enough money to build
the first Shelter. I will always remember her help.
Julia' Mae had a heart of gold. She was specially fond of animals and
her sweet little dog was her companion. She was always ready to care
for anyone who was in need. She once sent food to a homeless woman
who had got into the refuse carts.
The last time I saw her in person was when I was going into the IGA
and she was coming out. She was not feeling quite herself she said,
but I did not know how badly she was feeling.
She was a hard worker all of her life and I would like to tell this little
story from England. When I was a small child my mother told me
when a neighbor had died. Mum said that this lady had worried as to
meeting her Maker. She felt she had not done too much with her life.
She said that all she had done was to take care of the young or chil-
dren when their mother died. She had done all the cooking and the
housekeeping. She went over to any neighbor in problems. Her hands
were wrinkled and worn.
My mother said she told her she was going to be all right with the
Lord. She said "I told her to show Him her hands."
So, God bless you my dear friend., She lived a life that can be admired
as she cared for everyone. I will keep your memory evergreen. You
have left a host of family and friends who will keep your memory
alive. There will never be another just like you.

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Per Florida Statutes 713.78 (3) (b) File No.
Date of this Notice 08/27/03 InvoiceNo. 8366
Description of Vehicle: Make Chrysler Model New Yorker Color Blue
Tag No Year 1997 State FL vin No. 2C3ED46FOR4225674
To Owner: Arthur Brown To Lien Holder: Alamo Auto Sales
1701 Hamilton Ave. 280 N. Tyndall Parkway
Panama City, Florida 32404 Panama City, FL 32404

You and each of you are hereby notified that the above vehicle was towed on
08/23/03 at the request of FHP that said vehicle is in its
possession at the address noted below. They the undersigned claim a lien for
towing, storage and cost. The vehicle will be sold after 35 days from the date of
impound free of prior liens. Payment by the above date of notice in the amount
$ 290.00 plus storage charges occurring at the rate of $ 20.00 per
day from the date hereof will be sufficient to redeem the vehicle from the lien of
the lienor; that subsection (4) of Florida Statute 713.78.

To subsection (5) of Florida Statute 713.78
You and each of you are hereby notified that on 10/01/03 at 12:00 noon
o'clock, the vehicle described above will be sold at public auction
at: 620 Houston Rd., Eastpoint, FL proin the proceeds will first be paid all
towing and storage charges plus all costs including cost for this sale. Any excess
will be deposited with the Clerk of the Circuit'Couit.
You and each of you are urged to make satisfactory arrangements to pay all
charges and take possession of the said vehicle, In order to obtain a release of the
vehicle you must present personal identification, driver's license and PROOF
OF OWNERSHIP (title, registration, etc.) at the address.below and pay the
P.O. Box 971
Eastpoint, FL 32328
(850) 670-8219


Salaries & wages
Requested positions'
Overtime provision
Workers comp
Total personnel

SPaper goods, trashbags, el
Storage facilities
Otherlsmall purchases
Total Supplies
Total Utilities
Promo items
Taxes, licenses
Sales & Income tax
Airport license
Pool license
Property tax
Bad debt expense
Total Other expenses

Income In dispute
Debt Prepayment
Total Expenses





530,100 897,191

8,000 11,500
5,000 15,000
3,000 2,000
4,500 11,000
2,700 3,000
2,500 2,500
26,700 45,000





30,626 17,383

105,000 104,350
1140,066 1,316,226




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"To Create, To Innovate"-Is That A Question?

And, Why Not Sell The Airport,

Build A New Clubhouse, Create A

Reserve Fund, And Get On With

Plantation Business...

A modest proposal by others and merely articulated by
Tom W. Hoffer
A long time ago, a friend of mine made a very provocative proposal.
Sell the airport. It is a drain on the Plantation treasury, and actually
benefits only a handful of airplane drivers. They could more easily
use the Apalachicola or Carrabelle' airports, and additional county
business would be passed on to Crooms Transportation, who, for a
fee, would operate a local taxi service for the visitors.
The Plantation owns the 60-foot by 3,000 strip, and at the southern
end near the Gulf, the land enlarges some to accommodate a newer,
better built clubhouse more attuned to the needs of 800 lotowners.
The so-called clubhouse currently in use is falling into disrepair and
has never been adequate to serve the needs of the Plantation lotowners.
Along with that, the sale of additional land could finance the new
clubhouse (along with the sale of the old clubhouse) and at the north
end, a marina could be built to service the needs of boatowners in the
organization. There would still be plenty of land leftover to negotiate
and conserve with the state in order to get the marina approvals,
along with a fat reserve fund our worriers claim is sorely needed. So,
why not?
There is a rumor that a reverter clause attached to the airstrip would
put the property back to George Mahr. Not so, says Mr. Mahr. The
Plantation purchased the reverter clause many years ago. ,
In my view, this should have been done months ago, and given the
price of land, and a negotiated deal with Resort Village, both parties
would benefit, peace and harmony would be restored (hopefully) and
life would go on. Some money would be needed to bring the club-
house and additional quarters nearby up to standards. And, with a
new clubhouse, three apartments could be built into the structure to
accommodate security and other functions required throughout the
week. Such living accommodations for other employees would build
morale, I would think with, of course, the right of refusal. There could
even be a living space for the well-paid General Manager. For the bold
thinkers who might be elected to the Board, there might be a plan to
put in some income-earning rental properties to keep the Association
more fiscally solvent. But, God forbid that we call them "Condos." We
need some visionaries on the Board that, can truly create and inno-
vate, not just rubber stampers.

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Homeowners from Page 4
Date Printed: 8/27/2

- PagoeP l6 5ntember 2003


The Franklin Chronicle

Franklin County Community

Planning Workshop

Visioning # 6

;By Harriett Beach
'The last in a series of six workshops to allow residents of Franklin
'County to express their ideas about the future development of their
,county was held at the Franklin County Court House Annex August
126, 2003, at 6:00 p.m. Approximately 38 people attended this work-
shop In which they discussed and made recommendations about
County Development Regulation.
,Tom Taylor and Hal Beardall, facilitators for the workshop welcomed
the participants and introduced Alan Pierce who presented back-
ground information to the group. Pierce told the group that, The
,Franklin County Board of County Commissioners, as the local gov-
ernment, has developed over the years a Zoning Code, which describes
and authorizes the different procedures the county uses to review
and regulate development. Any change in authority or process will
have to be approved by the County Commission. At this time, the
County Commission has the authority for enforcement of the Zoning
Code. Enforcement by the County Commission requires the County
Commission to take someone to court if voluntary compliance is not
obtained. The County Commission does not have a code enforcement
procedure that allows for the levying of fines and penalties by a panel
of competent and fair people. Any final application of county regula-
tions requires someone to go to court at this time."
Pierce then explained to the group the three prong administrative
structure that currently assists the County Commissioners in their
county development regulation. One prong is the Planning Depart-
ment and Building Department which are housed together in the Court
House Annex and have personnel that have shared duties. While some
of the duties are shared by the personnel the Planning and Building
departments have separate budgets. The Building Department con-
sists of a full time Building Officia (Robin Brinkley), a full-time Building
Inspector (Chris Giametta) a full time Permitting Specialist (Gina Irvin)
and a part-time Plans Examiner (Rachel Ward). Rachel's other duty is
Zoning Administrator, which means she is the one who makes the
presentations to the Planning and Zoning Commission's monthly
Pierce explained to the group that, "The Building Department has
two vehicles. The Building Department derives its authority from the
Florida State building code. The Building Department is primarily
responsible for making sure that buildings are built to code. The Build-
ing Code controls construction standards and does not include such
things as height limitations or the size of front yards. The Building
Code controls things like the spacing on roof rafters, the type of wir-
ing to be used, plumbing configurations, etc. Since the Building Code
is a state code the County Commission is not an appeal board for
disagreements over Building Code interpretations. The County Com-
mission cannot, on its own, amend the Building Code. The Building
Department employees, because they are out in the field, are often
asked by the Planning Department to investigate planning complaints,
but their main job is building construction. The Building Department
also handles initial contact with the public on any building permit."
Pierce explained the function of the Planning Department by telling
the group that, "The Planning Department consists of a part-time
County Planner (Alan Pierce). Alan's other duties are Emergency
Management coordinator and Director of Administrative Services to
the County Commissioners. The Planning department also has a
part-time assistant County Planner (Mark Curenton). Mark's other
duties include grant writing, CRS coordinator, 911 house number-
ing, and Alan's assistant when Alan gets in over his head. In addition
there is also a part-time Zoning Administrator (Rachel Ward), a full
time Environmental Administrator (Chris Clark), and part-time Per-
mit Specialist (Amy Ham). Amy's other duties are Emergency Man-
agement secretary.
The Planning Department has one vehicle, and will be obtaining one
for Chris Clark in October. The Planning Department and the Build-
ing Department handle requests for single family homes, mobile home
set-ups and minor alterations or additions to existing structures, and
permits are issued-if the permit request meets all existing regula-
tions. There is a building application required as well as the follow-
ing: building plans, site plans, septic tank permits, surveys, energy
efficiency forms, etc." The workshop participants were given two flow
charts of the processes involved in obtaining permits. One chart ex-
plained the process to get a permit for an onsite sewage treatment
disposal system (Figure 1) and the other involved process to get a
development permit in Franklin County (Figure 2).
Pierce explained that, "At this time, all of these forms and plans are
required to be submitted on paper, so the volume of paperwork in the
office is large." .
The county issued over 841 permits in 2002, and collected over
$262,000 in fees. The Planning and Building Departments also issue
permits and does building inspections for the City of Carrabelle. For
the City of Apalachicola, only building inspections are done as that
city issues its own building permits.
If a permit is for a commercial building, or a dock, the Planning &
Zoning Commission reviews the application. The P&Z is an advisory
board to the County Commission. If the permit requested does not
meet the existing rules, such as set backs, the applicant may apply to
the Board of Adjustment for a variance. The Board of Adjustment is
an independent board, and an appeal of a BOA decision must be
taken to Circuit Court."
Next Pierce described the Planning and Zoning Commission by tell-
ing the group that, "The P&Z is comprised of nine members and two

