Statue of Gentry, Downtown Protest Ordinance Listed at Last Franklin BOMA Meeting | Brentwood homepage

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Members of the Franklin Mayor’s Council and Aldermen voted Tuesday night to approve a few key agenda items that will impact the downtown district.

One was on a resolution to support plans to install a statue of the late Jimmy Gentry on a pew along the wall adjacent to the historic Franklin Presbyterian Church, a site where Gentry and many other Williamson County residents were waiting on the bus that would take them to military service during World War II.

Aldermen also passed an ordinance amending a section of the city’s municipal code regarding special events and temporary street closures to deal with public gatherings and speaking out events.

Both articles were approved unanimously.

Fundraising and plans for the statue of Gentry, a decorated veteran and teacher, coach and mentor to many Williamson County residents, are already underway. It is commissioned and created by Clarksville artist Scott Wise at a cost of approximately $85,000. Gentry died in April at age 96.

There was a small pushback at Tuesday’s meeting of aldermen of Large Clyde Barnhill and Ann Petersen, who asked if such a statue placed along town property would distract all those soldiers who fought in wars and never returned home.

“I don’t question the intent or the statue itself,” Barnhill said. “I’m just wondering about the location. … I think we are setting a very difficult precedent if we allow this statue of a person to be placed downtown. Personally, I think it should probably be at a private party.

However, the two aldermen joined others in voting to approve the concept for the statue.

“He’s a representation of all those people who went to war and all those who didn’t come back,” Ward 1 Alderman Beverly Burger said. “I think the plaque should say that. He sits there as a representative. It does honor. »

Also on Tuesday evening, aldermen gave the go-ahead at the first of two readings to an ordinance that will amend the section specifically related to the public gatherings and license for public expression component.

It was a few years ago when BOMA voted to require permits for public gatherings or public expression. Since then, according to City Administrator Eric Stuckey, the city has granted permits for 27 of the 28 applications.

“It’s generally worked really well,” Stuckey said in explaining the amendment. “There are a few things that have come to light through our experience over the past two years that we’ve recommended as an amendment.”

For one thing, downtown protests will not be permitted on Friday and Saturday nights “due to the nature of the evening activity on those two days,” Stuckey said. It also excludes demonstrations after dark throughout the city and requiring a permit if amplified during a rally or demonstration.

Visit the city of Franklin Facebook page to see Tuesday night’s meeting.

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