Q&A: Meet the candidates for Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen, at-large

Four candidates are in the running for one at-large position. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Four candidates are in the running for one at-large position. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)

Four candidates are in the running for one at-large position. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)

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Gabrielle Hanson

Occupation: principal broker and owner of Williamson Real Estate in Franklin

Experience: Gabrielle Hanson has completed the curriculum at the Franklin Citizens Government Academy. She is the former Chair of RPAC at the Williamson County Association of Realtors; served on the National Association of Realtors RPAC Participation Committee where she won top honors for Tennessee; serves as the current Political Coordinator to Jack Johnson with the Tennessee Realtors; and is also on the Tennessee Realtors Government Affairs Committee and serves with Sister Cities International of Franklin. She is the principal broker and owner of Williamson Real Estate. Hanson was recently named The Best Realtor In Middle Tennessee by The Tennessean and was instrumental in initiating Tenn. Code Ann. §62-13-312(b)(11) that passed in spring of 2021, allowing Tennessee real estate licensee’s to be paid as an LLC.

Contact: 615-946-4200

What do you think is the biggest issue addressing the city of Franklin and what would you do to address it?

GH: As Franklin continues to garner national attention, we are finding it more challenging to provide adequate housing and keep up with the infrastructure to support continued growth. There is a reason people are drawn to Franklin. That small-town feel, the beautiful, natural countryside with hills and valleys and horses grazing in open fields, while just a few miles away we have access to the best in dining, shopping and entertainment. We can never lose sight of our heritage, our history; it should be preserved for generations to come. Careful, prudent, responsible growth that is tied to Envision Franklin will ensure that we continue to provide a quality community with a balance of open space, continue to honor our rural heritage and preserve the beauty of the place we love to call home, Franklin.

How would you work to ensure future construction is balanced with resident concerns about development?

GH: Franklin has very wisely set forth planning guidelines as to where and what can be built. There is a master plan in place with the Urban Growth Boundary and Envision Franklin. When people arrive, they tend to say "I'm here, now shut the door!" Obviously, that can't happen, but I think we can all relate. There will be continued development, but there are distinct parameters the city has set forth that allow for certain design plans and where that development can go.

John Haynes

Occupation: health wellness coach at the Hearth at Franklin

Experience: I am a lifelong Franklin resident and a Leadership Franklin alumnus. In 2020, I was appointed to the Mayor's Find Hope Franklin. I have also served on several boards and committees tasked with helping the underserved communities in our city. Phone number:615-415-3127

Contact: 615-415-3127

What do you think is the biggest issue concerning the city of Franklin and what would you do to address it?

JH: I believe that quality of life issues, such as appropriately-placed and sized growth and traffic control are the biggest issues facing the city of Franklin. The appropriate planned growth of our city has already been addressed through Envision Franklin. I feel that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen along with the planning commission must continue to monitor and adhere to this very well thoughtout vision for our city's growth. Traffic control and abatement will require coordination and cooperation with various entities (developers, state, county). The implementation and funding for any needed road improvements or additions would be facilitated through the city's normal annual budgetary process; where these projects are identified and prioritized for study and/or construction.

How would you work to ensure future construction is balanced with resident concerns about development?

JH: Fortunately, citizens have the means to publicly voice their concerns through open comment periods at Franklin Planning Commission meetings, BOMA public hearings and developer neighborhood meetings. However, I plan to have an open-door policy for citizens. Unless citizen concerns are heard there is no chance for compromise or a possible change in plans. Of course, it is not always possible to please everyone, but it is possible to act in the best interest, safety and welfare of most of the citizens at all times, while allowing property owners to utilize their land within the city’s guidelines. That is what I will always strive to accomplish.

Alan Simms

Occupation: IT project manager

Experience: As Alderman, one must demonstrate key skills - leadership, communication, collaboration, analysis, problem solving, adaptability, and risk management, to name a few. These are the same skills that have made me a successful and effective project manager. Since moving to Franklin in 2016, I’ve committed to learning all I can about the city by regularly attending BOMA and other committee meetings, establishing relationships with city employees and leadership, and building knowledge on how the city operates, how decisions are made, etc. Additionally, I am a proven advocate for Franklin through the local committees and boards that I serve on. Having these established relationships and knowledge will enable me to immediately engage and be an active, valuable contributor from the start.

Campaign Website: www.alansimms.com
Contact: 214-668-2876

What do you think is the biggest issue concerning the city of Franklin and what would you do to address it?

AS: Growth. We should focus on strategic growth meaning that we have in place a diligent, thoughtful, managed plan for growth. We must cross link and incorporate all our planning components - plans from the county for schools and new roads, plans from the state for new roads and road improvements, the strategic growth plans from the city’s planning and sustainability department as well as the Envision Franklin document, to provide clear direction to developers and others and guide them to the locations and type of development that will support both their goals and the long-term goals of Franklin. I would advocate and support this very collaborative process and see that it is executed per the guidelines we establish and enforce for the city.