alternates, appointed by the County Commission. The Commission
meets once a month, being the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30
p.m. at either the Franklin County Court House Annex or the
CarrabeUlle Senior Center. The meetings are open to the public, but
the meetings do not receive much public notice beyond what the news
media chooses to give It. The Commission does not hold public hear-
ings, but gives recommendations to the County Commissioners who
then hold the required public hearings. Since the P&Z only makes
recommendations, the County Commission does not pay for an at-
torney to assist the P&Z. Because of this, and because of the volun-
teer status of the P&Z members, some of the larger and more con-
tested land use and zoning issues have been passed on to the County
Commission with limited recommendations."
The P&Z Commission can elect a chairman and formulate their own
rules and procedures. The Zoning Code requires certain types of de-
velopments to be reviewed by the P&Z Commission. These include
commercial buildings, industrial development, subdivision reviews,
dock requests, and interpretations of allowable uses. The Zoning Code
does not require the P&Z to make recommendations on land use and
zoning requests, but the county commission has made it a habit that
P&Z make such a recommendation. The P&Z Commission receives
information from the Planning Office which they use to make their
decisions. The P&Z report is then presented to the County Commis-
sioners through the County Planner.
Pierce told the group that the Board of Adjustment (BOA) is the third
prong in the current Franklin County administrative structure. The
BOA is compromised of five members and two alternates, appointed
by the county commission. The BOA meets once a month, being the
first Monday of the month at 9:00 a.m. The BOA meeting is open to
the public, and the meetings do receive some publicity, as the BOA is
required to post public notices in the newspaper of what variances or
special exceptions it is considering. The BOA can elect chairmen and
can formulate their own rules and procedures. The BOA has an at-
The BOA is an independent board: meaning, appeals of the BOA go to
circuit court. This is an intimidating, and expensive process, and has
resulted in few appeals of BOA decisions. The County Commission
could revise the independent nature of the BOA. The independent
nature does have one value, and that is decisions are less likely to be
affected by politics.
The BOA has a limited, but a powerful role. If an applicant cannot
meet the existing rules, the applicant can apply to the BOA for a
variance from the rules. Most variance requests center around set-
backs. In popular terms, BOA hears requests from people who want.
to build big houses on lots that have limitations. The BOA has re-
cently imposed a maximum size for houses that receive variances to
build closer to the water or wetlands. The BOA also hears variance
requests for people wanting to construct seawalls and rock revet-
ments to stop erosion.
A variance is supposed to be granted after it has been determined
that the applicant is suffering a "hardship" from the application of
the rules. A "hardship" is not supposed to be created by the owner; it
should be because of a unique characteristic of the land. The test for
a "hardship" is defined in the Zoning Code, but the interpretation has
been contested at times.
The BOA also considers "special exceptions." This does not happen
frequently. There are certain uses that are allowed, such as restau-
rants along the waterfront in Eastpoint, but these are only allowed
after a "special exception" has been granted. The purpose of a "spe-
cial exception" is to allow certain limited activities if very certain con-
ditions are met. The BOA considers "Special exceptions" after receiv-
ing a recommendation from the P&Z Commission.
One of the main complaints about the structure of the county's de-
velopment process involves the BOA. While the BOA only deals with a
few issues, they are highly sensitive and are difficult to change once
granted. The most common complaint involves allowing houses-to be
built closer to the water than normally allowed, and the allowance of
lots to be created that are less than the standard 100-foot width.
The county has a general Zoning Code which describes what is needed
to get a building permit, the allowable uses in different zoning dis-
tricts, the information needed for subdivision review, etc. The county
then has other ordinances that also affect land development. The
county has the following additional regulations:
A Critical Shoreline Ordinance-requiring houses to be at least 50
feet from the water or wetlands and septic tanks to be at least 150
feet from water or wetlands. Aerobics can be closer.
A Floodplain Management Ordinance-requires houses to be el-
evated to meet certain federal flood standards.
A Subdivision Ordinance--describes the standards for a subdivi-
sion, including street standards.
A Wellfleld Protection Ordinance-prohibits certain uses within so
many feet of public wellfields.
A Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinance-which is intended to protect nest-
ing and hatching sea turtles from the detrimental effect of artificial

Pierce finished his comments by describing the resources available to
Franklin County and the many functions the existing county staff
performs. He told the group, 'The tools arid resources available to the
staff are as follows. The county planning and building department
has limited Internet capabilities. The county is currently building a
limited GIS (Geographic Information System) but that effort is being
paid for by the County Property Appraiser and is being driven by her
needs and the 'demands being put on her office by the State Depart-
ment of Revenue which monitors her tax rolls. An environmental ad-
ministrator has recently been hired by the county and has some GIS
experience. If the Property Appraiser will allow other departments the

use of the GIS system, then the system can be used to provide broader
There are some training funds in the Building Department to keep
those personnel current with changing building construction issues.
Because of the environmental value of the Apalachicola Bay, various
state and federal agencies, primarily the Apalachicola National Es-
tuarine Research Reserve, have data, maps and information that is
accessed by the Planning Department from time to time. The Reserve
and Planning Department jointly participate in workshops and semi-
The county does grant writing, but most of that is related to capital
improvements, such as recreational facilities, boat ramps, water and
sewer improvements for Eastpoint and the removal of derelict ves-
The county participates in the Federal Flood Insurance Program and
in the Community Rating System Program, a rating program that
allows the county to earn points for good behavior. This then results
in the federal government allowing insurance companies to offer a
discount on flood insurance premiums in the county. The county
became involved in the program a few years ago and currently has
earned a 10% discount for flood insurance policy holders.
After Pierce finished his presentation of background information to
the group, Tom Taylor reviewed recommendations made at previous
workshops and the group rated their acceptability. The group then
offered additional recommendations that were discussed and rated.
These additional recommendations will be added to the total list of
recommendations to be presented to the County Commissioners in
January 2004.
Several members of the group expressed concern that the County
Commissions will not respond to the recommendations that have come
from the six workshops and many hours of work that Franklin County
residents have invested in this visioning process to prepare for a posi-
tive future for Franklin County. The question was asked by many as
to why were the County Commissioners not present and involved in
this visioning process? David McClain of ABARK asked, "How can we
make the Commissioners follow the recommendations?" The answer
came from the audience, "you cannot make them follow the recom-
mendations. The only way will be to vote them out of office and elect
commissions who will respond to the needs of the whole county."
The audience was composed of people who have been involved in all
six of the workshops. These are people who are in businesses that
have a positive influence on the economics of Franklin County and
others who are active leaders working in organizations that are de-
voted to making the county a safe, sustainable and comfortable place
to live. A contractor in the group pointed out that "currently there are
so many discrepancies in the way the County is governed that there
is not a level playing field for all who live and work in Franklin County."
A leading business man said, "The people in office in Franklin County
like to maintain a 'fluffy' governing system so they can change the
rules to suit the situation that is favorable to keeping themselves in

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I AalV 11


0 -


The Franklin Chronicle


5 Sentemhbr 21003 o Pq ~7

By Rene Topping
Ben Withers, his wife Melissa and
son Jeff joined eleven other people
on a mission to a small village in
Ecuador. to assist the natives
working on a church school. The
group was shepherded by Rever-
end Jeff McFalls and his wife,
pastor of the Medart Assembly in
Wakulla on the long journey to
Quito. From there they met the
pastor of the church they were
going to help for 10 days in build-
ing a schoolin the small village of
The missionaries who live in the
village are Bill and Connie
McDonald. The church is named
Entre Chritiano Charte Mission
Joil and Leah Marbut takes the
mission group into the jungle.
Leah is the McDonald's daughter.
Ben said that they would stay in
the back country for days.
Ben was fascinated with the work
that had been done by some other
groups from the Assembly
Churches of God from other the
Florida Panhandle area.

