Council Member - Seat 1

Biographical Sketch


Janie Griffith


77 White Street
DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435

Councilwoman Statement:

I am Janie Griffith a lifelong resident of Walton County and a 1973 graduate of Walton Senior High School. I am Financial Secretary of Darlington United Methodist Church where I am a member and have attended church for the past 20 years. I have one daughter, Candace Wade, who graduated from Paxton High School and now resides in Troy, AL. My father, step-mother, one sister, my niece, several uncles, aunts and cousins live in the City of DeFuniak Springs. I have been employed with the Walton County School District since 1989.

During my employment with the School District, I have acquired knowledge on budget preparation and management, leadership skills, and customer relations. I have also learned first-hand the value of mutual respect for co-workers and the public, effective team work and the importance of good staff morale..

I want to see DeFuniak Springs grow while preserving our rich history. To grow, we need to bring in new business and industry. As a DFS Planning Board member since 2012 and current chairperson, I am committed to seeing our community grow in a balanced and thoughtful way. I have closely observed the process for the recent study conducted by the Institute for Senior Professionals and I completely agree with the outcomes of that analysis.

Another aspect of economic growth for DFS includes the opportunity for increased tourism. I was involved with Christmas Reflections when it began. This annual event, along with the Florida Chautauqua Assembly and newer events such as the Marvel of Flight have done much to bring regional and national recognition to our town. I was as a member of the DFS Special Events Committee from November, 2011 through January, 2015 serving as Chairperson for 18 months. I am involved in Energy Expo and the Marvel of Flight event and am presently serving as Vendor Coordinator for MOF. I believe that the events and activities generated by the Special Events Committee and other community groups bring much needed recognition to our community as well as tourists and visitors who provide a welcome addition to our economy.

Since April, 2011, I have attended most City Council Meetings. I have learned much but I have observed the lack of professionalism projected toward both citizens and city staff. Citizens have been insulted, belittled and ignored when coming before the council. Some council members have displayed a superior attitude toward the very people who placed them in office. This attitude has also been projected toward staff members at times. Respect doesn’t cost anything but it buys an awful lot. Council members should be servant leaders with one purpose – TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF DFS WITH INTEGRITY.

I did not plan to run for city council this time. But pressure from fellow citizens and key community leaders has redirected my thinking. There is a ground swell of concern for the lack of professionalism, common sense, good manners and respect presently demonstrated by some council members. I will bring professional experience and expertise, respect for ALL people and common sense to the table again.

I will work to establish on-going communication with our citizens – keeping them informed at all levels of the many good things which are happening in DFS.

AND I will be pro-active on financial matters – keeping ahead of the ever-changing priorities and needs - not constantly hiding behind ‘THE BUDGET” but finding creative ways to keep our city moving forward, meeting changing needs while staying within the financial boundaries we have established. The budget is NOT God, it is a guideline – a tool by which we can know what we have and what we need – a framework which requires constant massage and reworking in order to provide for opportunities we are presently missing while always maintaining a safe and secure financial base for our city.

I will be accessible. Even though I work fulltime, I can be reached by text or email anytime and I guarantee that I will respond promptly AND do everything in my power to meet your need.

I will work tirelessly as your city council member. Those who know me will confirm that I complete a task when I take it on. You can count on the job being done to its conclusion in a professional manner AND with respect and integrity. I will complete my term unless God deems otherwise.