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Vina mayor hangs hat after 20 years in top spot

D.W. Franklin has seen the Town of Vina through a lot during his time as mayor. Now as Franklin completes his final term, it seems strange to think in a few months his time will be over.

Franklin is currently finishing his 20th year as mayor. He said it will be difficult to step away from the mayor position, but he knows it is the right time.

“When I ran last time, I decided it was my last time,” Franklin said. “I’m 87 years old, so I figured it was finally time to step away.”

Franklin has accomplished plenty in his 20 years as mayor and said he cannot help but look back fondly over how much he has seen the town change.

“We’ve done a lot of good things in my time,” Franklin said.

Franklin said he is most proud of the addition of an industrial park, creation a park with a playground for children and improvements to the sewer system.

Town Clerk Sue Raper said she remembers when Franklin was first elected, the town started holding its annual Christmas parade and started decorating the town.

“He really likes to bring everyone in the town together with the different things that he does,” Raper said.

She said she has seen Franklin work hard over his time as mayor to bring industry into the town and see it grow. “He has done a lot in his time here.”

Raper said it will be an adjustment, seeing a different face serving as mayor after working with Franklin for so long.

“We are going to miss him here,” Raper said. “It will be different not having him here after 20 years. It is going to take some adjusting to get used to the new face.”

Franklin said a lot of his life during the past 20 years has involved helping the people of Vina, so it will take some adjusting for him, too, to get used to not being in that role.

“I really don’t know what it will be like not being mayor,” Franklin said. “At this point, I’m not sure what I will do without it.”

Franklin said when his time as mayor ends, he still plans to spend his time in Vina but will be taking a step back from his involvement.

“I figure it is time to finally enjoy retirement,” Franklin said. “My time as mayor has been great, but I think it is finally time.”