A local bank president has been named to the Franklin City Council, where he will review and approve spending and projects in Franklin.
Bob Heuchan was named as the next city council member in a caucus by the Republican Party. Heuchan will finish the term of Steve Barnett, who resigned from the council after being named mayor in another caucus last month. His term runs through the end of 2019.
Heuchan has said he wants to encourage openness and listen to the concerns and questions of residents about city projects and issues.
“I just want to be one of the workers on the council, I just want to be a good council person,” he said.
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“That means being a good listener, being informed, being active, being able to make those good decisions.”
Precinct committee members, who are tasked with selecting a replacement for local elected officials no longer able to serve, chose between Brian Alsip, a local attorney, Jim Higdon the retired director of the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center, and Bob Heuchan, president of Mutual Savings Bank.
Each of the candidates had said they wanted to focus on continuing ongoing infrastructure work in the city, such as construction along Jefferson Street, and work to attract new businesses and jobs to Franklin.
Heuchan said he will now spend time learning more about the procedures of the council and digging into the details of the key issues the city is facing.
Heuchan has worked in downtown Franklin for more than 40 years and served on city boards for decades to become comfortable with how city government operates. He was on the economic development commission in the 1980s when Eddy Teets was mayor and is a current member of the city’s redevelopment commission, which manages the millions of dollars in property taxes collected in the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts.
Heuchan will join six other members of the city council, who are tasked with approving the city’s annual budget, rules for the city, road projects and incentives for new or expanding businesses.
For example, if the police or fire departments want to add staff, the city council must approve it. The council also makes decisions about setting aside money for an expansion of city trails or changing the smoking ban. The council members also serve on other city boards and appoint residents to serve on boards, such as the redevelopment commission and the police merit board.
Heuchan was selected to fill an at-large seat on the council, meaning he will represent the entire city.
The job pays $7,160 per year.