Working together can revitalize city

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2019


I grew up in Franklin, Virginia, when it was a thriving little town and it grew. Downtown was alive and bursting with energy and excitement. Many of you will remember: Three drug stores, Mary’s Hat Shop, Russell and Holmes, Steinhart’s, Jones Hayes, Hastings, Roses, Margarites, Lewis’s Hardware, Fred’s, Sifens, Hassetts and the list goes on.

I left in 1967 but did return 1997, bought a lot in the city and built a house. Having lived in big cities from the time I left Franklin the urge to return to small-town living with less traffic was a desire that had begun to grow within me. Due to family circumstances our dream to travel more did not come to be due to the sudden illness and in time my husband’s death. Three of my children gave up good jobs and returned to this area for support during this time of trying to reinvent a new type of lifestyle. Shortly after our return to Franklin in 1997, several things happened that caused heartache and financial problems for our town/city. I don’t need to name them. We ALL know what they were.

Finally, in the last two years new vitality has begun to be seen. The DFA has had much to do with this. Our Farmers Market has grown and 2018 was a great year with many new vendors, We Be Jammin’, Fall Festival, Halloween Treats for Kids, Christmas Open House, and Elf Parade. We now have new stores in Downtown with the prospect of more to come. So much more to do!

Now I just happened to be at City Council meeting (I go occasionally) on Monday, April 8. I left almost in tears as I just could not believe what I was hearing. No. 1. Budget cuts taking funds from DFA. Who is benefiting from this? Once again are we facing a decline in what has been a long, hard struggle to get back to where we used to be. Cutting funds from police department, crime wins. Fire department, we just let them burn. Franklin, we are better than this. Why is Franklin in such a financial situation and when did it begin. If budget cuts have to be made, let’s start at the TOP of the list. City Council members, aren’t you willing to give up your salaries for a year or two to save YOUR town? You are all financially able to live without this small stipend which could SAVE our town.

We have so much history to offer the tourism of Virginia. I am asking you, the citizens of Franklin, the City Council and all that want to see FRANKLIN, VIRGINA, once again be a city full of vitality, hustling, bustling, owners bearing the responsibility of their buildings, keeping our streets clean and attractive (Put the trash where it belongs — trash cans.), handicap parking so our elderly can park and shop, and people working together for the betterment of our community. Let’s work together to be the community that COULD!

Betty Ann Hadsell