Franklin man wants to be next mayor

Published 10:57 am Wednesday, March 26, 2014

FRANKLIN—Since moving back to Franklin in 2007, retired Marine Kenneth Sanford has had run ins with the city regarding utilities, and he’s decided to do something about it.

“It affects me, it affects everyone,” he said. “I’m a veteran on a fixed income. I’ve got a small business, but the recession has hit it.

“I had my electricity turned off some time Tuesday.”

Sanford said he is running a write-in campaign for mayor because he’d like the city to have some leniency toward people who can’t pay their bills, and to create a longer time frame until the power is cut off, so that residents could get on aid programs, which takes time.

“As a common man, I’d like to get in there and help other common men like myself,” he said.

As a marine, he lived without power for 20 years, including while serving in Iraq, the retired gunnery sergeant said. He said he could live without power until his check comes in, but others might not be so lucky.

“It doesn’t matter how hot it is, or how cold it is, they will turn it off,” he said. “If you are elderly, or you are sick, are pregnant or you have kids, you might need the quality of life that having power affords you.”

Sanford said he was also concerned about the Madison Street Block Grant project, which could help revitalize homes and infrastructure in the neighborhood to the tune of $1.3 million. The trouble is that new state regulations are requiring poor people to pay money back.

“I’ve never heard of people having to pay back a grant,” he said. “Grants are citizen-funded in the long run by taxes, so you are telling me that you are going to charge me for my own money?”

Jobs are also a concern, in particular the Franklin Incubator.

“The incubator should be more inclusive,” he said. “It should also do more outreach, so people know more about it. The city needs to do a better job encouraging entrepreneurs in Franklin beyond the standard retail, which can only get you so far.”

Sanford makes his living bidding on government contracts. He mostly works in security and logistics.

Voting will take place on May 6, and incumbent Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn is the only candidate on the ballet. To vote for Sanford, you’d be required to write in his name.

“If elected, I will be fair, compassionate and try to do what I can for the City of Franklin,” he said. “I’ll do what I can to expose why we do the things we do, and not leave people in the dark wondering why.”