By JOHN McBRYDE
As a relative newcomer to Franklin, Michelle Sutton has grown to feel right at home in the town she and her family chose to move to six years ago.
But in that same time frame, Sutton has seen developments that give her pause, mostly having to do with growth.
“We fell in love with the sense of community Franklin has, its quaintness, its picturesque landscape and outstanding schools,” she said.
“But I’m really concerned with the rate of growth. We want to make sure our city is set up to succeed and that we have the infrastructure and the things in place before we allow large commercial development to come in on two-lane roads. So I really want to be a voice for the families and the individuals of Franklin.”
She has lent that voice as a board member of her Homeowners Association in the Ladd Park neighborhood in south Franklin for the last couple of years, and more recently by consistently attending meetings held by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Franklin Planning Commission.
And as of Tuesday afternoon, two days before the qualifying deadline for candidates running in the city of Franklin municipal election later this fall, Sutton filed to possibly make her voice heard as an at-large alderman.
“I’ve been thinking about it the last eight or nine months, and I’ve had a great support system from my family,” she said. “And my neighbors in the community have been really supportive about me running as well.”
Sutton joins six other candidates who have filed to run for aldermen at-large seats in the upcoming election, four as incumbents and two more as challengers. Deadline to qualify is Thursday at noon.
Filing to keep their seats are Clyde Barnhill in position A, Brandy Blanton in B, Pearl Bransford in C and Ann Petersen in D. Sutton has filed for position B to face Blanton, while Howard Garrett filed in position A against Barnhill and Bhavani Muvvala filed in position C against Bransford.
Franklin Mayor Ken Moore is running for re-election unopposed, barring any unlikely last-minute filings before the deadline.
“We don’t see many filing at the last minute,” said Chad Gray, administrator of elections for the Williamson County Election Committee. “It’s not always ideal to wait until the last day. Some people don’t get enough signatures, or they’re in a hurry. [Filing at the last minute] doesn’t always work out in their favor.”
The 2019 election is the second in which at-large challengers must declare which incumbent they oppose because of a change in the city charter six years ago. Voters will vote for an at-large candidate in each position. The other aldermen on the eight-member board represent city wards, and the next election for those seats will occur in 2021.
The city of Franklin election will be held Tuesday, Oct. 22, with early voting running Oct. 2-17. Deadline to register for this election is Monday, Sept. 23.