For Beverly Burger, the decision to seek reelection to the Ward 1 Franklin alderman position she’s served in since 2005 was simple.
“I love the city of Franklin. I want to continue serving my constituents and our city. I feel a real conviction and a call to continue my public service,” she said.
Currently, Burger, who goes by “Bev,” is the only announced candidate in the race.
She said one of her constituents jokingly told her last fall, “You can’t stop being our alderman until you get McEwen Phase 4 done.”
In terms of her priorities, the McEwen road extension “is always the elephant in the room,” according to Burger.
“I was really happy we got the connector done and the roundabout,” she said.
Burger’s focus will continue to be on roads and infrastructure throughout her ward, which covers much of the Cool Springs business corridor and some neighborhoods in east Franklin, like McKay’s Mill, where she lives with her husband, Ken. She has been a Franklin resident since 2003 and is originally from Alliance, Ohio.
She has worked in concert with Williamson County Commissioners Chad Story and Gregg Lawrence, who represent the county’s fourth district. A solution they’ve spent years working toward is the newly installed traffic lights on Wilson Pike’s one-lane tunnel underpasses at Tulloss and Clovercroft Roads.
“One of my big things is being a problem solver with my constituents,” Burger said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Burger said she worked with the state to help local businesses stay in operation. After hearing from a constituent whose main selling point was craft beer, she submitted a request to the governor about curbside beer and wine. While restaurants were still closed for dining in, Gov. Bill Lee allowed wine and beer sales with the purchase of food.
“This is part of the reason I love serving in this capacity,” Burger said. “I felt like I was really effective, it helped keep people in business and it helped my constituent from maybe losing his business.”
Other accomplishments under Burger include the establishment of the East Franklin Farmer’s Market and sidewalk improvements at Columbia State Community College, in addition to getting road projects like Jordan Road moved into higher priority spots in the city budget.
If reelected, Burger plans to continue advocating for smart growth.
“There are huge challenges from the continued fast pace of growth,” she said. “It will kick us into a different realm where we don’t want to go if we don’t stick to smart, solid policies and change restrictive policies that do not allow us the ability, as a board, to seek out and apply more balanced solutions.”
She is working to bring policies to the board that would allow for greater partnerships with local developers in improving infrastructure and connectivity within the city and county.
“I want to see policies that will enable the board to better balance residential developments so we put forth more responsible growth solutions that conform to Envision Franklin,” Burger said of the city’s guiding development plan, which she called a “liquid” document which allows for amendments.
“Our city board, we have to be better guardians over undue encroachment of the rural areas outside our UGB,” she added, referring to the Urban Growth Boundary, a part of the county where residents may request to annex into city limits.
Burger said her constituents are also concerned about the seemingly large portion of growth centering around apartments being built.
“I’m not against apartments and rentals,” she said. “[But], I’m not interested in seeing these huge standalone facilities and buildings.”
Instead, she pointed to mixed-use developments like the redevelopment off Carothers Parkway of the East Works District, which will offer for rent and for sale units, as well as office space, walking trails, retail services and dining.
In November, Burger was appointed by the governor to serve on the state’s Local Government Planning Advisory Committee. She is a member of Parish Presbyterian Church; a co-founder of Biscuits and Bullets, a women’s shooting club; a member of the Williamson County and Tennessee Republican parties; and a 2010 graduate of Leadership Franklin. Burger attended Kent State University and holds a degree in journalism.
She wants voters to know she’s a leader with the understanding to make decisions for the ward.
“I want to continue to bring my leadership and expertise to City Hall in order to ensure Franklin's future continues on a healthy path,” she said.
Election Day in Franklin is Oct. 26. Four wards and an at-large seat will be on the ballot.