NEW FRANKLIN  Two of the four ward councilmen running for re-election have challengers.

Current Ward 1 Councilman Jim Cotts is being challenged by Justin Bryant. Also, Ward 2 Councilman Terry Harget is being challenged by Jack Daniels.

Bryant is the CEO of PLX Freight and is married to wife, Anna, who is the township administrator for Coventry Township.

Daniels is the owner and president of Kandel Transport and Cold Storage in Springfield Township.

Ward 3 Councilman David Stock and Ward 4 Councilman Andrew Fetterman do not have opponents. 

WARD 1

JIM COTTS

Why are you running

During my first term, I have shown what kind of councilperson I am. I do the homework and research on topics before the meetings. I come to meetings prepared and ready to ask relevant questions. We see, throughout the area, where council people come to meetings and don't say anything. They just sit there and go along with the crowd. I think it is important to be an active participant in the decisions. One has to look for options and new ideas. I am running for a second term because I know what needs to be done and how to do it. I have proven how hard I work. I also ask questions that start conversations that help the city make the best decisions. It is important we have council people that are active in the decision making process. That is why I am running for a second term. I will continue to do the work necessary to help our city be the best it can be.

Involvement in the community

I have been on New Franklin City Council for four years. Before that, Property Maintenance Enforcement Board two years and Vice President of Pin Oak Point Neighborhood Association for 10 years

One area to focus on

There are three areas that we, as council members, need to focus on. Finances, technology and communications. However, communications is the most fundamental of the three. We need to communicate better with our residents. The more communication we have with residents, the more ideas we will get to help New Franklin. I want to use the many social media platforms that are available to us to give and take information. We need someone who has the knowledge and experience to help us use social media to get more residents involved. This is something we should have done years ago and I will work on during my next term.

JUSTIN BRYANT

Why are you running

I am running for a term on City Council for a number of reasons. I feel that we need someone to represent our ward that is involved in our community and passionate about our area. I am raising a young family in New Franklin and I have a viable interest in the long term success of our city.

Involvement in the community

I have lived in the Portage Lakes area for 30 years and graduated from Coventry High School. I am actively involved on the Tudor House planning board, Portage Lakes Historical Society as well as the North Coast Chapter of the Antique Classic Boat Society (ACBS) which puts on the Portage Lakes Antique boat show in conjunction with the Historical Society.

One area to focus on

One area that I would like to focus on if elected, is the revitalization of the 619 business corridor from The Royal Gardens to Turkeyfoot Golf Links. It’s one of the best locations for small businesses in terms of close proximity to the lake front. I feel that we can do more to attract and retain great local businesses to this area that was once a thriving part of our community.

WARD 2

JACK DANIELS

Why are you running

I chose to run because I am excited for the opportunity to bring my unique business and community experience to the New Franklin City Council. I love the blend of rural, suburban and lake living the city has to offer and wish to work to preserve the quality of this community.

Involvement in the community

I am the founding chairman of the Manchester Education Foundation which has donated $50,000 directly to students and teachers in the Manchester School District. I was a member of the PLCC School Board from 2015 through 2017 and served as the board president in 2017. I was heavily involved in the YMCA Indian Guides program from 2005 to 2013 and created the Trailblazers program in 2010.

One area to focus on

I would like to focus on finding ways to involve more citizens in city government decisions. Given the heavy involvement of citizens in the discussions about city issues on Facebook, it is clear there is interest in the community. I am hopeful that as the representative of Ward 2 I can better communicate the feelings of the community to city government, and also educate the citizens on more issues.

Editor’s Note: Councilman Terry Harget did not respond to the questions emailed to him.