Brothers and Sisters,
We are a few weeks into the session and so far, no bad news has come from Tallahassee. There are issues that are being watched, but I can tell you that any bill that has a financial impact to any budget WILL NOT be heard. I stated before the session started that we will have to play a strong defense so we don’t loose anything we have gained in the past.
There are a few things that I want to pass along to everyone. First, the Executive Board will be meeting at the end of the month. At this meeting, we will be going over the budget, discussing legislation, and political races. At the same time, the financial assistance committee will be meeting and I will be representing our locals that have applied. As soon as I get that information, I will contact each of you.
Speaking of the convention, I understand that all the rooms at the host hotel have been reserved and there are no more available in the block. I will get further information on this and post the overflow or nearby hotel information or what is going on at the host hotel. Also, I need to know if any of you who are attending the convention will be interested in serving on any convention committee. If so, let me know as soon as possible so I can get your name into the office.
I am planning to have our District meeting on May 2, 2008 in DeFuniak Springs. At this meeting, we will be hosting a political screening for the Florida House District 5 candidates. The screening will take place in the morning, then a lunch break with the District meeting after lunch. We will discuss the screening and possible endorsement of a candidate; the FPF budget, convention resolutions, and District happenings. The plan is to meet at the Best Western hotel at I-10 and Hwy. 331 starting at 0900 with our first candidate, allowing about 30 to 45 minutes for each. I will update everyone the final plans when they are set.
Many Locals have been requesting their tag monies. If you haven’t made your request, please do so by picking a 501(c)(3) charity, obtain their Letter of Determination from the IRS, and advise me so I can make the request.
We have a few opportunities to raise money for a couple of our charities. Here in the Okaloosa County area, Legendary Marine as asked the Firefighters to assist them with a Poker Run that will benefit the local YMCA, our Camp Amigo Children’s Burn Camp and the MDA. We will be looking for assistance from everyone. The dates are as follows: Friday evening, June 13 will be the Captain’s party. Saturday, June 14 will be the Poker Run with the Award’s party that evening. I am looking for people to work at some of the stops, attendance at the parties, and sponsorships. We have an opportunity to raise a good amount of cash for the Burn Camp and MDA, but it will take commitments. Please let me know who will be willing to help with this. I will continue to update everyone as I get more information.
Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club, Emerald Coast Station 36 will be hosting a Motorcycle Poker Run on April 12 to assist a retired New York City firefighter who has to travel to NYC for surgery. “New York Charley” is a huge supporter of our Locals here in Okaloosa County and the Crestview Local. Your support of him and our efforts would be greatly appreciated. If you need additional information, contact Station 36 President Rick Brown (Crestview Local) or myself and we will get it to you.
April is also time for the FPF Legislative Conference/Spring Executive Council Meeting in Tallahassee. We will be gathering at the Doubletree Hotel starting April 14th with early registration and a Welcome Reception at the Capitol on the 22nd floor. (This is also where the Fire Service Award Winners are recognized). Tuesday starts with the Cabinet meeting at the Capitol, with the Executive Council meeting starting at 1030. I will be chairing the Firefighters Employment, Standards and Training Council at 1300. The evening concludes with a reception at the Doubletree for our “First Responder” legislators. We, as a District, will be meeting that evening to discuss our movements and talking points around the Capitol on Wednesday. The day at the Capitol will be from 0830-1700. I will be making appointments with our folks this week. I know that we may have to split up like last year, I want each Local to see their respective legislator at the very minimum. I will be moving all around the Capitol as to see everyone. The “King of the Hill” ballgame will start around 1800 at the TCC Softball complex. Thursday, April 17 will be the wrap-up.
I want to encourage everyone; members, spouses, kids, moms and dads, etc.; to walk the halls with us. I believe that our political work is done mostly at home, but for the legislators to see us in numbers in Tallahassee is extremely important. If you are attending, wear a coat and tie or your dress uniform. If you have any questions, give me a call.
A reminder, make sure you are current with PERC, and remember to try and pay your per caps on time. If you have had e-board changes, make sure you notify the FPF and the IAFF, and please let me know as well. I want to continue to get out the information for all to see.
If you have any questions, concerns or thoughts for me or our District, please email me or give me a call. I appreciate each and every one of you for your support and assistance.