FRANKLIN - Two candidates for mayor will be on the ballot in the upcoming April 4 election, each with a unique view of how to improve the city of Franklin.
Incumbent mayor Steve Olson will face Basil Ryan, who also ran for mayor the previous election cycle.
Now newspapers reached out to both Olson and Ryan to see where, and how, each candidate is hoping to lead Franklin.
Why are you running for mayor?
Olson: To continue ethical, professional, thoughtful, forward long-term direction and management of the city. To continue to move the city forward as a great place to live and work. My 29 years of service to Franklin has always been about making the city a better place.
Ryan: Businesses are leaving the city. We need a strong leader with experience to turn this around. With my background in owning and managing properties, I know I can reverse this trend. Franklin has been my home for 43 years. I don’t want to see Franklin get so desperate they just take anything.
What is one of the most important issues in Franklin right now, in your opinion, and what steps would you take to resolve the issue if elected?
Olson: Like all levels of government, discord within the elected officials is a continuing impediment to our growth and attracting new development. I will continue to work all available avenues to bring positive action to assure Franklin’s future.
Ryan: Stagnant development and losing businesses to surrounding communities is a concern. Empty buildings portray a negative image affecting property values for all residents. I would meet with property managers and owners to assist with building occupancy. Full buildings create a positive image, keeping money and businesses in Franklin.
What would you do to inspire more development in the city, if elected?
Olson: Continue to reach out to the development community presenting the advantages of our great city. I’ll also continue to work diligently with our existing businesses to help them expand in our city.
Ryan: I would convey to developers that Franklin is willing to work with them. I would promote current quality anchor businesses (Northwestern, Wheaton, Target, etc.) so other development will follow. Franklin is a great community to build or relocate. With my leadership, we will succeed in getting that message out.
Address: 8091 S. Meadowcreek Court
Political history: Mayor 2014 to present; 1st District alderman 2004-2013; 2nd District alderman 1998-2001; various boards, commissions and committees
Phone number: 414-425-9060
Email address: email@example.com
Address: 5250 W. South County Line Road
Political history: 4th District alderman 2000-2003; various boards, commissions, and committees
Phone number: 414-423-5481
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org