Eating! Ya gotta love it!

Where's The Beer?

' By Eunice Hartmann
No, not to drink, to cook with silly.
Well I guess you can choose to do
both if you have a mind to. I
should have had this column for
Father's Day but it slipped by and
I didn't think of it. Anyway, cook-
ing with beer makes food great.
Don't worry about the alcohol
content when cooking with beer
because it is cooked off or evapo-
rated in the process of creating a
delicious dish to enjoy.
Beer, regular or dark beer, (not
light or nonalcoholic) adds a nut
like flavor to the foods in which it
Js used. Remember beer is fer-
mented with yeast and that con-
itributes to the flavor too.. So hops
and grains and here we go with
some beer recipes you might want
to try.

Beef in Beer and Onions
2 pounds chuck or round beef cut
into 6 8 slices
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons cooking oil
5-6 medium onions, thinly sliced
1-1/2 tablespoons flour
2 cups dark or regular beer

An,tiLq es
The largest
collection of
nautical antiques.
and gifts in the

Search our
websight at:

A ntidqmS&
Collectiloles '

LookJbr te blo tin
shect on 170 Water
Street alton the historic

Apalachiicola River.

170 Water Street
P.O. Box 9
ApalachicoLa, FL 32329
(850) 653-3635
Linda &E Harry Arnold, Owners

This group got up and early in
Quito, the capital of Ecuador,
each day and then traveled in a
bus to the village. They were put
to work on building walls on the
two rooms in the school house
which was all made of brick. Ben,
who is in the contracting business
in Wakulla County, said that the
bricks are all hand made in what
he called was the "Old Way." He
said the group set up 2,000
He said they were really in need
for these two rooms as the school
had an overflow of children and
the starting of school was coming
quickly in the calendar.
Ben found himself very popular
with the younger set when he
walked out with a big bag of can-
dies, a thing that got him the
name of the "Candyman."
One day he said he was out with
his goodies and a small group of
a dozen or so children ranged
around him. When he looked up
he was overwhelmed to see 60 or
so kiddies surrounding him. He
said, "I can describe it in only one
way. You know how the seagulls

2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 tea-
spoon dried)
1 bay leaf, crumpled
In an oven proof covered casse-
role, melt the butter with the oil.
Add meat and brown over high
heat (not spattering hot) then re-
Add onions, lower heat; cook
slowly until soft, stirring fre-
Add flour and stir until blended
and flour begins to brown.
Add beer; stir until thickened and
Return browned beef to casserole
along with thyme and bay leaf.
Cover; cook over low until beef is
very tender (2-1/2 hours). Be sure
there is enough liquid and add
more water or beer if needed. Sea-
son with salt and pepper to taste.
Hint-If the results are not brown
enough, add a teaspoon or more
of Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Mas-
ter. Serve over buttered noodles
or rice.
Recipe from the "New Settlement

Beer Puffs
1 cup Beer
I1 Cup.sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
7 oz. prepared crab meat canned
or fresh
Bring beer and butter to a boil.
When butter melts, add flour and
salt in together.
Cover and cook over low heat un-
til mixture leaves the sides of the

Continued on Page 8

Mission To Ecuador

Juice & Java is growing!!!

( Stop in for great food and drinks

same great coffee & smoothies
Juice & Java ...ByThe Sea
49 West Pine Ave St. George Island, FL

Per Florida Statutes 713.78 (3) (b) File No.
Date of this Notice 08/22/03 Invoice No. 8949
Description of Vehicle: Make Kia Model Rio Color Blue
Tag No T38RLV Year 2002 State FL vn iNo. KNADC123X26138888
To Owner. Angela Renell Johnson To Lien Holder: Household Auto Fin. Corp.
P.O. Box 230 Box 17902
Carrabelle; FL 32322 San Diego, Calf. 92177

You and each of you are hereby notified that the above vehicle was towed on
08/15/03 at the request of FHP that said vehicle is in its
possession at the address noted below. They the undersigned claim a lien for
towing, storage and cost. The vehicle will be sold after 35 days from the date of
impound free of prior liens. Payment by the above date of notice in the amount
$ 285.00 plus storage charges occurring at the rate of $ 20.00 per
day from the date hereof will be sufficient to redeem the vehicle from the lien of
the lienor; that subsection (4) of Florida Statute 713.78.

To subsection (5) of Florida Statute 713.78
You and each of you are hereby notified that on 09/25/03 at 12:00 noon
o'clock, the vehicle described above will be sold at public auction
at: 620 Houston Rd., Eastpoint, FL From the proceeds will first be paid all
towing and storage charges plus all costs including cost for this sale. Any excess
will be deposited with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
You and each of you are urged to make satisfactory arrangements to pay all
charges and take possession of the said vehicle. In order to obtain a release of the
vehicle you must present personal identification, driver's license and PROOF
OF OWNERSHIP (title, registration, etc.) at the address below and pay the
P.O. Box 971
Eastpoint, FL 32328
(850) 670-8219

come to the beach when someone
thrown up some crumbs? You
have two or three and the sky will
soon be darkened with the gulls.
You have to wonder how they gol
to know you were dispensing the
He said, "I have found out since ]
got back that I have left a bit of
my self there. I can close my eyes
and see the parents who worked
side by side with us. They had sc
little. Their tools were obviously
-handed down through the genera-
tions. They were old fashioned.
Ladders were hand made. You see
that it is a different way of life."
While the men work working or
the brickwork the women found
a jobin the mix for the bricks and
also painting several rooms in the
The group had all brought their
own tools and when on the ninth
day they said their goodbyes, they
left all the tools for the village.
Ben said, "This was my first time
to go on such a mission. I highly
recommend it to any one who has
a skill and wants to make a dif-
ference. For sure I will go again.
It was very rewarding for me and
my family."
Just then his son Jeff came in and
seconded his dad as to how they

Poets And Writers

Sponsor Writing

Competition In

Honor Of The Late

Tom Campbell

The Panhandle Poets and Writers
announces a creative writing com-
petition in honor of founder and
former president Tom Campbell.
The contest is open to all Franklin
County residents. Contest entries
should reflect, examine or cel-
ebrate life, work, nature, history,
local color, interests and/or con-
cerns of the Panhandle area.
Entrants may submit one unpub-
lished, original poem in any form
of 52 lines or less, or one unpub-
lished, original work of prose
(short-short story, memoirs, es-
say) of 2000 words (4 pages,
double spaced) or less. Entries
should be typed or very neatly
printed on 8 1/2x 11" plain typ-
ing paper. /
Submissions will be accepted
during the months of September
and October 2003 at the
Apalachicola Municipal Library or
at the Franklin County Library at
Carrabelle or Eastpoint, or may
be mailed to:
Tom Campbell Writing
P.O. Box 974
Carrabelle, FL:32322
Contest deadline is October 31,
winners announced by December
1, 2003. Cash prizes will be
awarded in two categories: Adult
and Student. First prize in each
category, $75; second prize $50;
third prize $25, honorable men-
tion $5.
All entries should include on
upper-right comer of work:
entrant's name, address, phone
number, and category: Adult (18
or older) or Student. Students
must include grade level and

He said, The natives are kindly
and the children seem happy.
They are self sufficient, grow their
own crops build their own homes.
They speak Spanish and I know
that before I go again I am going
to learn a little of Spanish in that

Failure to follow contest guide-
lines may result in disqualifica-
tion of entry.
Winning entries will be read by the
authors at a Poets and Writers
awards reception and may be se-
lected for publication in local
newspapers and the 2004 Poets
And Writers anthology.
Contact Information: Dawn Evans
Radford, 670-1315.

