Franklin appoints interim manager

FRANKLIN — City Council has chosen an interim city manager.

Sonny Lewis, Franklin’s public works director, was appointed Thursday night after an approximately two-hour executive session.

“It’s an honor for those guys to have faith in me to lead the city on,” Lewis, 58, said. “But I’ve learned over the years there’s no one guy that does everything. I’ll have plenty of help.”

A Franklin graduate, Lewis started working for the city in 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.

“He started on the street department and worked his way up,” said Mayor Denny Centers. “He just has great decision-making skills and is well known in the community and is well respected.”

Lewis has filled in for City Manager Jim Lukas — whose last day will be Feb. 19 — on a number of occasions.

“He was the only one who was really discussed tonight,” he said Thursday evening. “It was a unanimous decision.”

Centers said council members and Lewis did not talk money, but that Lewis hadn’t received additional pay when filling in for Lukas in the past.

Lewis will have a role in relaying information to residents regarding a possible income tax levy in May, Centers said.

“I don’t think some people got all the information they needed to make a good decision (in November),” he said. “And Sonny, being well known in the community, can help us do that.”

Lewis has been married to his wife, Donna, for 34 years. Their daughter, Shelley, lives in California with her husband and three children.

Centers said City Council will meet again Feb. 7 to further determine the process for selecting a permanent manager. He said they hope to make a decision within the next three months.











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