Franklin County Florida is a small community located on what is referred to as the Forgotten Coast of Florida, located about halfway between Florida's capital city of Tallahassee and Panama City on beautiful Coastal Hwy US 98. The county is comprised of three small cities Carrabelle, Apalachicola and Eastpoint.
According to Google overall population in 2012 is 11,686. Apalachicola and Eastpoint have seen a substantial decline in population, however Carrabelle since the arrival of the Universal Life Church World Headquarters, President and Presiding Bishop has seen a population explosion since 2009, an increase from 1,231 residents to 2,842 residents. Even though Apalachicola is viewed as the county seat, Carrabelle has become the largest city and the hub for Franklin County.
In my nearly twenty years living in or around Franklin County Florida, it has always been known as one of the most depressed counties in the state, largely in-part due to the fact leadership within the county refuses to embrace change. Rather than being proactive about the decline of the fishing industry, county commissioners have spent their time bickering about their own salaries, attacking those of the Jewish Faith and pretty much catering to there own family members by protecting the Mom n'Pop mentality of businesses within the county. Instead of serving all county residents as they were elected to do, they have left the majority to fend for themselves with no help or alternative to the industry that for many years was the main income provider.
Walmart, McDonalds, Sonic and others have all shown interest in Franklin County, however county officials want to preserve the Mom n'Pop businesses owned and operated by their own family members or friends, by denying growth within the county. Preservation is not the answer, they are shooting themselves in the foot as county residents are traveling outside of Franklin County to shop at Walmart and other retail stores. Not one business in neighboring Wakulla County was lost due to Walmart coming to the county!
County officials need to take action, they need to stop thinking about themselves and whining about what is not and getting off their duffs looking to attract new businesses and jobs for community residents. It is not going to happen by doing nothing, the only thing doing nothing will accomplish is residents will continue to travel outside of Franklin County to do their business. Even people coming to Franklin County to go fishing or to the beach, they are stopping at Walmart or Crum's Mini Mall in Wakulla County for their fishing or beach supplies. Why? There is nothing available to them thereafter between say Tallahassee and St George Island.
Incredible ignorance by county commissioners and it does not need to be that way. Franklin County residents should be flourishing, instead they are suffering because they are being thrown under the bus by current county officials.