Voter Guide: Franklin City Member of Council

Voter Guide
Voter Guide



The Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News invited local candidates to fill out the following questionnaire to inform readers.


Michael Aldridge

Education: Franklin High School, 1995; Eastern Michigan University, 1999

Current Employment: Medtronic

Community Involvement: Currently serve on Franklin City Council, chair of Economic Development, Finance Committee, Safety Committee, Franklin Athletic Boosters Board member, member of Franklin Athletic Hall of Fame.

Why are you seeking elected office? I am seeking reelection to Franklin City Council because we are on the brink of executing some major projects that we have been laying the groundwork on for years. This is my hometown and my wife and I chose to live and raise our daughters here and I just want to make Franklin the best it can be.

Why should voters elect you? First and foremost, I am not a politician and have no political aspirations beyond serving my hometown. I am a lifelong resident of Franklin and have been involved in our community in many capacities since I moved back home from college. I coached youth sports for years, I’ve been an avid supporter of our schools and Franklin athletics, and have built so many lifelong relationships in this family we call Franklin. We have a lot of momentum right now with our new schools coming, and I have great relationships with all of the involved entities (city, school board, township) to make this a successful transition into a new era.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1. Development is a major focus of mine. This includes our Downtown revitalization, industrial growth/jobs, new residential options for our community, and a successful incorporation of our new schools. 2. Safety and drug prevention are critically important and will continue to be a top priority for me. 3. Beautification/cleanup of our town.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? Development: We have an excellent comprehensive plan for downtown that our staff and council have been working tirelessly on. We have already started implementing infrastructure, have acquired properties, met with potential developers, and are going to be implementing a forgivable loan program to incentivize businesses to invest in our downtown. We are investing in the expansion of our industrial parks to accommodate future businesses. And, for the first time, Franklin City Manager Jonathan Westendorf was invited to be a guest speaker at the Greater Dayton Homearama and was very well received. Safety and drug prevention: We just hired an excellent new police chief that is ready to tackle our safety and drug problem head on. We’ve invested in state-of-the-art technology to assist our police department in fighting crime. Our HOPE program continues to touch lives and help those who want help. Beautification: We now have a dedicated person to address property violations and code enforcement to help clean up our town. We’ve also incorporated a sale/rental inspection program that will assist in maintaining properties and help our property values.

Anything else? I appreciate the opportunity you have given me in the past to represent you. My heart is in Franklin, and I will continue to always do what is best for our community. This is an exciting time for Franklin, and I am confident the work we are doing will make Franklin a better place. I humbly ask for your vote on Nov. 2. Thank you!

Denny Centers

Education: Bachelor’s of science, industrial management

Current Employment: Retired district manager for Mitco, a regional chemical company.

Community Involvement: Franklin City Council, past mayor and vice mayor, chairman-City Finance Committee, past chairman- City Planning Commission, city-Wastewater Treatment Board, citys-Utilities Commission

Why are you seeking elected office? I have served on city council for over 20 years. We are making more improvements presently than ever before while staying within our budget. I want to see our development of the city continue to move forward while keeping our city in good fiscal control.

Why should voters elect you? Over the years we have learned how to spend our revenue as efficiently as possible while making use of other available funds from the county, state and federal government to ease the burden of the taxpayers of Franklin. I want to continue to make Franklin a great place to live for both your family and mine.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? All of our city council is placing a huge emphasis on keeping drugs off the streets, making the city a safe place to live, work and raise our families. We will continue with our redevelopment plan, while keeping our taxes as low as possible while at the same time maintaining a healthy fund balance in our general fund.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? We have added additional monies and resources to specifically target drug use and trafficking in the city. We are also working with the city manager to remove older buildings that have no historic value in an effort to make room for new buildings and businesses to move into Franklin. We review the city finances closely as we move forward with new development to ensure that we stay within our budget.

Anything else? I have always and will continue to make every voting decision in council for the betterment of Franklin for the long term - not just for today.

Clayton R. Hicks

No response

Matt Wilcher

Matt Wilcher

Matt Wilcher
Matt Wilcher

Education: Franklin High School, Wright State University

Current employment: Inside sales supervisor TundraFMP

Community involvement: Served on Parks and Rec, Finance, Safety, Public Works and Civil Service Committees.

Why are you seeking elected office? I’m seeking the office of city council because I love our city. It’s the only place I truly feel at home. I’ve served as councilman to our city for the past four years and want to see projects through to their completion. I want to make Franklin the very best it can be for your family and mine. Franklin has so many exciting things happening and I want to continue to work hard and be part of it.

Why should voters elect you? Put simply, I have no personal agenda nor do I seek personal gain from being on council. I ran my own small business for a decade and was successful. I apply common sense when making my decisions, and I am cautious when making decisions with taxpayer’s hard earned dollars. I work hard for our city and will continue if voters so choose. I have three school age children so I have a genuine, vested interest in our community’s success.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? Finish what we have started! 1. Continue to work to redevelop our downtown. We are currently studying traffic patterns for downtown and exploring ways to create new business for downtown. 2. The Franklin Community Park expansion is underway and moving forward. It’s a multiphase project but will include new soccer fields and additional parking in the early phase to be completed next year. 3. Continue to work with developers to entice new business and expand the industrial parks we already have.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? The ball is already rolling on the issues I mentioned in the last question. Our city manager and his team meet regularly with developers, business owners, and restaurateurs in efforts to bring in new business. Franklin also works with the Warren County Port Authority for future development. Every resource at Franklin’s disposal is being utilized to move Franklin forward. Throughout the last decade city leaders have pushed to strengthen infrastructure. This move has positioned Franklin as a leader for the growth that’s coming.

Anything else you would like voters to know? Serving on city council is challenging and hard work, but I am the right candidate for the job. I will always do what is best for Franklin. I believe it is important that citizens know that staff and your current council spend countless hours, including weekends and late evenings, working toward our city’s goals. Thank you for your consideration.