WARREN – Mayor Doug Franklin has announced his intention to seek reelection in 2023, but faces competition in the Democratic primary as Councilman at Large Ken MacPherson has confirmed he also plans to run for the position.
Franklin, who is in his 11th year as mayor, kicked off his campaign with a recent fundraiser at DeLucia’s banquet facility. He said he wants to run again because there is still work to be done in the city.
“We have a lot of momentum built that we want to build on,” Franklin said, pointing to economic development as one of those areas.
Franklin said the city will soon release a master plan for Packard, Perkins and Burbank parks that local architectural firm Baker, Bednar and Associates has worked on.
He also said that one of his priorities has long been dealing with the “monstrosity” that’s the old St. Joseph Riverside Hospital on the west side: asbestos removal is nearly complete, and Franklin expects the wrecking ball to begin its work in November.
There is no term limit for the office, so Franklin said he can remain mayor. “As long as the public allows me to.”
“We don’t have term limits, but that’s what elections are for: to really select who the community wants to lead them as mayor.”
MacPherson, who served as Warren’s 5th Ward alderman before winning an at-large seat last November, said that while he hasn’t filed to run for mayor, he is “100 percent committed” to run to the office.
“I think Warren needs a change and I think we need some fresh new ideas,” MacPherson said.
MacPherson pointed to his experience in business leadership and technology as attributes that would make him a qualified leader for the city.
He said most people agree that local government is the level of government that affects their lives the most, from garbage, water and sewage to police and fire. “many details that matter.” MacPherson said that he spent his career delving into the details.
He said a primary focus would be implementing technology, such as programs that would allow residents to check the status of an issue through to completion.
MacPherson said he doesn’t plan to hold fundraisers, but wants to invite the public to meet him and speak.