The president of the college where Ray Sansom now works provided him with a "pricey" $122-million funding request over five years with the implicit expectation that Sansom would help "make it a reality."
Sansom, who got the request in February, took care of the first part. This year, he secured $25.5-million in the budget for a student services building at Northwest Florida State College -- $24.5-million more than the Department of Education requested.
Records obtained today by the Times/Herald show the college wanted $18-million in PECO funds in the upcoming fiscal year (at some point, the request was pared back to $13.2-million, a figure we already reported. The DOE has recommended only $748,000).
All told, the college laid out a five-year plan to obtain $122.5-million. "It's a pricey list ... hopefully we can make it a reality," President Bob Richburg wrote to Sansom on Feb. 26, 2008.
It was not the first time Richburg directly appealed to Sansom for funding. See below.
Sansom warmly embraced the idea -- "This looks great!! Next step?" -- and then pledged to find money. "I will get to work on funds," he wrote to Richburg.
The rest is history. Sansom inserted $750,000 in start-up money into the current budget for the institute -- a quiet move that cause tension with House Speaker Marco Rubio.