Franklin mayoral candidate Q&A: Robert L. Cutchins II

Published 6:21 pm Thursday, October 20, 2022

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Name: Robert L Cutchins II

Age: 65

Family: Wife Diana Cutchins, Son Robert L Cutchins III (Amy), Daughter Tonya Cornwell (Adam)

Education: Franklin High School Graduate

Career: Entrepreneur

Why do you want to be elected as the mayor of Franklin?

I pride myself on living a life of service to others. This has been demonstrated by my many years in business here locally as well as my civic engagement with the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, Union Camp and International Paper Advisory Committee, Franklin Airport Advisory Committee, Franklin Southampton Small Business Person of the Year and Franklin High School Wall of Excellence to name a few. The position of Mayor is about service to others and the entire city. The Council has worked together to do good work over the last few years despite many challenges. Numerous challenges remain ahead and I am committed to leading the team as we navigate the challenges and come up with creative solutions.

What would you list as your primary qualifications for being mayor?

I have successfully run a business in the City of Franklin for 40 years. I know what it’s like to build a company from the ground up and make sacrifices for your entire team. This is critical to serve in the role of Mayor. I also have an ability to bridge divides and ensure that all sides of an issue are heard and evaluated. This ability to ensure consensus building is critical for an effective City Council.

What do you think are the city of Franklin’s greatest strengths?

The greatest strengths for the City of Franklin are of course the people.  We have overcome great challenges as a community and the spirit of our citizens is the primary reason we have been successful. We have seen new economic growth in the City of Franklin in recent months and we have an opportunity to expand on that.

What do you think are the greatest challenges facing the city of Franklin?

Poverty, crime, and improved school systems.

If elected, what will be your leading priorities as mayor?

Economic development, improved school system.

How would you support fostering a relationship between the City Council and the Franklin City School Board?

More regularly scheduled joint meeting between the entire City Council and the School Board. One on one meetings between City Council members and their School Board representatives.

What, if any, key improvements do you think need to be made to the city’s public education system, and if elected, what will you do to ensure those needed key improvements are made?

Unfortunately, the City Council can only appoint and fund the Franklin School Board. However, we can provide suggestions and support for new initiatives that they undertake. We have had a tremendous issue with truancy over the last few years.