As of this writing, I have knocked on just shy of 900 doors in Ward 4. It has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life to get a chance to speak directly to the voters and hear what their needs and concerns are for Franklin. The number one question I am asked is what can Board of Mayor and Alderman (BOMA) do about issues facing the schools? The real answer – it’s complicated.
Being totally transparent: BOMA does not make any direct decisions about the schools, for neither Franklin Special School District (FSSD) or Williamson County Schools (WCS). FSSD has its own school board and while a portion of city taxes do go to the FSSD schools, it is my understanding that the district lines are set by the Tennessee state legislature. The Williamson County Commission along with the Williamson County School Board decides issues related to the county schools.
But…and this is a big but…BOMA decisions DO impact the schools. How? A significant portion of the growth and development has been approved by BOMA and on average, each time a new house or apartment is built, 2.5 children are entering the school systems. This is before we even discuss the referendum proposal to raise the City of Franklin sales tax and donate that portion to the Williamson County School system which means that if that passes, the City of Franklin is going to be helping to fund the county schools as well.
The questions I receive in Ward 4 range from: Can my neighborhood be rezoned to Franklin High School? What do you think of the boundary lines of Franklin Special? How are we going to afford the new schools that the County wants to build (According to Dr. Looney, that will be an estimated 17-21 new schools in the next 10 years)?
Unfortunately, BOMA cannot answer these questions directly. However, with different leadership on BOMA, the City can be more
selective in approving projects that really take into consideration all of the impact that new development puts on the City: from traffic congestion, to infrastructure, as well as the schools.
My daughter will be 2 the end of this month. My husband and I are excited for her to attend the amazing WCS system in a few years. These issues directly affect me and so many of my friends and neighbors and I would like to be a part of the solution. If elected Alderman, it will be my responsibility and my duty to take into consideration everything that growth and development does to the City and to make sure that the needs of families are adequately met. I am also willing to speak on my constituents behalf to the Williamson County Commission, and both the WCS School Board and the FSSD School Board at their meetings, if there are issues before them that directly affect Ward 4 and all of Franklin.
My family is so grateful we get to raise our daughter in Franklin and I want to do everything I can to ensure she has a bright future here. If elected, I’ll do everything in my power to ensure that for your families too.