Transition at City Hall

Published 8:08 am Friday, July 9, 2010

Two honorable public servants — Franklin City Council members Mark Fetherolf and Rosa Lawrence — have completed their tenures in city government.

Ward 6’s Fetherolf and Ward 3’s Lawrence, who were honored by colleagues at their final council meeting in late June, served the city quietly but faithfully in a job that is often thankless. We commend them for their service and wish them both well in future endeavors.

Their successors — Don Blythe and Greg McLemore — bring different styles and philosophies to the City Council, which has seen significant turnover in the last two election cycles. While Fetherolf and Lawrence generally supported the status quo and aligned with council majorities on major issues, Blythe and McLemore are independent thinkers who ran on pro-change platforms.

So did Ward 1 Councilman Barry Cheatham and Ward 2 Councilman Benny Burgess, who rode an anti-incumbent sentiment among the electorate to easy victories two years ago. They made a splash at their first meeting by leading the charge on several high-profile measures to promote fiscal austerity and increased transparency at City Hall. Since then, both councilmen have settled into their roles and done little else to rock the boat.

Will Blythe and McLemore take up the reform mantle and create some early fireworks? Or will they ease into their new jobs, work to build alliances with returning council members, and take a gradual approach to putting their stamps on city government? The transition will be interesting to watch.