Burger takes Ward 1: Low-turn out drives winner agenda
By Carole Robinson, Senior Staff Writer
The Franklin city election brought only two percent of constituents, or 914 of 44,963 registered voters in Franklin, to the polls Tuesday.
Winner Alderman Beverly Burger, Ward 1, will join her colleagues for another four years of service to the city of Franklin, beating challenger Jeff Walker by 181 votes—391 to 210.
Those numbers include early voting figures.
Of the 16,296 registered voters in Ward 1, only 650 people cast ballots at five precincts located in Cool Springs and East Franklin. Ward 1 was the only contested race of the four ward alderman seats on the ballot.
Burger, who said she would like to take a closer look at the timing of the city’s election in the future, pulled the most votes from two precincts—Franklin Christian Church with 162 votes and Franklin Community of Faith Church with 112 votes.
The precinct in Ward 1 with the largest number of registered voters is The People’s Church with 5,316, but only 66 voters cast ballots at the site yesterday.
“The first thing I’m going to do is sponsor a resolution to change the city charter to put [city] elections with other elections,” Burger said after the polls closed last night.
“It’s not wise to use our taxpayers’ money for stand alone elections. I think we need to pair up with other elections, give people more opportunities to have a voice. People are very busy.”
The cost of administering the election was expected to be about $38,000, according to Williamson County election officials.
“It’s very important to me that I serve the people,” Burger said. “That’s my number one goal. My message is serving the people and the city. I have no other motive. I could care less about power.”
“If I didn’t win, I would’ve been great whatever the results tonight. It would have meant I had to do something else.”
Burger looks forward to serving the city but wishes that more people could have been engaged in the election.
“I intend to be prudent. Prudent is going to be my vocabulary word,” she continued. “My biggest regret is not being able to engage the people more.”
Meanwhile, Walker, a former Franklin firefighter, said he was not discouraged by the loss of his first campaign.
“We have a beautiful city,” Walker said. “I wanted to uphold some standards.The greatest thing that can happen is if more people voice their opinion based on talking to both candidates.”
“Just because I’m not an alderman doesn’t mean people can’t reach out to me because I am Franklin, born and raised here.
Walker, who works for TLC Medical, stressed throughout the campaign that he wanted to promote a strong platform of communication with residents.
“This never started out with me having a political agenda. It was that I wanted to serve the people of Franklin. When I worked at the fire department, I was used to responding quickly. My plan was to respond as quickly [to an issue] as I did to a fire. I think the city of Franklin deserves that. No one should feel exhausted by asking a simple question.”
Posted on: 10/24/2013