To the Editor:

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Our city seems to be dragging its feet when it comes to protecting our historic district in Franklin, and is too eager to allow building for new neighborhoods to be built right up to the road.

Some of those new developments are allowed to have sidewalks. Unusual, because new developments aren’t usually built with new sidewalks.

However, I support the idea because it allows a neighborhood to connect to other neighbors. Yet the historic district neighborhood is neglected and left in shambles and criminal activity because of the overlooked, rundown housing we have to offer. The historic district is Franklin. And without it, Franklin would no longer be.

There are other actions that can be taken as well, other than developing $45,000-plus guidelines and training a historic preservation committee to review certificates for architectural changes to properties.

I’ve got that knowledge.

Creating new neighborhoods with homes starting at $300,000 is not a good thing when it comes to tax base or the current economy, especially for the current residents. Franklin has houses for sale, vacant and blighted properties all over, and our taxes are seemingly rising.

The good news is that housing doesn’t have to be costly, if done right, and our taxes don’t need to jump an extra $43,000 from the last assessment just because. The City of Franklin needs to focus on what’s already existing and work with it.

With some of the decisions our City Council makes about housing, it’s hard to understand how they can drive through Franklin and be proud to serve as our city’s decision makers. Hopefully, with two new members on board there will be an opportunity to change this.

Jennifer Bernocco