Withers from Page 1
,For the reasons stated above, Ben
Withers respectfully requests that
.-the Board reconsider its action of
ifAugust 20, 2003, .based, 1orn the'.
idqcuestionable iapplicability-ofithe.'
Critical Shoreline Ordinance and/
or the Board's lack ofjurisdicfl6n
'over any violation of that Ordi-
nance, or in the alternative, clarify
its actions of August 20, 2003, by

-He said that it was not all work.
They took off one day and went to
see the Inca Pirce ruins. It was
there when he saw some very
small deers and llamas.
All of them were struck by the.

specifying what charges it found
Mr. Withers culpable or. guilty of
and what charges it found Mr.
Withers not culpable and not
guilty of.
Nicholas Yonclas
Florida Bar No. .0185563
Post Office Box 386
Eastpoint, Florida 32328

Licensing from Page 1
ers said that he was not respon-
sible for the job and that he only
brought materials to the job site.
The board pointed out that any
contractor, be they primary, or
sub-contractor, is responsible for
making sure all of the permits are
pulled and posted before begin-
ning a job.
Withers said he did not feel the
Franklin County Permitting pro-
cess was cleariand fair to all. The
board asked Withershow long he
had worked in Franklin County.
He replied ,that he ,had worked
here 17 or 18 years. The board
made no reference to any prior
citations against Withers. Withers
stated that he has been trying to

idly colored flow-
he ladies would
ible to bring some

it he would do to
paepreuuacaar rs~r f-misv- -4

prepare himsefii for another mis-
sion. He said that he would work
on his Spanish. He added that he
thought he might get a tape. He
said he would like to be able to
talk to the natives In their lan-
guage. I said "Don't forget the

work with Alan Pierce, Franklin
County Planner about these com-
plaints against him and Withers
thought the matter had been re-
solved. Withers also stated that
he felt that a resident of Alligator
Point had been ,unfairly making
complaints about his contracting
activities to the Licensing Board.
Glametta stated that it was he
who had made the complaints not
the Alligator Point resident as that
was his job to inspect building
and construction sites and issue
"stop work" orders when there has
been a violation.
Withers asked the board to dis-
miss the charges against him.
Poloronis stated that the board is
concerned not only about con-
tractor violations but the attitude
a contractor has about following
the regulations to make sure there
are no violations. After delibera-
tion, the board made a motion to
fine Withers $100.00 with a rep-
rimand in his file. The motion car-
ried with one no vote and two yes
votes and one member abstain-
ing- Poloronis told the board that
any action taken by the Franklin
County Board would also be for-
warded to the Florida State Li-
censing Board.

Ben added that some the volun- Ben Withers as brick layer
teers have been working on the
project and have gone 3 or 4 way r can carry on a conversa- beauty of the viv
times. "It would be really reward- tion.' He said, "At breakfast I ers. Ben said t
ing to see it all grow. When they learned to say "Dos huevos frito." have liked to be a
have the church building done (means two eggs fried.) Still I got of them back.
they plan a sanctuary. That will along somewhat with my Gringo
be neat to see." Spanish." I asked him wha
... .. i f -_ _~


12 Month CD 2.02% APY*

24 Month CD 2.52% APY*

36Month CD 3.03% APY*

Pane 8 5 SeDtember 2003


The Franklin Chronicle

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Citizen Challenge To The Carrabelle Commission

Circuit Court Issues Writ Of

Mandamus; Orders Vote On

Charter Amendments.

City Commission "...has substituted its judgment
for the will of the people."

Judge Janet E. Ferris of the Circuit Court of the 2nd Judicial Circuit
of Franklin County has issued a writ of mandamus in response to a
citizen initiative. The citizens, Jim Lycett, Pam Lycett, Donald
MacLean, Aimee Lance and the Panhandle Citizens Coalition signed
petitions to place the Charter Amendments on the ballot.
The decision read, in part:
"Essentially, Petitioners' have asked this Court to require,
by issuance of a writ of mandamus, that the City of
Carrabelle place the two charter amendments on the
ballot during the next general election. A similar request
was made directly to the City Commission. According to
Petitioners, in February, 2003, the City Commission ac-
tually voted to place the amendments on the ballot in a
special election in March, the vote reversed, causing the
request to fail. No further action was taken to either
amend the Charter or to place the two amendments be-
fore the voters. The City has generally responded by claim-
ing that the proposed amendments are not clearly stated
and are, as a result, ambiguous; that the amendments
would have a retroactive effect that would prove uncon-
stitutional; that the amendments are themselves uncon-
stitutional in that they would 'impermissibly confer upon
the electorate the power to restrict action by the com-
mission by making commission action subject to refer-
endum'; that the proposed amendments violate 'due pro-
cess' by overriding the fact-finding and decision-making
functions of the commission; and that the wording of the
amendments was so ambiguous and misleading that citi-
zens signing the petitions 'could not, and did not, fully
understand their purpose and effect.'
The Court is therefore called upon to decide whether the
City's objections to the proposed amendments are legally
sufficient reasons for failing to put the amendments to a
vote of the citizens."
Citing precedent, Judge Ferris opined:
"...the Fourth District Court of Appeal concluded that
issues related to initiative petitions and referenda must
be examined expansively in view of the Florida's
Constitution's mandate that '[all political power is in-
herent in the people...' The enunciation herein of certain
rights shall not be construed to deny or impair others
retained by the people. In reviewing a proposed amend-
ment to the city charter in West Palm Beach, the Court
went on to find that '...because of the reservation of po-
litical power to the people in the Florida Constitution and
the specific reservation of the power of referendum to the
voters in the' Charter, we must interpret the Code and
Charter provisions in a light most favorable to sustain-
ing the exercise of that power."
"The City's claim that the proposed amendments are
unclear, misleading, ambiguous, and otherwise objection-
able must also fail. Although such claims are cognizable,
the argument is unpersuasive here...The Court acknowl-

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edges the semantic problems in some portions of the pro-
posed amendments, but those do not rise to the level
required to absolutely preclude a referendum.
This instructive finding leads to the inescapable conclu-
sion that unless a proposed charter amendment is so
convoluted that it is not susceptible to interpretation,
the people's will that it become part of the charter must
be inspected. Like any such document, a city charter may
contain conflicting provisions that require interpretation
by its elected officials and their counsel; such concerns
may also progress to the courthouse, where proper re-
quests for declaratory relief are advanced."
"By the City of Carrabelle's refusal to place the proposed
amendments on the ballot, the governing body has sub-
stituted its judgment for the will of the people, Just as
the court is precluded from preventing the submission of
such questions to citizens, so is the city commission. In
finding that there is no legally cognizable basis, on either
statutory or constitutional grounds, to preclude the ref-
erendum, the petition for writ of mandamus must be

Amanda Loos

Amanda Loos,

On Faculty


Amanda Loos, daughter of Eileen
Annie and Tom Ball of Eastpoint,
has recently accepted an offer
from the Chancellor of the City
Colleges of Chicago to join the fac-
ulty at Harold Washington Col-
lege, located in the heart of the,
city's loop.
As a full-time professor in the
Humanities Department, Amanda
will be teaching courses in cinema
studies, art history, media, and
culture. She will also serve as aca-
demic sponsor for special projects
'to support student undergradu-
ate preparation in the arts, litera-
ture, and philosophy. Specifically,
Amanda has been asked by Dr.
Cecilia Lopez, Vice President of
Student and Academic Affairs, to
develop a Cinema Studies Certifi-
cate Program within the existing
department. To this end, she will
be working closely with the pres-
tigious Gene Siskel Film Center.
As part of the requirements for
this highly selective tenure-track
position, Amanda will use this
new opportunity to further her
own graduate education, taking
additional courses toward a Ph.D.

Amanda received her Master of
Arts degree in June 2002 from the
University of Chicago where she
concentrated in cinema and cul-
tural studies. She has since been
teaching English, Reading, and
ESL in the Academic Center for
Excellence at the University of Il-
linois at Chicago.
Amanda was the 1995 Valedicto-
rian of Carrabelle High School.
After completing her B.A. in 1999
at New College of Florida, she re-
turned home for two years, coor-
dinating the acclaimed FROG
Family Learning Programs at the
Franklin County Public Library.
During a press conference in June
2001, she received special recog-
nition from Governor Jeb Bush for
providing exceptional literacy ser-
vice through the Franklin County
Public Library's FROG Program.
Amanda now lives in Chicago with
her dog Ashleigh-just steps away
from Lake Michigan.

