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July 27, 2023

What Was the Issue With the Franklinton Park Equipment at Tuesday (July 25, 2023) Evening's Meeting of the Board of Aldermen?

On the Agenda of the Franklinton Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday (July 25, 2023) Evening was Agenda Item #5: “The Board will vote to ratify the amount of the accepted bid for the park equipment.”

The Franklinton Park has been the signature project of Mayor Route. The park would be on Town-owned property on Chess Jones Road. The vision is that the park would be used by children, especially children with disabilities, and adults.

See the video, beginning at 12:00.

Mayor Route began with comments and related that the total cost would be $705,000, that a grant would pay $295,500, and that funds from the landfill rebate of $120,000 would be applied. Route further stated that the resulting balance of $289,500 to be paid by the Town of Franklinton is under the $300,000 that he had budgeted for the park equipment. The Mayor continued with comments.

Alderman Descant asked, “Did we order this already?” Mayor Route answered “yes”. Later, the Mayor stated that he had issued a Purchase Order. Discussion continued between the Board Members and the Mayor. In the end, the Board voted to not ratify the bid. Voting to approve the bid were Board Members Butler and Crain. Voting to not approve the bid were Board Members Spears, Descant, and Sharp.

At issue was the cost to the Town and the fact that the Mayor placed the order prior to Board approval. The possibility of breach of contract was also briefly discussed, a possibility since the order had been placed and the Board failed to ratify the bid.

Later, during Public Participation (beginning at 52:00 into the video), the three dissenting Aldermen were subjected to verbal abuse. They were accused of being Republicans, of being opposed to the park since the beginning, of not wanting to do anything for the kids and of turning their backs on handicapped children. 

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