Letter to the Editor: In Support of Franky Jackson

I am very blessed to have been born in America for many reasons. Here we have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, etc. We are so blessed to live in the most wonderful country in the world and have so many rights that other countries don’t offer.

I can remember the first time I voted – I felt as though I had a part in making history and I guess I did. Even while I was in the Air Force, I voted in local elections by absentee. I am thankful we have the right to vote.

I don’t plan for this local election to be any different. I plan to vote and am encouraging everyone else to vote for the candidate of their choice. I have seen elections won by a narrow margin so I know how important every vote is.

In 1991, Franky Jackson was elected to the Italy City Council for the first time. He had a lot to learn about local politics, but he also had a love for Italy and the people here. When he was elected as Mayor in 1999, it proved the Italy people liked him, trusted him and thought he had done a good job as a councilman.

Mayor Jackson and I may not always agree as he will tell you. But, we have always respected each other’s opinions. I know that he will defend my right to disagree with him. I know that I can take any problem to him and trust that he will try to take care of it. I also know that on a personal level, I am proud to call Franky Jackson my friend. It is important to me to know that he is an honest, praying friend. I also know that he prays over the decisions about our city and that is important to me.

I also am sure that he would never align himself or associate with anyone that did not have the best interest of Italy at heart. I want to make one thing perfectly clear – I will not during this election, nor have I ever voted for someone just because they are my friend. To the contrary, I have always voted for the person that I think would do the best job for our city – that is why I am openly supporting Franky Jackson for mayor.

I asked him one time why he was running for mayor again when he would be criticized in that office. Without hesitation he replied, “I love Italy and the people here. I want to give back to the community that has given me so much. This is home.” That just about says it all. No agendas, no other reason than to love this town.

Franky is pretty much an open book, but there are some things people may not know that they need to. One night at 2:00 a.m. he received a phone call telling him there was a problem with the water system. The entire town was without water. Instead of going back to sleep, he got up just like our public works employees and came to city hall to do whatever he could to help. He fielded calls, explaining to the citizens what was going on. He did not have to do that, but he did. That is the kind of person he is.

I also know that he is willing to meet someone at city hall on weekends if they need to talk to him. He realizes that folks work and cannot always get to City Hall during normal business hours. That is the kind of person he is.

Since he has been in office, we now have an Economic Development Corporation, Park Board and Planning and Zoning Committee. He also has an open door policy. He has gone beyond the call and helped bring businesses to Italy that have boosted our sales tax revenue. We have gone from about $30,000 sales tax revenue per year to over $250,000 in 2010.

When it is time to vote for mayor this year, I will proudly cast my vote for Franky Jackson. I am encouraging everyone that can to register to vote and exercise their right to vote. I am also encouraging them to cast their vote for Franky Jackson.

Karen Mathiowetz