Three file for city council seat

Three people want to fill a vacancy on the Franklin City Council left after a longtime member resigned.

Members of the Johnson County Republican Party will meet in a caucus next week to choose a new member of the city council, replacing Joe Ault, who resigned due to public reaction to his post on Facebook that used a derogatory term to refer to Democrats, voters and certain nations.

So far, three people have sent letters to the party chair Beth Boyce asking to be considered. The deadline to file is Monday.

On the list so far: Greg Hayes, who works United Rentals; former city council member Tim Dobbs, and Daniel Blankenship, a retired Johnson County Sheriff’s Office deputy and courthouse security officer.

Six precinct committee members will meet Feb. 15 to select the person who should serve the remainder of Ault’s term, which runs until the end of 2019. They will hear from each of the potential candidates, and then will cast secret ballots to choose the winner.

Whoever is selected will join the seven-member board tasked with setting the city’s budget and approving new city rules, such as any changes to the smoking ban, or if the city wanted to consider charging a new tax or higher fees for services. Council members are paid $7,374.35 this year.

Residents who file must live within District 1, which includes a portion of downtown Franklin, approximately bordered by Graham and Younce streets on the east, U.S. 31 on the west, Washington Street and Parkview Court on the north and Youngs Creek on the south. A portion of the district also runs east, south of King Street, to just beyond Forsythe Street.

This will be the third caucus to replace a Franklin official in about a year. Last year, then-Mayor Joe McGuinness resigned in the middle of his term to become commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation, and city council member Steve Barnett was selected as the new mayor. Bob Heuchan was selected to replace Barnett on the city council in a second caucus.

APPLY OR ATTEND

Members of the Johnson County Republican Party will meet next week to select a new member of the Franklin City Council. Here is what you need to know:

To apply: Residents must live within District 1, and must submit a letter to Republican Party Chair Beth Boyce, at 845 Richart Lane, Greenwood, IN 46142, by Monday.

To attend: The caucus will be hosted at Franklin City Hall, 70 E. Monroe St., at 7 p.m. Feb. 15. The event is free and open to the public.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.