Franklin City Council Ward 5 candidate Q&A: Wynndolyn H. Copeland

Published 10:52 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Franklin City Council – Ward 5 incumbent 

Name: Wynndolyn H. Copeland

Age: 57

Family: Spouse; Joel M. Copeland, Daughter; Patina Copeland, Mother; Mary Hilliard

Education:  1983; Franklin High School Graduate, 1987; Virginia Union University, B.A. Psychology

Career:  Casework Counselor; Virginia State Employee for 34 years 

Why do you want to be reelected as a member of the Franklin City Council?

I would like to be reelected as a member of the Franklin City Council for a number of reasons. The major reason is I enjoy being a public servant and a voice for the Citizens of Ward 5 where I strive daily to help provide services that will meet their needs. As a Councilwoman I have an opportunity to enhance the lives of not only Ward 5 but the Citizens of Franklin. Over the last four years my accomplishments include consistently providing community communication for upcoming events. I informed the community about COVID Utility Relief Funds, supported an additional extension and payment plan for utilities, and assisted citizens with utility billing issues. I supported the $1 million funding for paving investments in the southern part of our city including Bank and Delk Streets. I assisted in identifying insufficient street lighting in the City, that resulted in the installation of (50) street lights. In addition to my accomplishments, I am a committee member of the Laurel Street Block Grant. If reelected I will continue to seek and support opportunities that will enhance the Citizens of Ward 5 as well as the Citizens of Franklin.

What would you list as your primary qualifications for being a city council member?

My primary qualifications include the following: Dedicated service and accessibility to our community. Heartfelt commitment to serve with integrity. Proven leadership ability during the past four years. Active public service record.

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

Our city is fortunate to have access to educational facilities such as Camp Community College and the Workforce Development Center that provide diverse learning opportunities.  Another strength, is the Franklin Business Center that supports our new entrepreneurs. The Western Tidewater Branch, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore recently opened, providing much needed food resources for our Citizens.  The facility will be a great asset to our community in multiple ways because it will offer meeting locations and a computer lab. The many Non-Profit Agencies that sponsor Youth sporting activities, many educational programs and other Youth activities. Community Leaders who are committed to supporting the Citizens of Franklin. 

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

Public safety has become an increasing concern.  Community safety is an important aspect and if not controlled, will be detrimental to our City. Residents face challenges with rent increase and insufficient housing. Lack of high paying jobs. Limited retail shops, food markets, franchise restaurants and hotel accommodations. 

These are some of the major challenges facing our city. 

If reelected, what will be your leading priorities as a council member?

My leading priorities include appoint quality School Board Members, address public safety, provide adequate funding to Franklin City Public Schools, support Economic Development Initiatives, address utility issues, support compensation plan for city employees and support programs and activities of our city parks and recreation department

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

I support the implementation of a Joint Annual Retreat to share goals and objectives from the Franklin City Council and Franklin City School Board. Establish quarterly meetings to discuss issues and concerns.

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?

City Council is primarily responsible for the appointment of School Board Members, providing adequate funding and assisting the school system in maintaining the facilities. I will continue to maintain a rapport with the Ward 5 School Board Member to communicate regarding citizen’s and staff concerns.