Residents in Carrabelle say the problem began a year ago, but it was just weeks ago when the truth was revealed. An FDLE investigation at the Senior Center showed the misuse of funds, and the suspect was a former board member, so the state stepped in.
Behind the walls are good people, pillars of the community, aging, but full of life. They're Franklin County senior citizens and they're in for a change.
R.H. Carter, the new director, says, "They gave us a month grace period to move out of here. Why, I don't know. I'm sure they had their reasons."
They are the Franklin County Senior Citizens Council, a non-profit group that used to control the Senior Center until the state took over. A former board member was accused of stealing funds, something the Senior Center executive director knew about, but says the board had resolved.
Will Kendrick, former executive director of the Senior Center, says, "I think it's fair to say the board made a decision, but the decision was changed when new members came back on, which I think was unfair."
Consequently, Kendrick submitted his resignation.
"Just wasn't going in the direction I thought best for seniors, and I chose to go elsewhere."
Now the seniors must also go elsewhere.
R. H. Carter says, "It's small and very crowded. It's not going to be as convenient."
The good news is seniors won't have to move far, just across the street. The bad news is it may not be permanent.
Carter says, "This is a temporary situation and we don't have plans to go beyond a year. We'll provide one year from Wakulla County."
It's important to note that the services such as Meals on Wheels and other senior programs will not change in Franklin County.
I should also point out that only one former board member is under investigation by FDLE. She is accused of spending thousands of dollars on food, clothes, nails and groceries.