Thursday, January 10, 2008

But why????

Today the State Building Commission will meet to 'discuss' the Bredesen Bunker. Considering the make up of the commission it's hard to believe that any serious discussion will occur. What's so very frustrating for me is that despite all the coverage I have yet to hear the answer to one simple question:

Why is this party bunker and the ongoing maintenance and staffing taxpayers will be committed to a better option than renting any other facility currently available in Nashville?

The best we're given is Mrs. Bredesen's: “I am a firm believer that it needs to be built,” and it's a completely inadequate response. Further she says:

“But I’m looking at this as, this is something we can do to fix a deficiency here and it’s going to fix it for the next 50 or 75 years.

“And to me, it’s worth going forward on this.”
We're talking about $19 million that's going to last, in her opinion, at most 75 years. That alone is a quarter of a million dollars every year until then. Every year that's twice what the house was worth. Bill Hobbs is exactly correct, someone needs to give her a calculator and show her how to use it. When Mrs. Bredesen touted the energy savings that will occur after rehabbing the house Hobbs pointed out:
At $15,000 a year in savings, it will take only 733 years for taxpayers to recoup their $11 million investment. Not counting interest and inflation, of course
If the Governor won't put a calculator (and a stop) to this bunker project, the State Building Commission must. Someone on that Commission, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) , must speak the truth and point out that we have a lot of serious needs in this state. One of them is NOT creating a party facility for 120 to sit down to dinner or 1,200+ to mix and mingle. How many Tennesseans could we feed a simple but nutritious meal for this same money?
[Rep. Frank Buck (D-Dowellton)] is angry because public funds never got legislative approval. "It's shameful that we've turned the purse strings loose to the Building Commission to spend this kind of money," Buck said. He'd like to see the General Assembly pass a quick budget amendment to prohibit the money from being spent until more study is done. Tennessean
Buck and Rep. Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) have written a letter to the Building Commission and the Governor asking them to put a stop to this. The letter says in part:
"With the financial constraints facing the state and plans to cut departmental budgets, it is fiscally irresponsible to continue with this construction."
There it is. That's the nut of the issue. We can't afford this AND no one has proven a need for it that comes anywhere near surpassing dozens, hundreds, thousands, of other needs.

Another serious consideration is touched on by Oak Hill City Manager Bill Kraus.
...if an emergency were to occur inside the facility, which is expected to hold as many as 1,217 people, emergency vehicles would have difficulty maneuvering on narrow Curtiswood Lane, he said.
I've been told the road won't allow two emergency vehicles to pass beside one another if they had to hustle people out of the facility quickly. Do we really want the additional liability that could occur if someone doesn't make it out in time to save their life?

So we're back to WHY is this facility necessary? Why won't any other space in Nashville suffice? Why is THIS where we need to spend $12 million in taxpayer funds?

Here are the names of those in charge who should know the answers to those questions when they vote on this today. We need someone on this committee to be a leader and say, "No."

Governor Phil Bredesen, Chairman
First Floor, State Capitol,
Nashville, TN 37243
John G. Morgan**
Comptroller of the Treasury

First Floor, State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243

Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, Vice Chairman
House of Representatives

Suite 19, Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243

Dale Sims **
State Treasurer

First Floor, State Capitol,
Nashville, TN 37243

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey
Speaker of the Senate

Suite 1, Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243
Riley Darnell**
Secretary of State

First Floor, State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243

Executive Sub-Committee Members**
Dave Goetz, Commissioner **
Dept. of Finance & Administration

First Floor, State Capitol,
Nashville, TN 37243

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