RESTORE Council leaves much undecided


Curley Messer, representing Carrabelle, left, RESTORE Council Chair Cheryl Sanders, Rick Watson, representing the realtors, and Pat O’Connell, representing from District 1.

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 06:12 PM.

The first meeting of the county’s RESTORE Council March 28 offered members guidance on ethics when it met for the first time.

County Commission Chairman Cheryl Sanders, who also is sits as non-voting chair of the RESTORE Council, said the purpose of the first meeting was to, “organize this committee and set ground rules.”

County Attorney Michael Shuler distributed literature on ethics and Florida’s Sunshine Law. He also provided board members with financial disclosure forms they are required to file with the state. He said that alternates appointed to the board must meet the same requirements as regular members. He cautioned representatives on the council that their email and Facebook postings are now public record.

County Director of Administrative Services Alan Pierce said the council will recommend projects for funding to the county commission, which will then decide whether to submit proposals to the federal government for funding.

He said Franklin County could receive anywhere from $0 to $60 million from the pool of federal dollars recouped from fines to BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Pierce said the money could become available in six months or six years, and that the county may need to hire additional administrative staff if and when the funds become available. Funding for administration is capped at 3 percent of the money awarded to the county.

Pierce and Shuler both said they believed the funds, once released, will remain available to the county until they are spent and there is no time limit on use of the money.

Audience members questioned how much detail will be required in submissions for funding.

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