I have been watching in disbelief the last few days as the new Police Headquarters grows larger and larger. It is an absolute monstrosity.
I am ashamed that I am just now realizing this travesty.
After finally getting my head out of the sand and conducting a little research and with the cooperation of the Tennessean and Williamson AM, I realize that this building is costing Franklin taxpayers $36 MILLION, yes, MILLION, and it is 90,000 square feet. To put this in perspective, the Memphis,Tennessee Police Headquarters is 79,675 sq. ft.while serving a population of 677,272. This is 636,107 more people than live in Franklin which is a city of 41,165. (Thanks to Lieutenant Trey of the Memphis PD for this information) The Memphis Lieutenant also told me that they have been trying for years and have failed to obtain $30 Million ($6 million less than Franklin, TN) approved to renovate and enlarge their headquarters and this would give Memphis PD adequate space and will enable them to add the luxury of a Police Museum.
Memphis also has the highest per capita crime rate in Tennessee while Franklin boasts one of the lowest.
Something just does not add up. Or maybe it adds up way too much. And adds and adds...
The Mayor and Alderman who planned and then approved this extravagant expense (here is the Tennessean article on the approval) need to be held accountable and asked hard questions.
Where is NewsChannel 5's investigative reporter Phil Williams when you REALLY need him?
Kudos to Kevin Walters of the Tennessean who has written at least 30-40 stories about this project during the past four years.
Other troubling questions include the new Franklin Transit Station and its cost. As the sparking new Transit buses ride around Franklin, there is rarely, if ever, anyone on them. When called to ask if they would provide transportation for anyone that needed it after the New Year's wine tasting benefit at O'More College in downtown Franklin, they replied by saying they didn't know how much longer they would be in business and could not offer help. They advised calling the Franklin Police, who in turn said to warn everyone because they would be doubling patrols.
And what is the never-ending status of the Franklin downtown street renovation project that must certainly be over deadline and thus over budget?
I suppose a positive benefit to the economy is that someone is making and then spending all these millions of government dollars. Somehow, though, it feels as if entirely too many of our hard earned tax dollars are being gratuitously wasted by people that we have entrusted to lead us, but instead have used us.