Eating, Ya Gotta
Love It from Page 7
Remove from heat; beat in one egg
at a time until dough is shiny.
Drop by teaspoonfuls about 1
inch apart on greased cookie
Bake 10 minutes 450 degrees;
reduce to 350 degrees and bake
10 minutes more until browned
and free from moisture.
Cool, split and fill with crab meat
preparation or other desired fill-
Yield 60-80 small puffs
Source: "The Southern Junior
League Cookbook"

Basic Beer-Can Chicken
1 can beer
1 whole chicken 3-4 lbs.
2 tablespoons BBQ rub (your fa-
vorite) or 2 tablespoons corn oil

Continued on Page 12

At the St. George Civic Club on Thursday, August 21st,
Sheriff Bruce Varnes repeated his earlier announcement
that he was planning to retire next year when his term
expires. "I have in 29-1/2 years, but I'll encourage my wife
to work another 10 years," he said with a smile. Major
Mike Mock, a likely candidate for the Sheriff's job next
year, informed the club members of routine calls received
within the last month. "...There were no major crimes
reported..." from July 21st through August 20th. He
reviewed services available from the Sheriff's office and
the local security patrol.

i T Free Service, LLC


58 FT. Bucket Truck & Chipper Tree & Limb Removal, Etc.
Call John @ 850-670-8432 or 335-0580


511 Highway 98 Apalachicola, FL 32320
(850) 653-9228
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Fax: 697-4680 P.O. Drawer JJ Carrabelle, FL 32322

If your idea of paradise is to be in an area surrounded by
miles of rivers, thousands of acres of wetlands and
unspoiled forests you'll find no better place to live than
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The Franklin Chronicle


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Phipps Ventures from Page 1
Two or three mixed-use buildings are across LL (Leisure
Lane) from the commercial. Mixed use means a shop or
business on the ground level and living quarters on. the
second level.
The drawings show concept elevations which, they said,
were intended to convey a village feel. They said that they
were drawing on Seaside and Charleston for inspiration.
The houses are arranged facing each other, and there
are lanes or alleys drawn in, as well as roads. It appears
that the design, colors and landscaping will be more like
Seaside, WaterColor, etc. than other Plantation homes.
They have drawn a taxiway running from the southeast
corner of the runway to their property to reach an air-
plane apron drawn on their property. They readily ac-
knowledge that we would have to agree to this."
The Phipps Ventures Regulatory Approval Process
The Mike Doyle memo continued:
"As they describe the process, they would be required to
file with the county for a comp plan amendment. Ap-
proval would also be required by the State Department
of Community Affairs for a conceptual plan of a mixed-,
use commercial and residential development. They say
since they would be seeking approval for less than two
residential units per acre that precedent indicates they
will get approval.

Fund-Raiser For


of the
Franklin County

Redistricting Issue
Contributions to the legal fund seeking litigation
against the Franklin County to Compel Redistrict-
ing are being sought now. Those contributing $100
or more shall receive a one year free subscription
to the Franklin Chronicle, upon request.
Please send your check or money order to:
Concerned Citizens of Eranldin County, Inc.;
Post Office Box 990; Eastpoint, FL 32328.



CITY: STATE:____ __ZIP:______


I hereby request a free one-year subscription to
the Franklin Chronicle.


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They then would need to get approval for an amendment
to the Development Order and for a P.U.D. plan. These
regulatory approvals, they say, are site plan specific, i.e.,
they contemplate locking in details with the government
on lot line locations, road layouts and similar details.
They have retained a Tallahassee land use lawyer, Rob-
ert Apgar to assist them in this process.
They say,that they already have approval for a 90,000
g.p.d. (gallons per day) sewage treatment facility (the ex-
isting plant Is 30,000 g.p.d. capacity) and the current
capacity of treating that much sewage, but that their
development will utilize a maximum of 30,000 g.p.d. at
buildout. This appears to mean that they will not have to
build another WWTP.
Phipps Ventures want the Plantation Board to, agree with
their plan to develop the property, and to report that
agreement to the government regulators. We discussed
that the POA could object, not object or support their
They have invited us to make a proposal to them as to
what we want from them.
Phipps is advantaged by such an agreement in two re-
1. The fact that their closest-neighbors support them will
obviously assist their government approval process.
2. An agreement with the POA that specifically abrogates
the Ben Johnson Agreement would remove a cloud on
their title and a legal threat to any development not com-
prehended by the BJ agreement."
"In negotiating an agreement with Phipps, the POA can
seek to obtain advantages that it otherwise could not
1. Membership of RV property owners in the POA. This
membership would not be a full membership, but would
be pro rata to POA services and amenities provided to RV
2. Payment by Phipps of cash upfront to compensate for
POA expenses and burdens caused by Phipps develop-
ment-construction impact, etc.,
3. Agreed density limits lower than the density 'which
has already has been approved by the government and
agreed to by the POA.
4. Agreed quality standards higher than those imposed
by law-they promise highest quality development.
5. Removal of obligations imposed on POA by BJ Agree-
Recommendations of the Committee
The Doyle memo continued,
"The POA's maximum leverage is now, before Phipps goes
to the government.
Therefore, we recommend that the POA negotiate an
agreement immediately. If agreed to by the Board, any
agreement will require member approval. We will also need
board approval to spend money on legal fees if the POA is
to obtain counsel to advise about our options during the
regulatory approval process, which we recommend.
An agreement, if obtainable on acceptable terms, is a far
superior way to resolve the uncertainties surrounding
their development of the property than to ignore them or
to fight about them.

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The board should call a special meeting quickly to decide
the basic conceptual question-does it want to try to ne-
gotiate an agreement with Phipps, or not.
If the vote is YES, the board should then begin to formu-
late its negotiating objectives and decide how and through
whom it wants to attain them.
Boyle and Wilder are agreeable to coming to meet with
the Board if the Board would like.
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Lee Sewell
Manley Siler

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Page 10 5 September 2003



The Redistricting Issues

Continue To Smolder

July 11, 2003
Board of County Commissioners
Franklin County Courthouse
Apalachicola, Florida 32329
Re: Franklin County Redistricting
Ladies & Gentlemen:
I am chairman of a group of people who have come together as Con-
cerned Citizens of Franklin County. Our concern is the redistricting
of Franklin County for the purpose of electing county commissioners.
To many of us, that ongoing attempt at redistricting appears to be
"floating," or at least not progressing, and we would like to help to
change that. *
The Florida Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1, provides as follows:
"After each decennial census the board of county commissioners shall
divide the county into districts of contiguous territory as nearly equal
in population as practicable." (underlining added)
Additionally, Section 124.01, Florida Statutes provides as follows:
"(3) The board of county commissioners shall from time to time, fix
the boundaries of the above districts so as to keep them as nearly
equal in proportion to population as possible; provided, that changes
made in the boundaries of county commissioner districts pursuant
to this section shall be made only in odd-numbered years." (underlin-
ing added)
From the above constitutional and statutory provisions, it is clear
that the Board of County Commissioners shall fix the boundaries of
the districts in the county "from time to time," and at no interval
period longer than 10 years, i.e., after each decennial census. The
quote "shall" in these provisions is pretty clear; it is mandatory. It is
not necessarily mandatory that the districts be changed each time,
as that may depend on several other circumstances, but it is manda-
tory that the matter of redistricting be addressed and the boundaries
Of course, historically, Franklin County has not followed this
constitutional and statutory mandate. It is my understanding
that this matter was not even addressed after the 1990 census,
and it is clear that not much has been done after the 2000 cen-
sus. In fact, the last time redistricting was accomplished in
Franklin County it had to be done by a federal court judge in
Tallahassee in 1986.
Our group has heard the argument that the County cannot redistrict
because of the above-mentioned federal court's Final Judgment in
the 1986 case. That argument is erroneous. Paragraph 5 on page 9
of the Final Judgment entered by the court provides as follows:
'The defendants are enjoined from providing county-at-large
elections and from implementing any plan for redistricting
other than the plan proposed by the interveners and adopted
by the court in this action as the "Election Plan." (underlin-
ing added)
This language does not prevent the County from adopting, or attempt-
ing to adopt, any redistricting plan, but by the clear language, it en-
joins the county from "implementing" any such plan. Clearly, the
federal court was not telling Franklin County to ignore the Florida
constitutional and statutory mandates to redistrict, but rather,
was only saying that whatever plan is arrived at by the County
Commissioners, such a plan needs to be submitted to the federal
court for further approval.
Members of our group attended the County Commission meeting on
July 1, 2003, at which the subject of redistricting was addressed. It is
our understanding that the Commission decided to request more in-
formation, and specifically the voter registration numbers, before pro-
ceeding with redistricting. Frankly, that seems like a stall, because


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Per Florida Statutes 713.78 (3) (b) File No.
Date of this Notice 08/26/03 Invoice No. 8364
Description of Vehicle: Make Ford Model Bronco Color Blue
Tag No Year 1997 State FL Vin No. U155LDC9100
To Owner: Ronald Quellette To Lien Holder:
90 10th Street
Apalachicola, FL 32320

You and each of you are hereby notified that the above vehicle was towed on
08/17/03 at the request of FHP that said vehicle is in its
possession at the address noted below. They the undersigned claim a lien for
towing, storage and cost. The vehicle will be sold after 35 days from the date of
impound free of prior liens. Payment by the above date of notice in the amount
$ 325.00 plus storage charges occurring at the rate of $ 20.00 per
day from the date hereof will be sufficient to redeem the vehicle from the lien of
the lienor; that subsection (4) of Florida Statute 713.78.

