March 20th, 2013
January 7th, 2013
July 6th, 2012
- Median age is 39 years
- Lowest unemployment in the State
- Fourteen ‘Fortune Five Hundred Companies”
- Third in the nation for job growth in 2012
- Maintains a AAA Moody’s Bond rating
May 30th, 2012
Memorial Day - The first Memorial Day celebration for in 1868 and was an event to honor the soldiers that died during the Civil War. It was later expanded to include all of our fighting men from all wars. This year was a difficult year since we recognized one of our own Franklin residents, SPC Jason Edens who died from wounds suffered in Afghanistan. Franklin is a very patriotic community as was demonstrated on May 28, 2012.
Budget - The 2012-2013 budget has passed the first reading and will be up for public hearing on the June 12, 2012 Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting. This years’ budget is balanced with no draw from the reserve fund and reflects a modest three percent increase over the prior budget. Mid-year there will be a 2.5% pay increase for employees and there are a few vacancies that will be filled this year to meet critical needs in the Fire and Police Department. Solid waste fees are proposed to remain unchanged.
This budget funding reflects a continued level of high service for the City and its citizens. For the twenty-sixth straight year there will be no increase in property tax. Sales tax continues to be the prime source of funding followed by “shared revenue” from the State. The third place source is our property tax which is second lowest in the State and when combined with the county property tax is the lowest in the State. Congratulations to City staff who have worked very hard on this budget.
Blue Knight Ball and Police Recognitions - Annually, this ball is conducted to raise money for fallen officers and their family. At the same time it is an opportunity for awards to be given to our policemen who have distinguished themselves this past year. Congratulations to the following award winners:
- Chief’s Award, given to the officer who most exemplifies, in their every-day work, the three words worn on the sleeves of every Franklin Police Officer: Professional, Progressive, Responsive : Officer James Phillips
- Jackie Moore Award, given to the officer whose every-day work product is reflective of the service and values displayed throughout retired Franklin Police Chief Jackie Moore’s career: Patrick Tippit
- Officer of the Year: Officer Brigham VanHook
- Detective of the Year: Detective Chad Pace
- Dispatcher of the Year: Sarah Ginter
- Innovation Award, given to the officer whose ‘outside of the box’ vision has made notable differences in the reduction of crime and increased quality of life for Franklin citizens: Sergeant Jack Morgan
- Impact Award, given to the officer whose technological contributions have helped to keep the Franklin PD cutting edge in their use of computer technology in an electronic era: Sergeant David Prather
- Sober Streets Award, given to the officer who had the most notable contribution in the Department’s efforts to detect, arrest, and prosecute impaired drivers: Officer Cory Kroeger
- Medal of Valor: Officers Brad Dorman and Brett Spivy for their selfless pursuit and capture of an armed pharmacy robbery suspect.
- Medal of Life: Sergeant JP Taylor and Officer Leigh Ann Hester for their heroic actions that saved the lives of two citizens.
- Outstanding Investigation Medal: Detective Darren Barnes for his investigation of a cell phone theft ring tied to terrorist groups in Somalia that use cell phones to detonate explosive devices. Detective Barnes is also a 2011 recipient of the Department of Justice Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement for his work in identifying and arresting a serial bank robber.
Moore Elementary Walk - This year’s walk marked the twentieth consecutive year that the school has done their walk on the Natchez Trace. Not only is it popular for the current students but alumni return frequently. This is just one small thing that helps us be a healthier community.
Governor’s Task Force on Obesity - On May 29, 2012 a joint summit of the “Governor’s Task Force on Health and Wellness for Tennessee” and the “Tennessee Obesity Taskforce” was held to discuss obesity, physical activity and healthy eating in Tennessee with the objective of engaging the corporate sector in these important initiatives.
Shorter’s Chapel AME Church - Congratulations to this church who is celebrating their 144th year of existence. Through the years they have made significant contributions to our community and our country through their memberships work and careers.
If You Missed It - The NCAA Division I Ladies Championship was played in Franklin at Vanderbilt’s Legend Club. The City and County played major roles in planning this event which was won by Alabama.
