Blythewood Town Council Candidates: Bryan Franklin

Bryan Franklin copy

(4-year term)

I want to be one of your next Blythewood Town Council members. First, our prayers are with those who are recovering from the recent floods.

I am a native of the area, and I attended the same excellent local schools that five of my eight children currently attend. I graduated The Citadel in 1990 and the Army War College in 2011. I served 24 years in the Army and retired last year. My campaign consists of three imperatives, and if elected, I will work hard on these issues:

1. Cautious growth – Blythewood housing growth is already overburdening our roadways, parks and recreation facilities. Why would we agree to massive increases in further housing before we “right size” the infrastructure? Just take a child to school in the morning or try to turn left coming out of Food Lion at 5 p.m. and you’ll see what growing too fast will do to a community.

My proposal includes working with Richland County Council and SCDOT to build several traffic circles at major intersections. This low cost solution would keep traffic constantly flowing instead of jammed by the current signal-controlled mess. Once the traffic congestion problem is resolved, then we can talk housing expansion.

2. Focused government – Traffic pattern improvement, road widening and sidewalks should come before building “town restaurants” and unnecessary storage buildings. Friends and neighbors on Fulmer Road who try to exercise outside feel unsafe without sidewalks as the traffic speeds by in the morning. I’m sure your road could use them too.

My proposal will include using more outsourcing options for town operations, not permanent and expensive personnel acquisition. Many local lawn and cement companies would love to contract with the town – so why not cut overhead (equipment, lawn mowers, trailers, and storage buildings) and outsource those habitual tasks to the professionals while saving money?

3. Preserve our rural character – My family, like so many others here, settled in Blythewood in the early 70s because they sought independence, autonomy, privacy and space. Neighbors living a quarter mile apart were more appealing that neighbors living on a quarter of an acre. Riding motorcycles, raising crops, hunting or just target shooting any time was great out here in “the country.” As times changed, and I-77 was completed, the subdivisions came. Some landowners sold for development, but others chose not to. A happy compromise was formed. Today, we have returned to those tense discussions.

My proposal is to delay decisions until all stakeholders have had a chance to weigh in on the topic. My opinion is a simple one – why encroach on those who bought specifically for a rural lifestyle with more housing construction when the surrounding area has at least ten subdivisions, for all income levels, which are still building homes or have not sold to capacity? Some government officials seem to forget it is us country folks who vote for them, not out-of-town (or foreign) real estate developers.

Please visit www.ElectBryanFranklin.com and Vote for Bryan Franklin for Blythewood Town Council on November 3.