I have been a supporter of the Marietta Redevelopment Bond from the day it was announced by Mayor Tumlin. My support was based on a desire to see economic improvement for our City, the place I grew up and the place my husband and I have chosen to raise our children. As I have become involved with educating others about this opportunity, I have learned there are even more reasons to support the bond.
Informed citizens may have heard that Franklin Road has a crime problem, but do they know our City has partnered with federal law enforcement since 2006 to help rebuild and restructure an area of our community that had suffered because of criminal activity and social decay? In 2004, the City began the application process for federal assistance. At that time, crime on Franklin Road accounted for 28 percent of the crime in Marietta.
In 2006, Marietta was one of 28 U.S. cities confirmed for the Weed and Seed program, which encourages residents to work with law enforcement to deter crime, identify resources and restore the community. By the end of 2006, crime on Franklin had dropped to 23 percent of the city’s total. The efforts seemed to be paying off and Marietta was designated an All-American City in part because of the improvements.
Unfortunately, this program is no longer succeeding. From 2007-12, crime on Franklin Road has not dropped below 20 percent of the city’s total. The length of Franklin Road is approximately 1.5 miles. We cannot allow such a small part of what was once dubbed “The Gem City” to drain our resources and give Marietta a bad reputation.
When you type the phrase “Franklin Road Marietta” into Google, the third self-population adds the word “crime.” The tagline for the Franklin Weed and Seed program, “A Community United for a Better Tomorrow,” was great in 2004. Unfortunately, the program is not living up to its mission.
Some will say that it is unfair to force families to relocate. I would argue that moving is less scary than growing up in violent surroundings. As expressed in the Marietta Daily Journal’s Friday editorial, “The City and MHA have proven they can successfully manage the challenges of moving thousands of people from undesirable housing to better living arrangements.”
Please join me in voting YES on Nov. 5.
Allison Gruehn Marietta