Anyone who lives in our community realizes that our commissioners are human, they make mistakes and they have made some wonderful decisions for our community. There is not one among us who has agreed with every one of them on every decision; and most of us have the ability to agree to disagree with dignity and respect.

As individuals we all have opinions and not all opinions are the same, but for the most part we all know our commissioners first hand, by first name, we call on them when there is a problem and most of the time we get a call back from them and the problem is resolved. We are blessed to have that luxury of living in our small communities and being able to live and get along together regardless of our differences in opinion.

Occasionally, however, there is always one problem that is blown all out of proportion and made to look far worse than it actually is. The latest to be the unfortunate “front and center star” of media frenzied headlines and criticisms has been Commissioner Cheryl Sanders.

After reading the flurry of “news,” using the term very loosely, I have to pose the question: What is really at issue here? First and foremost anyone who has any dealings with Commissioner Sanders good, bad or indifferent will tell you that she would not intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings. I can tell you personally that there is not one commissioner on that board that has not ruffled my feathers a time or two, but I respect every one of them for the job they do for us, and I honestly don’t think that anyone of them goes in with a personal agenda to hurt our community or the people in it.

However, since this has been brought up, maybe we need to look at all the others too, I don’t seem to remember the media frenzy when the districting issue came up about Commissioner Noah Lockley’s district, and how about the double homestead issue. I don’t seem to recall any of the commissioners personally jumping on board to chime in with disgust, or how about issues with hiring, when some question the qualifications? Does that mean that they personally have issue with the religion, gender or preferences because they have no use for Franklin County residents?

Bottom line - Commissioner Sanders made a comment that was misunderstood as a personal attack, a poor choice of words for which she apologized for. It was most definitely not meant to hurt anyone or done with malice. Yet someone decided it was and to make a spectacle of it by contacting outside media and notifying people in Tallahassee.

This community is known for its laid back, good ole Southern hospitality and we have visitors who flock here year after year to experience that part of our community. The question could be posed, Was the effort to blow it all out of proportion to focus on a single commissioner, county government, or on the residents of Franklin County?

Common sense should be applied with respect to situations like this and I am hoping as well that common sense will also rule over personal agendas, regardless of who they are or what they might be. Commissioners, we are proud of the work you do, now please continue to represent us with the passion that each of you have for our community in unison and get back to the things that are most important for the sake of our community.

Respectfully, a proud resident of Apalachicola,

Linda Raffield