To subsection (5) of Florida Statute 713.78
You and each of you are hereby notified that on 09/29/03 at 12:00 noon
o'clock, the vehicle described above will be sold at public auction
at: 620 Houston Rd., Eastpoint, FL From the proceeds will first be paid all
towing and storage charges plus all costs including cost for this sale. Any excess
will be deposited with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
You and each of you are urged to make satisfactory arrangements to pay all
charges and take possession of the said vehicle. In order to obtain a release of the
vehicle you must present personal identification, driver's license and PROOF
OF OWNERSHIP (title, registration, etc.) at the address below and pay the
P.O. Box 971
Eastpoint, FL 32328
(850) 670-8219

such numbers are totally irrelevant to the County's obligation to re-
district. The Constitution and the Florida Statutes do not refer to
voter registration records, but rather, they refer to population. In fact,
relying on voter registration information would be highly suspect as
such information may not accurately reflect population numbers.
Our group wants to work with the County, and not against it, in
this redistricting endeavor. On the other hand, this group is not
going to idly stand by while the redistricting process continues
to "float." We are making available the resources of our group to
assist the County in fulfilling its constitutional and statutory obliga-
tion to redistrict. To that end, we offer to assist any and all county
officials with gathering whatever information is reasonably required
to do that redistricting. Thus, please feel free to have any of your
officials or employees contact us relative to such assistance. We un-
derstand that this redistricting has to be done in this odd numbered
year, and we would hope that you would put this matter of redistrict-
ing on an expedited schedule. If that does not happen, then our mem-
bers will have to explore other means of attempting to get this redis-
tricting process accomplished within this odd numbered year.
We look forward to working with you in this matter, and we would
hope that whoever is spearheading this redistricting matter for the
County contacts us in the immediate future so that we can assist as
offered above. We would also hope this matter will be discussed at
next Tuesday's meeting and a plan be adopted for implementing there
redistricting with appropriate time tables that will assure a 2003
Jerry Thompson
Publisher's Note: Thus far, the Franklin County Commission has
chosen to remain silent on this matter.

Letter Announcing Federal Litigation

Robert Rivas
The Rivas Law Firm
311 S. Calhoun Street, Suite 206
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Friday, August 29, 2003
Via Fax and U.S. Mail
Board of County Commissioners
Franklin County, Florida
33 Market St., Suite 203
Apalachicola, FL 32329
Re: Redistricting
Dear Commissioners:
I write to follow up on Jerry Thompson's July 11, 2003 letter, written
on behalf of the Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, in regard to
redistricting. Another copy of the letter is enclosed for your conve-
The Concerned Citizens' letter explained why the Board of County
Commissioners is overdue to redraw their district lines, and offered
assistance. Yet Mr. Thompson informs me that he has not received
any response. I write to advise you that the Concerned Citizens of
Franklin County have engaged me to bring an action in United States
District Court against each of you, in your official capacity as a mem-
ber of the Board, to compel you to comply with your legal obligation.
At this time, we anticipate filing suit on approximately September 18,
This letter is not a threat; it is a plea. We write to implore you to do
what you are required by law to do in order that your constituents
not be forced to become your adversaries in court. My clients stand
ready to prepare a redistricting plan in accordance with the require-
ments of the law and assist you in its implementation.
Should your inaction make our legal action inevitable, the suit will be
brought not only under state law, but also pursuant to Section 1 of
the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, 42 UJ.S.C. 1983. It will seek a declara-
tory judgment, that the plaintiffs have been deprived of their right to
the equal protection of the laws, as guaranteed by the Equal Protec-,
tion Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, by your failure ensure
that each vote in the county is weighted equally. It will seek a perma-
nent injunction to compel you to redistrict in time for the 2004 elec-
tions. It will seek to require that, if you do not accomplish the redis-
tricting yourselves, the Court consider a plan proposed by the plain-
tiffs, hear, from other interested parties, and impose a redistricting
plan by permanent injunction, as Judge Stafford was finally com-
pelled to do in 1986. We anticipate inviting the Attorney General of
Florida and the U.S. Department of Justice to join in support of our
position in court.
If there is some lawful basis for Franklin County's 2004 elections to
be conducted under the existing districts, I urge you to consult with
your attorney and have him be in touch with me as soon as is practi-
.cable. I certainly have no interest in proceeding with a lawsuit that
stands any likelihood of losing. However, I am not aware of any de-
fense to the Concerned Citizens' planned action. As best I can tell,
you may redistrict Franklin County voluntarily, or you will redistrict
Franklin County under the federal court's orders. If you choose the
latter, you will only accomplish having spent tens of thousands of
dollars in court costs and attorneys' fees for no purpose. Not only will
Franklin County pay its own attorney, and probably outside counsel,
but my clients will be planning to compel Franklin County to pay
their attorneys' fees at the end of the case pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
Section 1988.
Awards of attorneys' fees to plaintiffs in voting rights cases tend to be
more generous when the offending government officials, such as the
five of you, are "unreasonably and obdurately obstinate," Faitiey v.
Patterson, 493 F.2d 598, 605 n.10 (5th Cir. 1974), in your refusal to
comply with a clear legal obligation, such as, in this case, the re-
quirement of redistricting. Again, this is not a threat, but a plea, that
you act responsibly and save the taxpayers' money.
Please be in-touch if you feel we should discuss this matter before
suit is filed.
Very truly yours,
Robert Rivas
cc: Thomas M. Shuler
Concerned Citizens of Franklin County

Franklin County Public Library

News And Happenings

By Judi Rundel
Franklin County Public Library's
FROG Family Learning Program
is scheduling "Introduction to
Computers", Internet/e-mail in-
formation, and other classes tai-
lored to specific needs for Septem-
ber. Appointments are being made
for GED preparation help and
homework help for children. In-
formation for these and other pro-
grams can be obtained at the
Eastpoint and Carrabelle
branches of the library or by call-
ing 670-4423 or 697-2091.
For those interested in a great way
to exercise safely, there is room
for a few more participants in the
popular Yoga classes, held at the
Carrabelle Branch on Monday
and Thursday evenings from 5:00
to 6:00.
The Apalachicola WINGS and TI-
GERS will be holding Poetry Slam
at the Program Site on 8th Street,
Thursday, September 11th.
A Sidewalk Inventory Book Sale
will be going on at the Eastpoint
Branch of the library all week,
.weather permitting. There are
many great modern, classic,

children's, an a ecnnical books
available for just pennies a piece.
The Carrabelle branch of the Li-
,brary will be closed Saturday,
September 6th for training,
The Franklin County Public
Library's FROG, WINGS, and TI-
GERS offer many programs that
are free and open to the public.
Registration, however, is required.
For information about upcoming
programs, becoming a volunteer
tutor, or becoming a library vol-
unteer, please call 670-4423,
697-2091, or 653-2784.


