Copeland selected as Franklin’s vice mayor

Published 7:22 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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Franklin City Council voted Monday, Jan. 9, to select Ward 5 Councilwoman Wynndolyn H. Copeland as the city’s new vice mayor.

The Franklin City Code highlights the key responsibility of the role: “The vice mayor, in the absence or disability of the mayor, shall perform the duties of mayor.”

Making the motion to select Copeland for the role was Ward 1 Councilman Mark R. Kitchen.

“I believe Ms. Copeland is honest and fair and has the experience, and I’ve known her to stand tall in the face of criticism, and she doesn’t back down from a challenge,” he said shortly before the vote. “I think because of her calm demeanor and her deep roots in the community, that’s why I made the motion.”

The motion was seconded by Ward 6 Councilwoman Jessica G. Banks, and it carried with a 6-1 vote.

“Wynndolyn Copeland will be the next vice mayor,” Franklin Mayor Robert “Bobby” Cutchins said.

“Thank you,” Copeland said. “Thank you.”

Council, city staff and people in attendance at the meeting gave her a round of applause.

Ward 3 Councilman Gregory McLemore was the lone dissenting vote. 

When asked for comment during a Tuesday, Jan. 17, phone interview, McLemore explained that it was simply a matter of tenure. 

Copeland, who has been on the council since 2018, was reelected in November to her second four-year term. Ward 4 Councilman Dr. Linwood Johnson has been on the council since 2016 and McLemore since 2010.

“I felt like Councilman Johnson was more deserving because of his tenure,” McLemore said.

Despite his disagreement, McLemore expressed support for the new vice mayor after the vote by joining in on the applause congratulating Copeland for her selection.