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Opinion Letters Town of Franklin needs new thoughts and ideas

Franklin voters have an opportunity on Nov. 5 to make a difference, and to change the method of achieving results so that Franklin will have the opportunity to engage youthful business ideas in the growth and prosperity of the town.

I am a seventh generation Maconian and even though I can not vote because I do not live within the city limits, I have a vested interest in the direction that the soon-to-be elected mayor and aldermen will take the town of Franklin. I am a product of Macon County Public Schools and Western Carolina University. After college graduation I moved away to secure a job in the field of education. Knowing that someday I would move back to the area, I continued to keep in touch with the "goings on" in Franklin and Macon County. With the use of the internet I have endeavored to read The Franklin Press and The Macon News on a weekly basis and form my opinions.

During the past two years I watched as five of the six aldermen voted to spend $1.25 million on a new ABC Liquor Store when voter sentiment was overwhelmingly against it. Not only was the cost a concern to me, but the new store would have drawn shoppers away from businesses in town. (We all know how "big businesses" and by-passes can make a downtown area "die on the vine".) The vote for the store was five to one. Apparently, because of public outrage the bank declined to loan the town the money.

In the summer of 2012, the downtown merchants and a grassroots group, Venture Local Franklin, put together several excellent Friday night events. Franklin's Main Street was crowded with 600-800 people enjoying the music, entertainment, and fun activities. Businesses were open and prospered. The coordinators went to the Town Planner and Town Manager and, with permission of the DOT, displayed a banner across Main Street advertising the event. The event was funded by the merchants and donations. As I understand, no public monies were used. Prior to the final event, two aldermen went to one of the merchants to let them know that a banner could not be used and that, in fact, banners would be banned permanently. Banners were then banned by the town, with a 5 to 1 vote, with no public input. Now, tell me, why? Towns across America use banners to advertise events all the time. Think back, years ago that was the best way to advertise, especially when you wanted to attract attention to your local area. Tourists passing through town just might decide to stop and stay awhile to enjoy the event.

The grass on the Nikwasi Indian Mound was poisoned without board approval. (Why did this happen?) The Cherokee Nation and many locals were outraged.

In an effort to make peace, Mayor Joe Collins sent a personal apology to Chief Hicks. The aldermen voted 5 to 1 to censure the mayor for this simple apology and the town board then voted 5 to 1 to abocommittee. What will happen to the mound, now?

It is past time for a changing of the status quo’s old guard. It is now time for a new guard, with new thoughts and ideas, with a renewed sense of public service. A mayor who will listen to the younger generation of business ideas (They are the ones who will be there in the future.) and attempt to transition Franklin toward to abolish the town's mound committee. What will hap

It is past time for a changing of the status quo’s old guard. It is now time for a new guard, with new thoughts and ideas, with a renewed sense of public service. A mayor who will listen to the younger generation of business ideas – they are the ones who will be there in the future – and attempt to transition Franklin toward tommorrow. With the aid of Franklin voters, this can happen on Nov. 5.

Jacqueline Clark Linscott-Barnes — Franklin, N.C.





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