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Franklin lawmakers one step away from voting self pay raise

Franklin’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen took the first of two steps necessary to give itself a pay raise – the first for the body in 25 years.

The measure passed May 28 with a 5-3 vote, with Aldermen Brandy Blanton, Pearl Bransford, Beverly Burger, Margaret Martin and Ann Petersen voting in favor of the raise, while Vice Mayor Dana McLendon joined Aldermen Mike Skinner and Clyde Barnhill in casting dissenting votes.

The city’s eight aldermen, all of whom serve part time, currently receive $4,800 annually, plus a per-meeting stipend of $20. They are eligible for health, dental and life insurance; mileage reimbursement and receive a laptop to use for business purposes.

The mayor receives the same benefits, as well as $9,600 annually. For comparison’s sake, Brentwood city commissioners, who also serve part time, receive $11,400 annually. The increase, if passed on its next reading, would more than double the aldermen’s pay to $12,000. The mayor’s salary would double to $19,500. The increases would not affect the remainder of the mayor’s or aldermen’s remuneration packages. 

The changes in compensation would result in an increase in the city’s annual budget by $67,500. 

Alderman Mike Skinner proposed an amendment that ultimately failed that would not let the pay increases take affect until 2015, which would be after all aldermen and the mayor have gone through an election cycle. 

“It just doesn’t feel right to vote [a raise] during our term,” Skinner said. 

The second, and final, vote will likely come at the next BOMA meeting May 11.
Hardcastle Property Gets Rezoned
The board finalized its approval to rezone residential property at 711 Hillsboro Road from low-residential to residential variety. The rezone will allow its owner to build a second single-family house on the undeveloped portion of the 0.96-acre lot at the corner of Hillsboro and Granville roads catty-corner to Franklin High School. 

“I’m happy that they did that,” said Loy Hardcastle, who owns the property. 

Hardcastle said he plans to stipulate in the deed for the soon-to-be subdivided property that the house that is built there must be at minimum 2,000 square feet and have either a brick or stone exterior. 

“It needs to be something that will fit into that neighborhood,” Hardcastle said. “We’re going to restrict that in the deed to protect the integrity of the neighborhood.” 
The Franklin Municipal Planning Commission approved the proposal 8-0 prior to sending it to BOMA for consideration. 
Capital Investment Plan
City Administrator Eric Stuckey reminded BOMA rank the city’s spending priorities for fiscal year 2014, which the body will discuss in late June. 

“We’re going to look at both your projects and our [spending] capacity,” Stuckey said. “We’re really going to work those together.”

Posted on: 5/29/2013


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