Crum is the right choice for mayor

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 21, 2008

It appears that there are those on the south side of town that have insisted on using the politics of fear instead of the promise of hope.

In a recent letter to the editor titled

&uot;Franklin voters need to unite&uot;, Thomas Councill insinuated that mayoral candidate H. Ellis Crum did not have the best interest of all of Franklin in his heart.

Having only been in our city for about four years, Crum has been involved in the political, social and spiritual dimensions of this city since his arrival.

During the most recent flood, Crum was personally called by members of the City Council to help citizens on Broad Street as they re-entered their destroyed homes.

He helped provide chaplain services; he put on gloves and helped people save what they were able to save.

He took a week off of work to help our citizens.

Crum was instrumental in securing and distributing over $21,000 worth of clothes, food and emergency shelter, over $25,000 worth of furniture and appliances.

He his wife, Phyllis, and his daughter, Alixzaundra, were an asset to our community during its time of need.

They worked with the Lions Club, the Franklin and Vicinity Ministers Conference and others to provide around-the-clock support and assistance to those who lost everything.

He worked with the Housing Authority to get people new places to live. Where were the other candidates during this time? One was capitalizing on photo ops and the other was nowhere to be found. But Mr. Crum was there, on the street, helping people.

Crum provided leadership and assistance in the local shelter, where he helped the victims of the flood to be as comfortable as possible. It was Ellis who took the local school board to task for forbidding the school cafeteria from helping to feed those who were homeless because of the flood.

When Sabrina Parker lost her 5-month-old baby boy, Travis White, to a fire in a South Street home, Crum, his wife and New Hope Baptist Church were closely involved in providing help to bury this young child, provided counseling for the mother and father, and helped with relocation expenses for a fresh start.

When the City Council was on the verge of restricting where churches could be in the city of Franklin, it was Crum who rallied the local ministers to challenge the city.

Eventually, the city adopted a definition and recommendations that church leaders from both sides of Franklin could agree with. One candidate did not see what the issue was; the other did not know there was even an issue.

When the school board decided that having a 1.25 grade point average was enough for our students to participate in extracurricular activities like football and cheerleading, who was the lone person who stood up to challenge them? Although unsuccessful, he had the courage to declare that we need to have higher standards than &uot;just enough&uot; to be a basketball player or a member of DECA. This he did while the other candidates stood in the safety of silence.

When the Franklin Boys & Girls Club was in need of new energy, Crum was chosen to be the president of the local Board of Directors.

He has been working relentlessly to secure support from the schools, city leadership, local congregations, civic organizations and area citizens.

Today, the Boys & Girls Club is positioned to be a major influence in building the character of our children and our community.

While taking license with the truth, Mr. Councill stated that &uot;Crum will use eminent domain to take land from current owners to build more Langston Street-type projects.&uot;

Mr. Councill’s statement was untrue. In the meeting at Hickory Grove AME Church, Crum stated that he did not support the taking of personal property.

He further stated that he was committed to hearing from the citizens before any actions take place in the community.

There may well be some who are unfamiliar with Crum’s candidacy, but we are equally sure that there are some who are hopeful that he will bring a new perspective and many fresh ideas to our city.

People of the city deserve representation with progressive thinking, and Ellis Crum represents the progressive optimism that the future demands.

Mr. Councill may be right; many on the South Side have not heard of Ellis Crum.

Isn’t it time for the citizens of the city of Franklin to vote in general?

It is time for the citizens of the city of Franklin to assume responsibility for their own lives and city.

Mr. Crum is not native to this area, but the needs of human beings are the same all over the world.

It doesn’t take long to live in a city and come to know the particular needs of the people, local industry, environmental requirements and spiritual climate.

If a man is dying and the physician who is able to help him steps forward to do so, does the fact that the dying man does not know him matter? Does the dying man ask for credentials and a birth certificate? Only a most unintelligent person would vote for someone simply because they know them personally, or because they live in their neighborhood.

Voting is an act of conscience and ethical, moral, social and political responsibility. It is about who can get the job done best, and who has the best interest of the people at heart. It is about who understands short-term pain for long-term gain. It is about who can see beyond the rhetoric and the campaign and come to grips with the responsibility of people’s lives. This is not junior high or high school. This is grown-up real life.

Truth is, the city of Franklin is in terrible trouble, and if the people do not get moving with some representation that has more than a few catch phrases and the desire to say they have an experienced mayor, it will continue on this path.

Truthfully, color and ethnicity has little to do with the entire matter.

It is clear that what is happening in Franklin now cannot get us to where we need to be. Case in point: What has been going on has not been satisfying to the people of our city. Ellis Crum has the knowledge and education to allow him to stand up and communicate effectively on behalf of the people.

His perspective is broad and the intention of his heart is bold. No, he doesn’t need to apologize or explain why he is doing what his self-respect, dignity and integrity require of him.

He must run, and if the right man ends up in office, Ellis Crum will win.

Wesley Jones