Archived Story

Council reacts to concerns

Published 10:23am Friday, April 12, 2013


FRANKLIN—Franklin City Council members gave their views about the continued investigation and outreach efforts to address concerns about utility rates, to those in attendance at Monday’s Council meeting.

“The (Concerned Citizens Against High Utility Bills) committees leaders have said they would work with the city,” said Vice-Mayor Barry Cheatham. “I have yet to see that happen.”

The Concerned Citizens Against High Utility Bills group spokesperson Dr. Linwood Johnson originally asked council, on March 11, for an investigation into improper meter readings or fluctuating rates for different parts of the city.

“They went out and made a media circus out of this the very next meeting,” Vice Mayor Barry Cheatham said. “They have yet to work with the city one-on-one, but instead have said the City has yet to do anything,” he said.

Cheatham notes electrical usage is a one-on-one problem.

“They have yet to work through the system we set up, which was for each individual to come up with their problem. I don’t think the committee is the people we need to be working with – we need to work with citizens one-on-one.”

Councilwoman Mona Murphy (Ward 4) agrees that the city does need to work with citizens individually not with the committee.

“This is an individual problem,” she said. “No one can know what exactly is going on in someone’s house but those that live there.”

Murphy wants to appeal to the citizens of Franklin that there are procedures and programs in place to help.

“Come and see,” Murphy said. “We have 5,500 customers in the city and Mr. Martin (City Manager) has only dealt with 70 customers to date. He can not do a thorough investigation if you are not here to present your problem.”

Councilwoman Mary Hilliard (Ward 5) also believes the issue should be handled one-on-one.

“There is no committee in the city or anywhere else that can work all of this out,” she said. “It is an individual problem.”

Councilman Benny Burgess (Ward 2) does believe the city has a problem with citizens not being able to pay their utility bill.

“We have seen the report through the schools that there are a large number of free or reduced lunch recipients,” Burgess said. “So we know we have a segment of our population that is having a hard time paying their bills. I would like to see us put together a committee or task staff to do whatever we need to do to go out and look for other resources. “

Burgess referred to a program offered by Dominion electric called EnergyShare, where individuals can donate to help those less fortunate to help pay their electric bill.

“Maybe we can make something like that available to the people of Franklin,” Burgess said. “Those of us who are fortunate enough to pay our bills – to help those who aren’t.”

“I know we do a lot to help our citizens,” he said. “I heard the report, but we still have that need.”

Murphy wants more information on all the organizations that already assist.

“I want to know more than just the Social Services contributions,” she said. “I know there are churches out there helping as well as individuals – I want to know who all they are and what they give.”

Murphy does want to look into the additional options that Burgess suggested.

“We need to be educated first about what we already have and what exactly is being given in the city,” she said.


  • 2fishy

    has any of this citizens group asked their leader where his doctoral degree came from or where he received it? i would like to see it, if he is spokesman for me.

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  • charlie

    You guys sound like a bunch of red necks,

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    • thomasmore

      and you sound like one of the protesters, er, people asking for a handout.

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    • Sinoptik

      Look around town, no need for the simile.

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  • DryRain

    Vice Mayor Cheatham put it very nicely how the “Committee” ask for help, help was provided, but the committee members didn’t want to hear the truth, they only want something for nothing, that part came from my mouth not the Vice Mayor.

    They know they are lying, they know they are using the amount if electricity the meter says. They hope if they whine, march around and holler long enough that we the taxpayers will pay their bills, support their big ole collar green eating butts.

    I have lots of medical bills to pay who is going to help me? No one, and that is called life, I deal with it, I don’t stage a protest in front of the doctors office, I don’t go to the newspaper and cry about it. I pay it, its mine!

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  • thomasmore

    The Concerned Citizens Against High Utility Bills committee…what a joke. Seriously, I’ve read some of the commenst posted to articles related to this topic and while some of the comments state that this topic should be dropped or that this topic has been given way too much attention, I disagree. I for one am thouroughly enjoying these jackwagon pan handlers making idiots of themselves. I mean the city basically tells these people, “hey, we’re listneing to you. All you have to do is work with us. Come see us. Come talk to us, one on one.” And what happens? Nobody shows up for scheduled appointments with the City Manager. THERE’S YOUR PROOF THAT THESE PEOPLE JUST WANT A HANDOUT!!!! But, by all means, I hope these idiots keep protesting and that the TN keeps writing aritcles on these morons. Actually, I wouldn’t mind reading an expose on one of these “protestors” and how they spend an average day during the week.

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  • bobs94

    Less fortunate = Lazy

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    • handkusp45

      I agree. I give to my church and some charitable organizations. I would not donate money for someone’s electric bill until it was determined that they are truly in need or are already living off my tax dollars. I’m tired of this entitlement mentality.

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