Michelle Sutton

Michelle Sutton is running for Ward 3 alderman in Franklin.

Name as it appears on the ballot: 

Office being sought: Ward 3 Alderman

Age: 40

Occupation: Pharmacy Product Director for UnitedHealthcare

Family: Husband of nine years, Donnie, and two sons Braxton (7) and Cole (5)

Community Activities: Ladd Park HOA Board member, member of the Franklin Alliance of HOAs, member of Journey Church, volunteer for Franklin Wine Festival benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters, Big Sister for BBBS for seven years, One Gen Away and Village of Hope Uganda sponsor

Have you ever held public office? No, but I also ran for at-large alderman in 2019. 

Why did you decide to seek the office of alderman?

My family and my heart are in Franklin. I have served my neighborhood community for more than seven years and now want to be a fresh voice with innovative ideas for the future of Franklin. Residents are concerned with the rate of growth and how it is affecting them along with the need for future infrastructure. I am running because I am confident I have the skill sets and leadership needed to address these challenges with innovative thinking and commitment.

What do you feel are the top three most pertinent issues facing Franklin?

Growth: While I am concerned with the rate of growth and how it is affecting our current residents, need for infrastructure and ability to fund schools, I will still be an advocate of growth.  

Infrastructure: I will aggressively support and vote for Capital Investment Projects that will move our most critical areas of infrastructure forward with more speed.

Collaboration & Purposeful Communication: I will exhibit leadership in meeting, planning and addressing growth strategies in detail with our county commission and other Williamson County municipalities boards in an effort to partner and execute real time solutions to traffic, infrastructure and school capacity.

As Franklin grows, the city’s needs become more complex. Housing and land prices are rising and there is a shortage of workforce housing. Do you think this is an issue? How would you address it? 

As an advocate of the free market, I do not believe the government should use citizen tax dollars to find housing. I do believe the government can be of assistance by waiving some fees and streamline the process when developers commit to building at price points for more financially attainable housing, because time is money. We need to start having serious dialogue with local officials, real estate experts and residents. I would also like to look to local nonprofits and private sectors that have been successful in this arena.

What does “smart growth” mean to you, and what specific strategies would you employ to achieve it?

For me, “smart growth” means having the end goal of maintaining the high-quality of life, preservation and sustainable development that we have in Franklin. With that must come a plan, which exists in Envision Franklin but needs to be revisited. What I pledge to do is bring leadership to the board and propose a policy where all development impact fees, Capital Investment Projects and school capacity needs over the life of a project development cycle are calculated so we can make strategic decisions regarding growth approvals. 

Traffic is becoming a big problem in Franklin. How would you address transportation as the city grows? 

I believe third party traffic studies for all proposed development needs to be a requirement prior to approval. These studies should include current status and any proposed growth in the area that is currently not built. We also need to address road and traffic light improvement with timelines for when those would be completed prior to or during the development. We need to continue the discussion on Connect Franklin and achieve the goal of having a diverse transportation network that connects our sidewalks, parks, walking and biking paths. 

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