Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Local News

January 3, 2013

Franklin’s first year in office

Mayor hints at aggressive 2013 with potential expansions, Chinese development.

LOGANSPORT —  Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin has figuratively been in the mayor’s seat for a year now — figuratively and certainly not physically.

Franklin’s shed 36 pounds while being at the city’s helm and racked 17,000 miles on his personal car to take as many as 13 trips to Chicago, about 36 trips to Indianapolis, a trip to Virginia and one to Minnesota all for the sake of trying to deliver on his word to the more than 50 percent of voters who selected him as mayor.

That word? He’s all about economic development.

“I knew that the job would be busy,” Franklin said in a recent interview. “I didn’t quite expect the pace of the job. It’s truly never-ending. It’s truly a seven-day-a-week job.”

The light in Franklin’s third-floor office at the City Building is often on before 7 a.m. and after 6 p.m. He hasn’t been a sit-at-his-desk mayor and promises this year will be even more aggressive.

The successes

Franklin points to the progress the city has made with a more than $600 million project that could bring a refuse-derived fuel plant to Logansport as one of his administration’s ongoing successes.

He has also formed bonds with officials in China to work on sister-city and sister-school relationships with the city of Haining in the Zhejiang Province. He has met with the Chinese counsulate four times and is trying to keep Logansport at the forefront of business people’s minds in the event they would want to expand to the United States.

In fact, Franklin said, there was some interest from the Chinese in the proposed power plant.

“I believe the Chinese will end up bidding on our power plant,” he said. “They called up and already asked to have it translated into Chinese.”

In his first year, Franklin convinced the City Council to allocate $100,000 to study annexation of land in Clay Township. He said he wants to make sure that as the project moves along, all residents that annexation would impact will be informed of how this would affect insurance rates, tax rates and services in their area.

“That is another way we can broaden our tax base,” he said of annexation. “Those folks out there are not bashful about using city services. They come in to use our parks and they don’t contribute to the cost of it.”

Merely one day after winning the election in November 2011, Franklin was meeting with officials from Transco, near 18th and Main streets, to work on a $1 million project that’s planned to bring 28 new jobs to the area.

He said because of that willingness to work with Transco’s corporate office in Chicago, the company is considering another expansion, which plays into the city’s desire to create a port authority.

“There’s a very good possibility that Transco could do further expansion if we’re fortunate enough to develop the port authority and to actually pass that legislation and do some of those things,” he said, adding he could not elaborate further. “Transco is a major player in Logansport and I could easily see them doubling in size in a four- to five-year period.”

Despite the “somewhat controversial” dispute with four former redevelopment commission members, the city was able to secure a letter of intent from developers to build a movie theater in town.

“This is a $3.5 million investment in the city,” Franklin said. “Everything that we did was completely legal and above board. We just have to move on those opportunities when we have a chance because they won’t be here forever.”

He said the city is in the works to do something with the Logansport Mall property, which has about a 70 percent vacancy rate and is currently in receivership.

“We’re working very hard, doing some background research with the mall,” he said. “I see that as a challenge, but I also see us as being out in front of the curve on that. I hope to have some exciting news on that in the very near future...

“We’re working to try to find a re-use for the mall. There’s a lot of problems out there. That entire area out there is ripe for development.”

The challenges

Franklin has had several rather public challenges in his first year, including the loss of his appointed police chief within 90 days, a parking ticket and his reaction which drew national attention, the drug arrest of his son Jeremy and the resignation of the redevelopment commission due to his and the council’s desire to use tax-increment financing money to lure a movie theater to town.

Right off the bat, Franklin faced a complete turnover in the police department’s pension board, the voluntary resignation of two top cops and the eventual resignation of Police Chief Mike Neher, all within the first 90 days of his administration.

“Mike was really put in a bad position,” Franklin said of Neher. “He was the first one to start making the changes and the changes didn’t go over so well. I really think it took that 90 or 120 days before the old guard realized that change is here to stay and no matter what. No matter how they try to intimidate the mayor or the mayor’s office, it’s going to change. They can accept it, and it will be a lot easier, or we can fight for four years.”

Franklin eventually implemented a polygraph policy for new police hires, which he said has stopped the hire of eight new officers.

“It highlights the need for that,” he said of the candidates who almost made it to the force. He said the change was “to make sure we hire the officers who are to enforce the law, obey the law.”

“We have got to make sure we hire only the best,” he said, adding a closer look at the department led to the arrest of a former officer accused of stealing gas and the return of department-owned scuba gear and cell phones. “And I believe we set the tone for the next three years.”

“It’s time to change. We have a higher standard.”

He said no matter the subject, whether it’s the police department, economic development or more, he knows he will face scrutiny.

“It’s the scrutiny I know I’m going to get and I know who I’m going to get it from,” Franklin said. “I look at some of the criticism I’ve received and they come from people who are no longer in this position or that position.”

He said he has learned he will not make everyone happy, but decided early on that he will “smile every chance I can and try to do what’s best for the city.”

“I try to be a mayor of my word first,” Franklin said, adding his campaign words revolved around jobs and economic development. “We’re going to get aggressive next year. There’s a lot of things on the horizon. We’re going to be set for that next layer to come along.”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Bunker Hill parents charged with neglect BUNKER HILL — A month-long investigation by Indiana State Police Detective Mike Tarrh recently resulted in the arrests of Richard Avery Jr., 30, and Heather Avery, 28, both of Bunker Hill. Police say they received information from the Miami County Di

    April 16, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 16, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 16, 2014

  • Superintendent of Ind Ed 05 [Duplicate] State Superintendent Glenda Ritz visits Peru, discusses new standards PERU -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Tuesday she is comfortable with the quick pace at which new academic standards are moving from concept to classroom. The Indiana Department of Education released a final draft of new

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-PT041614 Flora Doc1.jpg Flora physician remains after health group's departure FLORA -- The safe at a downtown bank building, once used for protecting cash and valuables, is now stocked with medical supplies. The former bank office on East Main Street became Flora Family Medicine last month after it was made possible for one lo

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT041614 Rob Visher.jpg Nashville musician will play to raise funds for Emmaus A Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School student's senior project will come to fruition this Saturday with an interactive live music show to benefit a local charity. When Morgan Barger, a senior at Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School, set out to plan her senior project

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Police blotter: April 15, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 15, 2014

  • Fry sentenced to 55 years, $10K fine Loren Fry, 78, was sentenced today to 55 years in prison and a $10,000 fine after being convicted of murder last month in the 2011 deadly shooting of Dave Schroder, a 76-year-old Logansport man. Three members of Schroder's extended family took the st

    April 15, 2014

  • Lotus Scarf NOT TONED Logan native's scarves on QVC Bobbi Benish loves wearing scarves in stylish knots. Her problem? The knots kept falling out. That's what the Logansport native set out to solve with a modified scarf she developed, called the Easy-Style Lotus Scarf. It's also the latest addition to

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blood drive to honor Kathy Dingo Kathy Dingo felt strongly about giving back to the Logansport community. And now, the community has a chance to do the same in her honor. A blood drive will be held in Dingo's memory from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 23. The date of the blood drives

    April 15, 2014

  • NWS-PT041514 farmers market 1.jpg Farmers market starting in Flora FLORA -- Carroll County is getting its own farmers market this summer. A pair of volunteers are launching a once-a-month market this summer for produce and artisan vendors that has already generated significant interest among local residents. "We do

    April 15, 2014 4 Photos

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition