Group searches for a mayor

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2007

FRANKLIN—A group of interested citizens has begun what it’s calling a grassroots effort to identify and support a candidate for Mayor of Franklin.

The organization, which calls itself the City of Franklin Candidate Search Steering Committee, is a group of individuals who have generated enough interest to create discussion about who wants to challenge for the city’s top elected position currently held by Jim Councill.

The group wants to “shake the trees to see who’s out there,” said Greg McLemore, of the independent organization’s more visible members.

Both he and Thomas H. Council, who delivered a press release to The Tidewater News this week announcing the formation of the group and its intent, say they want their candidate to be able to address a list of topics that include:

n land use and affordable housing;

n city public schools;


Oversight committees for electric, housing, city hiring practices;

n Living wage and business development;

n crime prevention

n improved city recreation program.

Other stated functions of the search committee is to review the city comprehensive plan for effectiveness, compare the city’s goals to that comprehensive plan, develop an agenda based on the committee’s survey results and seek and promote a viable candidate.

By bringing public awareness to their effort, McLemore and Council say they believe more residents might get involved in the process. They say they hope such involvement will lead to the selection of a qualified mayoral candidate who can mount a serious challenge to “make a change,” that Council said the city needs.

Individuals can formally file for their candidacy in early March, but the application to receive the filing documents is in early January.

Still, said McLemore, the five months of campaign time between early January to the May municipal elections is a narrow window.

Persons interested in finding out more about the steering committee by calling Council (562-4291) or McLemore (560-8405.