Two nominated for ward 6 position

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Two ward 6 residents, Robert L. Cutchins and Dr. Antwon Hatch, were nominated to fill the vacancy on council at the meeting on Monday night. This comes after Frank Rabil resigned after being elected mayor.

Cutchins, known to many as Bobby Cutchins, was nominated by his son, Robbie Cutchins. He said his father is a lifelong Franklin resident and graduated from Franklin High in 1975.

Bobby is also a 35-year businessman in the city, owning Bobby’s Tire and Auto Care, and also serves as the company’s chief visionary officer.

His father was not able to be present at the meeting, so Robbie read a letter that he had written.

“I’ve always taken time to give back to the community and the industry. In the past I have served on many boards: The Southampton Academy Board, The Union Camp Community Advisory Council, The International Paper Community Advisory Council and The Tire Pros National Council,” the letter stated.

He serves on many other boards, including the Franklin Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Automotive Association and the Franklin Airport Advisory Council

“In conclusion,” the letter continued, “I would like to see businesses, new and old, flourish within our city. I want the local residents to have opportunities to get good jobs close to home, especially our youth. I want to see senior citizens not to be burdened with how to make ends meet due to the lack of industrial growth, which continuously causes their taxes to increase locally. I would like to say I’m committed to finding a common ground on any issues we face. My real world experience and refusal to take no for an answer will make me an effective council of your city council.”

After Robbie was done, Dr. Rodney Bland came to the podium and nominated his colleague, Dr. Hatch.

He noted that Hatch is also a lifelong resident of Franklin and graduated from FHS in 1990. He pursued a degree in physical therapy and has held various positions at Southampton Memorial Hospital.

Hatch is currently contracting a position in on-site, at-home physical therapy, something that is his passion.

“During the time I’ve known him he has been involved in several entities within the community, not just his local church advisory board, but he’s also been instrumental in monitoring and tutoring students in the physical education program, particularly the Franklin Broncos’ Football Team, which he has served as the medical on-site liaison during the football seasons,” Bland continued. “He’s also been instrumental in participating with various little league programs. He has a passion for youth and I think he represents a good bridge for a new generation regarding local representatives within the city of Franklin.

“He does not have a formal council or previous experience in this environment … but is looking forward to the opportunity,” he added.

After hearing the nominations, council decided to schedule interviews for the two residents.

They will then vote and make a decision at their next regularly scheduled meeting, Monday, Aug. 8.

Whoever is selected to fill the ward 6 vacancy will hold that seat until a special election can be held. The winner of the election will serve as the representative until the end of the term, June 30, 2018.