Frazier will be missed

Published 9:10 am Friday, January 9, 2009

Franklin is losing a jewel in Housing and Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Sheryl Frazier, who will leave next month to lead public-housing efforts in Warner Robins, Ga.

In her 3½-year tenure, Frazier has righted an organization that had floundered for years because of poor leadership and mismanagement.

Frazier stepped on a few toes along the way, but effective leaders do that. It’s often necessary in order to get things done.

Frazier will leave two legacies from her relatively brief time in Franklin.

Perhaps most important, she restored public and taxpayer confidence in an entity that had lost the same.

Many years from now, Frazier will likely be remembered as the Housing Authority leader who began to move the city away from multifamily public housing and toward single-family occupancy and homeownership.

The former breeds crime, violence and dependency. The latter instills pride and encourages families to become self-sufficient.

Some of her critics complained that Frazier was trying to gentrify south Franklin. To the contrary, it was never her intention to chase out poor people and import middle- and upper-income families. Rather, the honorable goal is to lift the economic fortunes and potential of families who might otherwise be destined for a lifetime of poverty.

We hope the Housing Authority board finds a director to continue Frazier’s fine initiatives.