Schroer served as mayor from 2007-11 and will fill an at-large seat left vacant following the death of former Alderperson Pearl Bransford in November. Schroer left city work to take up an appointment to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, after which Vice Mayor Ken Moore was appointed as mayor, according to the city.
Schroer is expected to serve through Oct. 26, when the city will hold its next municipal election, after which a new, citizen-elected candidate will join the board. Multiple board members had previously expressed concern about allowing someone who was not elected by the city of Franklin to serve for a full term. Schroer has previously indicated he would not seek re-election, according to Alderperson Brandy Blanton.
While Schroer’s appointment Jan. 25 passed 6-1, some board members criticized the selection process through which he was selected. His name was submitted for consideration during the Jan. 12 meeting, and no other candidates were publicly discussed.
Alderperson Dana McLendon, who was the lone dissenting vote, said the city’s process for picking a candidate was flawed.
"I served with John Schroer; I have nothing but respect for Mr. Schroer. I appreciate that he accepted the responsibility and limitations and I know, if approved, he will do a good job," he said. "I still think it's a mistake to appoint someone without a different process than this. If we approve this motion, we will have announced and approved a replacement for Alderman Bransford without even asking anyone else if they might like the job publicly. I think that's a mistake."
However, others said Schroer’s commitment to not run for re-election in October makes him a good candidate and does not bar anyone who might wish to serve a full term later on.
"Honestly, I don't think most people in our fine city will be offended by this process—it's for a few short months," Vice Mayor Beverly Burger said. "I think we need to put someone in that position now who will fill it, who is not going to run [rather than] putting someone in that position where we tied their hands and say, 'You need to promise you won't run, because we as a board don't want to create an opportunity for someone to have an unfair advantage.' I really don't want to put somebody in that position."
Schroer will be sworn in during the city’s Feb. 9 work session, according to the city.