Franklin County Tourist

Development Council Forms

By Lisa Szczepaniak
The newly formed Franklin
County Tourist Development
Council had its first official meet-
ing on August 26th, 2003. The
nine-member council was formed
pursuant to Florida state statute
125.0104, which is entitled "Lo-
cal Option Tourist Development
Act." This statue governs a
county's right to levy a 1% to 2%
"bed" tax on short-term rentals
and leases (less than 6 months),
in order to develop those areas of
growth related to tourism in the
county. The nine members in-
clude: Cheryl Sanders, Van
Johnson, Raymond Williams,
Helen Spohrer, Alice Collins,
Linda Blair, Beth Mosley, Skip
Frink and Curt Blair. According
to Anita Grove of the Apalachicola
Chamber of Commerce, a special
referendum will need to be drawn
and will be presented to voters
some time next year.
The tax would simply be added to
the current 6% sales tax on mo-
tel/hotel rooms,' vacation home
rentals and RV campsite rentals.
No separate forms or complicated
paperwork would be necessary for
rental agents to fill out. The 8%
Franklin County Tourist Development Tax
Projected Annual Revenue

# of Units'

St. George Island

would go to the state as usual and
the 2% would then be sent back
to county and the revenue depos-
ited in a specific fund, not into the
general fund. The council will be
responsible for deciding where
and how the revenue will be
spent. The revenue generated
from the tax would be used for
such things as; Maintenance and
improvements to the new piers in
Eastpoint and St. George Island,
the St. George Island park, county
recreational complexes, bike and
hiking trails, county wide beach
and park clean-up, boat launch-
ing facilities, visitors centers in
Carrabelle and Apalachicola, as
well as promotion and advertis-
ing for the county and for local
events held in the county.
The following is the possible an-
nual revenue that would be gen-
erated through a 2% "bed" tax:

The Franklin County Tourist De-
velopment Council meetings are
open to the public. The next meet-
ing will be held on September 9th
at 10 a.m. in the Franklin County
Court House's old county com-
' mission room.

Annual Sales
Per Unit

$ 12,000.00 $S

Annual Sales Tax Collected


S 40,080.00

Vacation Rental Homes

St. George Island
Alligator Point

844 25,000.00 21,100,000.00 422,000.00
35 15,000.00' 525,000.00 10,500.00

RV Parks

St. George Island
Alligator Point




$ 27,229,000.00 $544,580.00


In the Chronicle issue of August 22, 2003, Ben Watkins was erro-
neously reported to have complained about driving in ATV (All-
Terrain Vehicle) on the beaches. The complaining party was ac-
tually Ben Withers. Mr. Watkins is a practicing attorney in

Fishing Piers Up In The Air

Alan Pierce reported to the Board of County Commissioners that he
and Anita Grove met and discussed the "pier issue." He said, "She
has consulted with people on St. George Island, and I have called Boh
brothers, the bridge contractors, and DOT (Dept. of Transportation).
One question has emerged from all of this jawboning: How much
bridge does the Board want to keep? 1000 feet on either end? 3000
feet on either end? If the Board wants to make the bridge an attrac-
tion that draws people to the area, the Board needs to keep 3000 feet
on either end. If the Board is interested in providing free fishing simi-
lar to fishing off the causeway with limited amenities, then the Bridge
can be scaled back to about 1000 feet on either end."
With some pause, the Board decided to leave matters as they are,
with about 5/6 of a mile on either end (closer to the 3000 feet ver-
sion). Thus far, there have not been many local entrepreneurs to come
forward with a plan even though the folks at Fishermen's Headquar-
ters have been advised of this development. There is an opportunity
knocking here but apparently no takers.

Franklin Litigation from Page 1

plan by permanent injunction as
Judge Swafford was compelled to do in 1986. Mr. Rivas also added
that the Concerned Citizens bringing the legal action anticipate
inviting the Attorney General of Florida and the U. S. Depart-
ment of Justice to join in support of the plaintiffs.
The Rivas letter also contained this language: "...I am not aware of
any defense to the Concerned Citizens' planned action. As best as I
can tell, you may redistrict Franklin County voluntarily, or you will
redistrict Franklin County under the federal courts' orders. If you
choose the latter, you will only accomplish having spent tens of thou-
sands of dollars in court costs and attorneys' fees for no purpose. Not
one only will Franklin County pay its own attorney, and probably
outside counsel, but my clients (the Concerned Citizens) will be plan-
ning to compel Franklin County to pay their attorneys' fees at the end
of the case..."
Rivas added, "Awards of attorneys' fees to plaintiffs in voting rights
cases tend to be more generous when the offending government offi-
cials such as the five of you are 'unreasonably and obdurately obsti-
nate.' "...Again, this is not a threat, but a plea that you act responsi-
bly and save the taxpayers' money."
In the aftermath of the 1986 citizens challenge, Franklin County lost,
redistricting was ordered by a Federal Judge, and the Franklin County
paid the plaintiff citizens group $10,000 in legal costs.
The Concerned Citizens of Franklin County has no connection with
the older citizens group of the same name, formed in the 1980s, the
group that brought the successful litigation against the Franklin
County Commission at that time.
The 2003 group was formed out of volunteers from the St. George
Island Civic Club, and has developed one plan for redistricting com-
missioner that one county said should be placed in the wastecan. For
months, Commissioner Mosconis, on the other hand, has told his
brethren that if the matter goes to court, the judge will tell the county
how to conduct the redistricting process. The main thrust of the new
group is to help the county commission get organized and in compli-
ance with the law.
The reader is invited to review their correspondence in total, pub-
lished in this issue in the Editorial and Commentary section.

The Franklin Chronicle

The Franklin Chrnnicle


5 September 2003 Page 11


Franklin Briefs from Page 2

Priorities Continue Upside Down

On Top Of Rising Property Taxes, Gas

Prices And Everything Else,

Plantation Board Plan To Levy The

Same Level Of Assessments For 2004

The Big Spenders Continue Spending and Avoid
After a nearly three hour budget review session among the six present
Directors, the Plantation Association voted to continue the same as-
sessments for 2004 as in 2003 despite the fact that they reached a
tentative budget surplus of about $56,094 with an additional $150,000
earmarked for depreciation.
Philip Froelich, a Director, was absent from the meeting. Jim Matson,
another Director, was plugged into the deliberations by long distance
telephone. Boyd Ellison, Acting Vice President, conducted the meet-
ing attended by Directors Donna Butterfield, Lee Sewell (treasurer),
Russell Crofton (secretary) and Rita Culbertson.
The assessments for lots with homes already in place would be $2350
each and lot owners would be assessed $1,070. Director Jim Matson
was heard over the telephone arguing for a 2% increase on top of the

(From left) Nick Mazzarela, Boyd Ellison and tee Sewel.



TR t

''- -
'''.' ... I F '' .'