Water - We have had a recent episode of “bad tasting water” that occurred in areas primarily receiving water from our water treatment plant. The issue has been aggressively addressed and continues to be addressed. WMD needs anyone with a water/sewer complaint, question or comment to call them directly at 615-794-4554. Calling them directly at 615-794-4554 is the process they use to track complaints, questions or comments into the City system and to dispatch crews competently.
April 30th, 2012
State of the City Address
WORDS with Franklin Friends
April 25, 2012
Franklin is a town with a past. We are a historic city where certain events shaped our history. We are a city that respects that history and believes in preserving our heritage. At the same time we are a city that looks to be a modern community that balances preservation of our heritage with a thriving and growing community. Today, we are going to talk about shaping our future.
As a City, we are very active in “strategic planning process” based on community input and recognized needs. This input comes from public meetings, conversations, visioning sessions, community surveys, staff input, and Social Media.
Recently, I have been asking the question: “What do you want Franklin to be in twenty-five years?” I have received some interesting comments:
- I don’t want Franklin to lose its charm.
- I want Franklin to continue to be a premier location to live and work.
- I want us to be where we are now in twenty-five years: a place where people want to live and work.
- I want to be able to walk and bike and connect to more of Franklin without getting in my car.
Through careful planning, this past year has been a success year for Franklin. So, let’s play the game!!!!
I play the word “Done” for a double word.
- Voluntary Curbside Recycling-In the second year of the program, we are consistently seeing participation rates in excess of 50% and are beating our diversion 15% of waste by weight being abled through recycling.
- Solar Project-In a pubic private partnership, the City of Franklin will soon flip the switch on a solar array adjacent to our wastewater treatment plant.
- Theater Marquee Lighting-Since we last met for the State of the City, the Franklin Theatre has returned to life, bringing great music, arts, entertainment and movie to our vibrant downtown.
- Land Acquisition Announcement for CSCC, Williamson County-January 20, 2012-I have not been shy about advocating for a new campus. It has been a long process and thanks to Charles Sergeant, the land became a reality this year. Columbia State Community College is charting an exciting future purchasing property Franklin for their new Williamson County campus. Amazing!!! I consider this to be one of the missing pieces that we are filling.
- Employ longevity-The retirement of long time employee; Gary Luffman reminds us that the City is a great place to work.
- City Elections for Mayor and Alderman-In October, the people of Franklin chose to return three at-large Aldermen, Alderman Barnhill, Bransford, and Petersen to their positions and added Brandy Blanton to our team. Personally, it is a truly humbling experience to be elected to serve this wonderful community as your mayor.
- 84 Lumber Property purchase-The City acquired the former 84 Lumber site along Columbia Avenue to serve as our new consolidated Public Works facility. This will allow us to consolidate our streets, fleet maintenance and water maintenance operations into this one location that provide ample room for expansion to serve our growing community.
- Low Head Dam-The low head dam project is moving forward to improve the Harpeth River as a natural resource for recreation, as a fish habitat and making it one of a few free-flowing rivers in the State of Tennessee.
- Eastern Flank Battlefield Announcement-The City is receiving $500,000 from the State of Tennessee for the construction of the access road to the Eastern Flank Battlefield.
- Mack Hatcher widening (Franklin Road to Murfreesboro Road)-Widening of the southeast section of Mack Hatcher is now underway and will bring added capacity to this important roadway.
- Relocate America named Franklin one of the top 100 places to relocate and live.
- It’s a Tie! Line Dance contest with Rogers Anderson!!
All of these accomplishments have come about because of strategic long range planning except the latter.
Let’s see: How about “Tech” that is a triple play word!
Technology-Franklin has a reputation for being on the cusp of technology. Currently, we are in the final phases of completing a fiber optic loop around Franklin that will serve several purposes.
- First, it will expand our connections to our TOC (traffic operations center) so that traffic can be managed in an intelligent and efficient manner.
- Second, it provides a Wi-Fi network for the City so all departments can communicate in real time and access information as if they were at their desk in City Hall.
- Third, it ties us regionally to an 800 MHZ communications system that links us to others emergency operations in our region and also their fire, police and administration.
- Most importantly, in the event of a disaster, we will be able to respond quickly and efficiently because of this strategic planning.
