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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 00:00

Franklin mayoral candidates offer contrasting styles

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Franklin’s mayoral candidates are offering voters distinctly different visions of leadership as they square off for the town’s top political position.

Sissy Pattillo, who is completing her second term as a town alderman, used the word “collaboration” at least four times while answering questions during a recent forum sponsored by the Macon County League of Women Voters.

 

“We are at a crossroads where we can go one way or another. Collaboration is the key,” said Pattillo.

Bob Scott, her opponent, has served 10 years on the Franklin Board of Alderman and touts his leadership experience like graduating from the FBI’s National Academy, attaining the rank of captain in the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, and even being past president of the local chamber of commerce.

“Leaders are made, not born,” he said. 

While touting his desire to listen to all sides of an issue and the need to bring people to the table, Scott also said leadership is not a popularity contest.

“Sometimes, leaders find they have to be out there all alone,” he said.

Pattillo’s three main areas of emphasis are Franklin’s Main Street Program, the condition of the town’s streets and sidewalks, and economic development.

She is currently treasurer of the Main Street program’s board. She said the Main Street district in Franklin is one of the state’s largest because the board wanted to include the entire downtown Franklin commercial district and not just Main Street.

Doing more to enhance the town’s Main Street program will take cooperation, which has not always been there.

“I feel all programs should be working together. Our Main Street program, we have invited others to join. Whether it’s Venture Local, the chamber of commerce, whomever, we need to sit down at the same table and work out our differences,” Patillo said.

Scott proposed holding monthly meetings to listen to business and property owners who may not be town residents but could have important input into town affairs and economic development.

“I want to keep town government open. I will listen, and one night a month will open town hall to business owners and others who don’t live in town. I can’t give you a vote, but you will have a voice,” he said.

Another of Pattillo’s key concerns is making a “significant impact” with the $150,000 the town spends each year on streets and sidewalks.

“All our streets and sidewalks are ranked according to repair needs,” she said. 

Scott also listed infrastructure as important for Franklin, but he said keeping town government open and welcoming new, different ideas is a key part of his vision for Franklin.

“I support diversity and open government and don’t want anyone to feel intimidated about speaking out about our government,” he said.

Scott also said he wants to town to release the minutes of closed session meetings once the need to keep those minutes secret has passed.

Both said economic development is important to Franklin, and the business community should have a voice in leading the town.

 

Sissy Pattillo is a Franklin native, a retired teacher and has served two terms as a Franklin alderman. She listed what she says are the main differences between her and opponent Bob Scott:

• “I look at all sides of the issue before making a decision.”

• “I believe in becoming involved for the good of the town, and when I start a project, I will see it through.”

• “Most of all, I am a team player.”

Bob Scott has served 10 years on the Franklin Town Board, is a former journalist and law enforcement officer, and has been past president of several civic groups, including the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and the Franklin Rotary Club. He listed what he says arre the main differences between him and opponent Sissy Pattillo.

• “The primary differences are leadership skills, proven experience in handling major projects and dealing with emergencies. I am the type of leader who wants to embrace new ideas, listen to criticism and maintain open government. My voting record reflects the will of the voters because I listen to everyone before casting my ballot.”

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