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City election Tuesday, early voter turnout less than 350

With only six days left until the Franklin city elections, the Ward 1 alderman race between incumbent two-term Alderman Bev Burger and challenger Jeff Walker is struggling to gain the attention of voters.

Today is the final day to cast a ballot in early voting. Polls open Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. at all 13 precincts throughout the city, though only Ward 1 has a contested race. 
Incumbents Dana McClendon, Mike Skinner and Margaret Martin, representing Wards 2, 3 and 4, respectively, do not have opposition.
Residents can still cast a symbolic vote if they so choose.
At press time, just 325 votes had been cast in early voting in the entire city election with only about 200 in Ward 1.
There are 11,398 registered voters living in Ward 1, which includes about 1,400 households in the Cool Springs area. 
The fastest growing area of the city, Ward 1 encompasses the 1-65 commercial corridor, as well as such neighborhoods as McKays Mill and Ashton Park, as The Venue.
“The [Franklin municipal] election in 2011 cost $38,648.68” said Williamson County Election Registrar Ann Beard.
When asked if the cost would decrease because only one of four seats is contested, Beard answered that the cost would be roughly the same.
“No, because we have to do the same preparation. You have the polling officials, the sample ballots and the notices to send out,” Beard said.
Although voters may write-in the name of a preferred candidate other than the name that is on the ballot, election officials noted that the votes would not technically count because in order to run as a write-in candidate, state law requires that a person file 50 days before the Election Day.
“There’s never been a time that I can recall that turnout has been this low,” Beard said.
Campaign financial disclosure statements, reflecting expenditures Oct.1-13, were filed this week by both candidates.
Burger reported a total of $9,417.27 on hand with total disbursements of $4,572.63. She repaid a personal loan totalling $224.54, according to the disclosure filed by her campaign treasurer, Susan Andrews.
Her campaign’s total expenditures this reporting period were $4,348.09 with the largest expenditure is $1,020.99 for postage and mail room services at the Post Office located on Crossroads Blvd. in Brentwood and printing services of $867.17 through Copy Solutions in Franklin. 
She spent $629.50 for large 4 x 8-foot signs through a St. Paul Park, Minnesota company called Sign Rocket.
Walker reported a total of $2,985.34 on hand. According to a county election commission report filed by his treasurer Terry Cozart.
Walker received one individual contribution of $500 from Franklin attorney Angela Hoover on Oct. 4.
His major expenses, totaling $2,017.63 were $1,492.63 to Form Co. for printing, signs, and stickers and $525 to the Williamson Herald for advertising.
Both candidates have done their share of campaigning door-to-door campaigning and attending various community meetings.
Both say they are determined to serve their constituents by being accessible and responsive. 
“I want my work during this time of growth to address the issues that are so important to residents. These include infrastructure, business growth and giving our residents an important voice in this growth,” Burger said recently.
Walker, who grew up in Franklin, says he has thoroughly enjoyed the campaign process.
 “I’ve been focused on the door to door for two reasons. It is my way of showing my commitment to the voters and I love the one-on-one contact with people.
He emphasized that “controlled growth” is what he will push if elected. He said he wants to know that “if an apartment complex is put in place,” that someone is asking if “our roads can take it and if the citizens can take it.”

Posted on: 10/16/2013


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