(850) 670-4205
171 Hwy. 98, Suites F & G Eastpoint, FL

Donna Butterfield

Rita Culbertson

Russell Crofton



The budget for 2004 was approved totaling $1,619,523 with some
minor reductions by the Board, generating a surplus of about $56,000.
Treasurer Lee Sewell was asked for copies of the proposed budget by
member Tommy Day. She mumbled words to the effect that the bud-
get was not ready; this was only a draft. However, the Board was
reviewing and approving this budget that afternoon. Board Member
Donna Butterfield immediately left the room and ran off Xerox copies
for distribution to the members present. While she was gone, Ms.
Sewell indicated that the entire budget was to be projected on a screen
so everyone could see. Well, it was, but the type was so small one
could not read it. When Ms. Butterfield returned with her copies,
these were distributed to the group and the review began.
The Board also discussed an increase in "Entrance Fees", the money
charged renters who rent houses in the Plantation. The current cost
is $40 per rental. As a means of increasing revenue, and perhaps
"balancing" the problem of small rentals paying the same as mul-
tiple-bedroom homes, the Board discussed raising the entrance fees.
The fee had been increased $5 effective last March 2003, from $35 to
$40. It would appear as if another increase is coming. The rental
agencies, real estate companies handling the house rentals, collect
the fees and rents for their clients and submit the entrance fees to
the Plantation treasury.
Lee Sewell, Treasurer, received a compliment from Director Donna
Butterfield concerning the more detailed budget spread sheet this
year and the Board agreed with Butterfield's assessment. The Planta-
tion, as of June 2003, will have a debt balance of $229,261, a consid-
erable improvement over the millions of dollars two years previous.
In 2002, the debt level was $472,262 according to Sewell's figures,
and in 30 June 2001, the debt was at $1,057,638. The payoff was
largely due to the bleeding and raised assessments imposed upon the
members of the Association.
The background for that huge debt was conditioned by the rising
number of litigations involving the macho leadership in the Associa-
tion convincing themselves of the need to legally battle Dr. Ben Johnson
and his commercial development now known Resort Village. A past
President, Lou Vargas, himself an attorney, more than once advised
against many of the litigations but a few on the Board managed to
ignore the warnings and take up litigation as a means of solving their
problems. But, the legal 'actions only lined the pockets of the
out-of-county attorneys who lost most of the cases, and yet charged
the Plantation treasury high legal bills. Thus, even this Board paid
some attention to the legal category in the budget, but they still have
$33,000 budgeted for "legal matters." When asked "Why," there was
no explanation of the need for such an item, yet the Board continues
to spout that 'There are no pending litigations."
To illustrate the forked tongue responses to some of the budgetary
questions put to them, especially why it was necessary to print a
newsletter costing nearly $20,000 a year, and not simply shift that to
the internet to save printing costs, the stock answer was that "only
about 20% of our members have access to computers." Yet, when you
ask for an address list for Board members, all you get are their names,
with their E-mail addresses, useable only for those who have access
to computers. This disguises the place of living for those Board mem-
bers so as not to call too much attention to those who do not live year
around in the Plantation.
In looking at the phone numbers, only Rita Culbertson, Donna
Butterfield, and Russell Crofton list local numbers. Treasurer Sewell,
largely responsible for the budget, is out-of-county along with Boyd
Ellison, Phillip Froelich and Jim Matson. So, it would appear as if
some on the Board do not want to be easily found even via the tele-
phone without some expense to the caller. So much for open commu-
nication with the Board of Directors. By the way,- acting President
Boyd Ellison, admitted to the Board and those few members present
-in the audience, that'the Board has done a poor job communicating
with the membership during the past year. .
There appeared to be a continuing concern with establishing a re-
serve fund. Given ,the considerably reduced debt and interest pay-
ments, it would appear as if the Board of Directors are seeking addi-
tional reasons to keep the level of assessments high to build up the
treasury so "wish lists" could be easily fulfilled. I recall the veiled
statements made to justify the "entrance fees" when there were intro-
duced, words to 'the effect that this new fund would provide some
relief to the property owners on their annual assessments. Follow
what the Board -does, not what it says, especially in the monthly pro-
paganda letter soon to reappear again. No one pointed out to the
Board that the Bylaws contain provisions for emergency assessments
in times of real emergencies, which is what the so-called "reserve
fund" is touted to become. I don't believe it. No one bothered to ex-
plain the $20,000 legal slush fund given over to the committee meet-
ing with the Phipps interests on Resort Village. "Just in case we need
it," was one response to an earlier question outside of the meeting.
When the treasury gets big enough, and a bureaucracy surrounds its
administration, misappropriation can be committed. That money be-
longs to the membership but some Board members are allocating
and spending it as if they had carte blanche.
The Board wrestled with proposed money to be spent on building a
bike lane near Leisure Lane. One accident with a young person would
immediately push the Association into very high liability and legal
action that could wipe out the treasury, especially if an attorney were
savvy to the ways and means of Association Board politics and how
easy it is to get money for "favored projects." There is already a sepa-
rate bike lane through the T-roads, and this has been explained many
times in the past. Why not finish that task and forget the duplication
of a bike lane in 'a dangerous portion of Leisure Lane. Ms. Sewell
dutifully took the recommendation from some members for the extra
path and put it into the budget. The $20,000 allocated to this boon-
doggle was removed from the budget, finally. Others still argue for a
large "war chest" but they are hard pressed to justify thousands of
self-insuring dollars to things such as roads, bike paths, and natural
structures. There is little justification for a large reserve fund except
to satisfy the personal agendas of board members who cannot zipper
their pocketbooks.
On balance Boyd Ellison conducted a balanced meeting among those
present, permitting members not ,on the Board to express their views
as the budget was discussed. He conducted the various colloquies in
an even-handed manner, not showing favorites, nor advocating posi-
'tions ,on a very few crucial issues. He claims he is the Vice-President
but his demeanor and actions were Presidential. There was little de-
bate in this group since most were still on a misguided trance to keep
the dues the same as last year, instead of providing relief to the gen-
eral, membership. Despite the surplus, the Board voted to keep the
dues at their highest levels in the history of the association, com-
pletely ignoring rising property taxes throughout the island commu-
nity, and especially the Plantation, and other expenses. The thrust
toward developing a reserve fund is still alive in their thinking, and
new candidates for the board ought to be challenged to explain them-
selves on this particular issues, along with the level of assessments.
Donna Butterfield was the only board member that consistently
screened each department for places to cut and she was responsible
for the surplus finally arrived at. She also lost some votes on other
issues as well.
One such explanation for a budget item was an estimated $50,000 to
"evaluate" the condition of the current clubhouse. That was origi-
nally slated for "evaluation." Then, Lee Sewell qualified it to include
some repairs but that line of statement dribbled off. The amount was
absurd and the Board generally agreed to the point of cutting it down
by half. This illustrated once again, there is little knowledge among
them as to the actual cost of items and services. This writer pointed
out that this was an excellent opportunity to look for a new location
to build a clubhouse truly reflecting needs for hundreds of members
and to sell the current facilities. He scolded the Board for lack of
vision and imagination in taking control of expenses and exercising
fiscal responsibility. The sale of the current clubhouse, when repaired,
and swimming pool, when repaired, could remove all debt and create
a reserve fund as well.

The complete budget with comparisons to previous years has been
promised to the membership in the mailout for the Annual Meeting
on October 10th, 2003 at the clubhouse. I have reproduced the draft
that the Board reviewed on August 28th without the modifications
that were voted upon later in the meeting.
Tom W. Hoffer
Plantation Member since 1976

Skip Carmichael

Cheryl Sanders
plete the project. Ms. Pendleton
and I both believe it will be in the
county's best interest if county
employees develop the system
rather that hire a consultant. At
this time, with Ms. Pendleton's
support and cooperation, I have
directed Chris Clark to make con-
tact with the Department of Rev-
enue to learn what needs to be
done. At this time Chris believes
he has the skills to finish the pro-
gram and to add certain compo-
nents that will be useful to the
Planning Department. Unless
there is an objection from the
Board, the Planning Department
and the Property Appraiser's Of-
fice plan .to jointly manage the
development of county's GIS Sys-
tem," reported Mr. Pierce.
The Board had no objection.

Land Use Changes
The county is allowed two large-
scale land use changes per cal-
endar year. The approval of the
SummerCamp land use change
was the first.'The Bo'ard'has the
ability to schedule the second
large-scale transmittal hearing. At
this time, the proposed transmit-
tal hearing would involve some 60
acres of land on the north side of
US 98 between Eastpoint and
Carrabelle currently known as
"The Soundings," but might also
include a proposed change in the
Plantation on St. George Island for
the Phipps Corporation. The
Phipps Corporation is proposing
to change some 40 acres of land
that had been owned by Ben
Johnson. Their proposal is going
to be considered by Planning and
Zoning Commission on Sept. 9th,
and if it is recommended in favor
Mr. Pierce would like to have both
'The Soundings" and the Phipps
projects handled at the same time
on Oct. 7th. If P and Z does not
recommend in favor, then Phipps
will not be part of the October 7th
hearing, and will have to be dealt
with later.
The Board decided to wait until
October 21st.
Mark Curenton had several items
for the Board. All of the following
were approved:
A) He recommends the Board ap-
prove a revised closeout report for
Hurricane Earl CDBG. The county
will refund $3,717.34 of CDBG
funds to the state, and the county
will receive an additional
$5,360.96 from the state as part
of the state's match that-the state
should have paid. The county will
come out ahead by $1643.62.
B) He recommends the Board au-
thorize advertising and hiring of
an engineer to design the Bluff
Road Bike Path. Design funds are
currently available, but construc-
tion funds are still several years
away. While Preble-Rish is the
Board's engineer, Mark says that
because these are special grants
the county must go through a
separate selection process.
C) He has met with Debbie
Belcher and they recommend the
Board authorize advertising for
engineers to oversee construction,
surveyors, and appraisers for the
CDBG project. Again, while
Preble-Rish is the Board's engi-
neer, because these are federal
funds the county must go through
a separate selection process.
D) He also recommends the Board
appoint a review committee to
evaluate the qualifications for en-
gineers and surveyors and autho-
rize the committee to open and
evaluate the qualifications and
present the rankings to the Board
on October 7. A proposed commit-
tee could be Debbie Belcher,
Mark, and Alan Pierce.
. E) He has provided a letter from
Debbie Belcher to the Board
which highlights the status of the
CDBG project. It appears from her
letter that most construction will
not start for 5-6 months.


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