Franklin road
October 13, 2013 12:00 AM | 1380 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR: I note that the City Council graciously decided to make sure that any money received in connection with the redevelopment of the Franklin Road Corridor be plowed back into the project.

That is gratifying.

However, I also note that the decision to float the bond issue for Franklin Road redevelopment is based on the implicit assumption that those who occupy properties in this location are ne-er do wells and evildoers, and that redevelopment is the way to get rid of them.

This is a dangerous assumption.

While there may be some who reside in this location who are not exactly law-abiding, I have noted on reading the MDJ that misbehavior in Marietta is not confined to any single neighborhood, but occurs all over, even in the most posh places. Surely if there is so much misbehavior on Franklin Road, it could be addressed by increased patrols by law enforcement, could it not? And if those minions of misdeeds relocate to elsewhere in the city, the burden on law enforcement is bound to be greater, merely because of geography.

I also read in the MDJ that the mayor is not willing to amend the language of the bond proposal, as suggested by Councilman Philip Goldstein, to assure that funds received from the bond project are indeed returned to the project. State law prohibits the City Council from actions that would bind the decisions of the next council.

Without such an amendment, next year’s council is free to use those funds in any way they choose, not necessarily to reapply them to the bond project. Without such language as proposed by Goldstein, next year’s council may use proceeds from redevelopment any way they choose. We cannot be sure next year’s council would honor the wishes of the current body.

Lastly, the bond proposal is supposed to cover the cost to acquire and raze properties on Franklin Road, and make the vacant land available to developers for new construction. Does the City Council merely assume that developers will pay the city for the exact cost of each parcel? I doubt if that will happen. Any developer worth his salt would negotiate what to pay for any parcel offered for redevelopment, including asking for tax abatement to sweeten the pot.

I have no dog in this hunt. But I suggest that many in Marietta will look with a wary eye on the prudence of the city funding the redevelopment of any neighborhood, including Franklin Road, without considering all available alternatives.

Bill Bruner Marietta
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