I attended the special meeting of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, August 16 where they discussed and took possible action concerning Franklin's Promise Coalition's failure to sign the ESF-15 contract.

Prior to this meeting, Tamara Allen, chairman of Franklin's Promise, submitted the organization’s resignation as the ESF-15 to the commissioners. The resignation was not accepted! Why? The answer is if the resignation was accepted, then Franklin's Promise Coalition could retain the $251,820 that is still sitting in the "Fire Victims" account!

Tamara Allen provided a summary of income and expenditures stating that they received $288,757 in contributions, spent $36,937 and still had $251,820 remaining in the Eastpoint Fire Disaster account.

During public comment, there were horror stories of abuse by Joe Taylor and other employees when they tried to get assistance from Franklin's Promise. Of real concern is a woman who said she had donated $2,000 but she still hadn’t received a receipt of payment from the organization.

It's been two months since the Eastpoint fire. We should be outraged that Tamara Allen, chairman of Franklin's Promise, is sitting on this "designated" fund when the Eastpoint victims so desperately still need the help now!

On another note, this organization has cast a shadow upon all the other programs that it has its fingers in, such as the Carrabelle Food Pantry, Carrabelle Cares, Prosper Franklin, Unmet Needs. Also, Franklin's Promise solicits as Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast which boasts total revenues of $760,674 and a surplus of $231,374. All these programs should surely come under scrutiny. Have laws been broken here? We shall see.

I believe that the commissioners are truly "disappointed" and "saddened" with the shameful conduct of Tamara Allen/Franklin's Promise. How can we trust her as our commissioner? We, Franklin County residents, deserve better!

Shirley Cox