Franklin city manager to retire after 47 years with the city

Sonny Lewis, at his desk in the city building, has announced he will be retiring as city manager. FILE PHOTOr.

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Sonny Lewis, at his desk in the city building, has announced he will be retiring as city manager. FILE PHOTOr.

After 47 years serving the city of Franklin, City Manager Sonny Lewis will retire at the end of the year.

Lewis, 68, said the coronavirus pandemic was a key reason for his decision to retire so he could spend more time with his family and visiting his grandchildren in San Diego, Calif. He said the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic prevented him from travelling to California twice this year.

Born and bred in Morgan County, Ky., Lewis’s family moved to Franklin in 1967. Lewis graduated from Franklin High School in 1970.

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After graduation, Lewis said he went to college for a couple of years but never graduated. He worked for Franklin Twp. for about a year, Lewis joined the city of Franklin as a public works employee in April 1973.

Each day he would pick up trash and deposit it into the Franklin landfill as part of an entry-level position in the street department.

Two years later he was promoted water/sewer superintendent in 1975. He was promoted as the city’s first public works director in 1985. He was named interim city manager in 2011 and later became the permanent city manager. He continued in the dual role of city manager and public works director for another three years.

Lewis notified council of his intention to retire a few weeks ago and the city posted the position this week. Franklin City Council is accepting applications until Oct. 31. The salary range for the position is $105,000 to $120,000 a year.

“When I took over (as city manager), I said I would do it for a few years,” he said. “It’s a tough job at times, but there are a lot of rewards to it.”

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