The neighbors who are all atwitter over the so-called Bredesen Bunker
have hired The Brumfield Group to represent their cause. Among the new opposition strategies for these naysaying neighbors is the project's cost. "This is an issue that will have significant impact on all taxpayers," a talking points document says. "They're projecting $3.84 million in taxpayer money to pay for this. Of course, that's the starting point—government projects always seem to go up from there, don't they? "
The same document compares the size of the proposed underground entertainment facility at the Executive Residence with that of the East Room of the White House: 13,000-plus square feet compared to 4,000. "Is the State Building Commission saying that Tennessee needs a ballroom over three times the size of what the President of the United States needs to entertain dignitaries and heads of state?" the talking points doc goes on to say.
The neighbors are now saying that what they want is "a fair hearing of our concerns...and notice to be published statewide so all taxpayers in the state have ample opportunity to participate. Again, this project is to be funded by taxpayers from Johnson City to Memphis."
Yes, in part. But mostly, first lady Andrea Conte has raised private funds for the project.