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Position papers: New Franklin mayor

10/31/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Al Bollas (incumbent) vs. Terry Harget vs. Bob Lockhart

Voters living in New Franklin will vote for one candidate for mayor in the Nov. 5 General Election. The race is nonpartisan. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted.


Al Bollas (incumbent)

Why are you running for mayor?

“Because I enjoy helping people and making our community the best it can be.”

What would be your top three priorities if you were re-elected? Why?

“a) Find a grocery company to open a store.

“b) Find senior housing for those residents who want to stay in New Franklin but can’t maintain a house any longer.

“c) Continue to find solutions for our flooding problems.”

Terry Harget

Why are you running for mayor?

“I am the current Ward 2 Councilman for the City of New Franklin, two years ago several of our citizens asked me why I was not running for Mayor, I explained to all that they had to wait two years until we elect a Mayor. It has been two years and I am running for Mayor at this time.”

What would be your top three priorities if you took office? Why?

“So many of the fine Citizens of our great City has told me that it is time for a change. I asked them if they would like to give me a chance and they said where do I sign. I asked what would you like to see changed? Less taxation, we need to try for some new business in the City, It just is not that easy without sewer and water I told them, it would be great to increase the employment rate and bring in more tax money. I am encouraging more citizens to come to the meetings and give us suggestions and let us know what they want. These meeting that are held on the first and third Wednesday of the month are open to all I want them to come and let us know what they need, what they care about or what they dislike. If I am elected Mayor I will have an open door policy, stop in and ask your questions and let us know what it is that you have to say. This is your City and you put us in office tell so tell me or the Council your ideas or worries or we can help.”


Bob Lockhart

Why are you running for mayor?

“I am running for mayor because I have the expertise and know-how to grow the City of New Franklin. My years of experience as a business owner and former elected official make me the most qualified among the candidates. I have the flexibility to commit the time needed to run the city as well as the key skills required to consult on many areas of the city’s administrative and operational functions. 

“After a career in the private sector as a construction company owner, I understand that our city, like a business, needs to run in an effective and efficient manner. Because of my professional experience, I have a keen understanding of New Franklin’s infrastructure and economy. My livelihood is built on accurately running jobs that improve our area’s landscapes, highways and utilities. These are the very improvements as a city we are charged with implementing in a meaningful and cost effective way.

“In addition, I served as a township trustee for the former Franklin Township for 21 years. During that time, I did contract negotiation with vendors and the labor force, city planning, and much more to improve our community. I also worked to procure grants and facilitated partnerships with local corporations and surrounding municipalities as well as Summit County, saving resources and tax dollars. Additionally, I served as the mayor of the Village of New Franklin for 7 years before we became a city. I helped plan our city charter, worked with emergency services and much more.”

What would be your top three priorities if you took office? Why?

“As a lifetime resident of this area, I have worked with many different stakeholders in the community. Whether it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago, the players may have changed but the principles behind running a municipality have not. I will be a responsible, trustworthy and prudent steward of our city’s resources. 

“The money in our city’s budget is not imaginary. It belongs to hardworking families who take pride in our schools, the retired couples who worked hard to pay off their home so they could adjust to a fixed income, and the business owners who continue to stay committed to New Franklin, no matter the curve ball that come from our tough economy. All of these stakeholders must be considered and heard. 

“Specifically, my top three priorities when entering office would be to examine all areas of our budget and look for places to increase efficiencies and save tax dollars. New Franklin is not the cheapest place to live, and we need ensure we are not coming back to residents for new tax money ever. I would also review our city’s maintenance programs. From the flooding issues residents are facing to the way we repair our roads — my expertise will help us design the best solutions possible. Lastly, I would work to enhance our tax base with strategic partnerships with businesses that either do business in our community or use our highways to move their business through Summit County.”

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