Council seats draw interest

Published 10:15 am Friday, January 13, 2012

FRANKLIN—The race for the Ward 2 seat on the City Council is heating up as the incumbent has decided to run again and a potential challenger is sizing up a possible run.

Incumbent Benny Burgess, who had been undecided, said he will seek re-election on May 1.

Burgess, a certified public accountant, said he believes he has some unfinished business on the council.

He added that he was encouraged to run by a group of constituents.

“After it hit the paper that I was on the fence, I heard from a fair number of people encouraging me to continue,” Burgess said. “If you have community support, it makes the decision easier.”

Burgess will be seeking a second four-year term on the council.

Retired Franklin Police Sgt. Ronnie McClenny said he’s strongly considering a run for the Ward 2 seat.

“I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to do it,” McClenny said. “I think it’s time for some change.”

McClenny said that if he decides to run, he will make an official announcement during a future City Council meeting.

Franklin Voter Registrar Jennifer Maynard said candidates have until March 6 at 7 p.m. to turn in all campaign-related paperwork in order to qualify for the election.

Ward 4 resident Dr. Linwood Johnson, a minister, said he will run for the seat currently held by Vice Mayor Raystine Johnson. It is unknown whether Raystine Johnson will seek re-election, and she could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Linwood Johnson said his main concerns are redevelopment and housing.

“When redevelopment comes, they sometimes take whole blocks to make sure they can do what they want,” Linwood Johnson said. “I want to make sure people don’t lose their homes.”

Maynard said no candidate has officially qualified for the election.

Mayor Jim Councill and Ward 1 Councilman Barry Cheatham have previously said that they intend to seek re-election.