- Not only are we high tech with our MIT department, but our communications division is one of the most proactive in the state in social media, we have close to 5,000 followers on Facebook, more than 13,600 video views on YouTube and close to 2,500 followers on twitter and we recently added Pinterest. We use these tools for more than pushing out information to our citizens, we are harnessing social media to improve public engagement, solicit policy feedback, strengthen emergency response and establish greater transparency.
- Last year we conducted a virtual town hall meeting on Facebook when we were experiencing water issues region wide. So FOLLOW US and be in the know and help us be better at what we do!
- Our greatest growth in jobs occurs in existing companies. Last year, over 2000 jobs were added. Since becoming Mayor, I have made it a priority to visit many Franklin businesses. We ask questions like: What are your needs? How can we communicate better? Already we are gaining information to assist in being more business friendly by creating new relationships. It has been inspirational to witness firsthand the ingenuity, innovation and drive of our local businesses. They love to call Franklin “home.”
- A predictable turn around on plan review with fixed target dates for completion (we are beating those deadlines in most cases) along with the opportunity to submit and review plans electronically. This affects all of us. A recent example that will soon be obsolete is a friend who was adding to his garage and it required him to submit ten copies of his plans. With this new process, he gets a quick turn around and eliminates the paper.
- Schedule inspections on an electronic basis.
- Combining the concept plan and regulating plan into one process will save 60 days in the plan approval process.
- External review of projects larger than 10K square feet will add an additional opportunity for business to control the time line for review of their approval.
- Staff continues to work on other options to shorten the process
Public education-Transit Alliance and Citizens Transit Leadership Academy
- Increase the available options-van pools, dedicated lanes on the interstate, regional buses which have shown double digit increases in ridership.
- Create a vision of what is possible just as other communities have done-our competitors such as Charlotte, Austin, and Denver have done this
- Develop a funding plan that addresses this important issue
- I am going to play “Safe”-it should fit nicely right here!
- Safety-We live in one of the safest communities in Tennessee. It is safe for many reasons: Our firemen and policemen are professionals that train regularly to be prepared in case of emergencies.
Examples of activities of the police department are:
- Training exercise such as the “incident command perspective” that is held at every large festival.
- A few of the Franklin Police Department’s crime prevention outreach initiatives include citizen engagement through Twitter, and our smartphone app, heavy community program involvement, our anonymous text tip program, and highly visible non-traditional patrols using things like horses, motorcycles, unmarked cars, Segways, and bicycles.
- Coffee with the clergy-A program was begun last year with an outreach to the clergy of our community. Over thirty-five ministers have been represented and have been able to hear the programs of the police department and develop ideas for programs to encourage a safe community and to build partnerships.
- Franklin continues to be one of the safest places to live in Tennessee and in America. Our crimes rates continue to diminish thru the efforts of our Police Department and under the leadership of Chief Rahinski. The City experienced a 7% decrease in total offenses compared to 2011 and an overall crime rate that is 56% below the State average.
- We are working smarter and more efficiently than ever before.
- We continue to be a AAA rated credit by two rating agencies.
- Sales tax revenues continue to grow and are near pre-recession numbers.
- Refunding of $19.2 million dollars of water and sewer bonds saved the city over $3 million dollars over term of the note.
- Infrared paving repair-you may have seen a peculiar truck around town with what looks like a tanning bed on a boom. This is a unique new way to fix our streets without digging them up and it promises to quickly pay for itself. The first month of use showed a $9000 savings over conventional repair methods.
- The potential for public/private joint ventures-such as solar fields
- Twenty-five percent of our hotel/motel tax goes to fund the WCVCB.
- We are finding that this investment is giving us a six-fold return.
- We will be hosting the NCAA ladies golf championship later this year.
- In just two years, the sesquicentennial of the civil war will occur on the anniversary of the Battle of Franklin and it promises to be a premier event.
- The ten-year-old boy who asked me: “What do you do when your father has been in jail and paid his time but can’t find a job?” I don’t remember the answer I gave but I will never forget the question.
- Or the 4th grader from Poplar Grove that asked me if the mayor has a jet plane.
- Or the letter from Lisa, a 2nd grader at Walnut Grove who wrote: “You are the best Mayor I have ever met. Do you make up the laws (like going to school)? When I grow up, I want to be the mayor….of another city.”
Paid for by Ken Moore for Mayor, Lisa Lu Smith treasurer.