New faces and new plans on the horizon in Franklin Township

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

There will be changes in Franklin Township, due to recent election results. Among the new faces residents will see in the township, is a new fiscal officer.

Franklin Township Fiscal Officer Lisa Morris was ousted from her seat during the November election. Morris received 11 percent of the votes, while new fiscal officer Mary Rhinehart received 46 percent of the votes. Jessica Rice, who also ran for fiscal officer, received 42 percent of the votes.

“Mary Rhinehart will assume the position of fiscal officer in April 2020,” said Mark Potts, Franklin Township administrator.

Each term is four years and by the end of Morris’ term, she will have served two terms or eight years.

Trustee Ralph Horn was reelected for another four-year term, beating out former trustee Don Cook. Horn received 37 percent of the vote, while Cook received 35 percent of the vote and township resident Mike Blevins Sr. received 28 percent of the vote.

Trustee John Fleshman and Aryeh Alex’s terms aren’t up for re-election until 2021.

“We are excited for 2020 and feel we have a really strong leadership team to achieve some of our goals,” Potts said. “We have a lot of exciting things on the horizon and are excited to continue to enhance the community for our residents.”

Potts said the township will continue to focus on cleaning up neighborhoods this year, enhancing the police department and improving fire services.

“All of these things have impact if a business wants to come to our community or a resident wants to move here,” Potts said. “Our hope is by enhancing these services, we will increase property value, therefore create more tax revenue for the township via property taxes.”

If the township can increase property values, it could increase revenue for the township.

“We want to fill vacant parcels and create a community where people would want to relocate to and raise their families,” Potts said. “We also want the township to be a better environment for businesses and a place businesses want to come to. These are all long-term goals.”

Potts said projects like the Havenwood paving project are a great first step in making the township more accessible to residents, as well as opening the community up to business development.

“Paving will start on that project in 2020,” Potts said. “When this project is complete, there will be better roads, as well as sidewalks for residents to access public transportation and new businesses in the area.”

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