How would you work to ensure future construction is balanced with resident concerns about development?

AS: Envision Franklin is our guide for future growth and development and was created with citizen input. I would honor those guidelines and request developers incorporate them as they plan future construction projects. I urge all residents concerned about development to be familiar Envision Franklin as well as our current zoning ordinances and I encourage residents to attend and participate in the appropriate planning meetings so that they have the latest and most accurate information about development activities. The city allows for citizen feedback and comments for development activities. Citizens should utilize these opportunities to voice their concerns to the appropriate planning commissioners and city staff. The best way for residents to have their concerns acknowledged and addressed is to participate and be involved.

Bhavani Kumar Muvvala

Occupation: president at Right at Home of Middle Tennessee

Experience: president, nonprofit organization Nashville Kannada Koota; ex-president, KKNC, California; director, Rotary Club of Franklin At Breakfast; volunteer at Christ United Methodist Church, Franklin; volunteer at One Generation Away; volunteer at various community events

Campaign Website: N/A
Contact: 615-465-8011

What do you think is the biggest issue concerning the city of Franklin and what would you do to address it?

BKM: The biggest issue concerning the city of Franklin is balanced and responsible growth while maintaining the appeal that has made Franklin such a desirable place to live. Promote policies and procedures which creates sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, support in creation of world class infrastructure (Residential and commercial development, roads, transportation, water, school and utilities), and by creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, fostering equitable social development and inclusion.

How would you work to ensure future construction is balanced with resident concerns about development?

BKM: Respect for the past and vision for the future. I will voice changes in state law to allow a longer review period for approval of subdivision requests. And demand infrastructure to be established first, before we allow development to crowd an already overcrowded road system. Envision the roles of density and neighborhood interconnectedness for both business and the community at-large. I will also support mandatory sidewalks and bike lines to be in place in every street of Franklin, along with rapid bus transit [and] a light rail system. I will also closely work with the Infrastructure, engineering, planning, education, utilities and transportation departments of Tennessee and Williamson County—I will always listen to the Franklin residents’ opinions.


The new extension of the Mack C. Hatcher Parkway opened Nov. 29. (Lacy Klasel/Community Impact Newspaper)
New Mack C. Hatcher Parkway extension opens to traffic

The roadway had been under construction since 2019.

Gutterglove Inc. announced Nov. 29 it will be moving its headquarters to Franklin. The image above was provided by the company, which manufactures stainless steel gutter guards. Last year the company spent $5.4 million to build a factory in Rutherford County.
Gutterglove Inc. to move headquarters to Franklin in January

Gutterglove Inc. announced Nov. 29 it will move its corporate headquarters to Franklin from Roseville, California.

The Franklin and Brentwood areas have a number of local businesses to support and shop this holiday season. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
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Waldo's Chicken & Beer will open in the former location of Captain D's on New Hwy. 96 West. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Boundary map of annexation
Franklin leaders vote to expand boundary for development near Clovercroft Road

Franklin leaders voted Nov. 23 to add a sprawl of nearly 300 acres into Franklin’s city limits and rezone it

Chase opened a new bank branch in Franklin on Nov. 3.
Chase Bank now open in Cool Springs in Franklin

A new Chase Bank branch is now open in Cool Springs in Franklin.

A new Dunkin' location is expected to open by the end of the year at 500 Cool Springs Blvd. (Martin Cassidy/Community Impact Newspaper)
New Dunkin' location coming to Franklin

A new Dunkin' location is expected to open by the end of the year.

Columbia Sportswear will open at 330 Franklin Road in Brentwood on Nov. 24. From Nov. 26 to Nov. 28 the store will offer discounts and other promotions on sportswear and other products. (Martin Cassidy/Community Impact Newspaper)
Columbia Sportswear to open Nov. 24 in Brentwood

Columbia Sportswear will open this week in Brentwood.

A bottle of Old Elk Straight Whiskey Bourbon on the shelves of Barrels & Brews at Murfreesboro Road. The bottle is an example of the store's focus on hand selected single barrel spirits. (Martin Cassidy/Community Impact Newspaper)
Barrels & Brews now open in Franklin

Barrels & Brews now has a Franklin location offering single barrel spirits and a curated selection of wines.

Photo of a Moderna vaccine vial
FDA, CDC expand Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster authorizations to all adults

Booster shots could be available to all adults ahead of the holiday season.

The Williamson County Schools Board of Education voted to remove the district's mask requirement Nov. 15. (Courtesy Pexels)
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