Candidate Statement from Christina Ganzer-Zambri, Candidate for Council-at-Large
One Franklin, One Family
Having been born and raised in Franklin, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the Township and its residents. I understood that things change as years go by and there is no stopping this process. The problem, I realized, was that any town can hit a huge speed bump when it doesn’t properly adapt to these changes. That can happen for several reasons, but the main one is usually failure on the part of leadership to recognize and plan for future changes. This rings especially true when you have the same group of people with similar ideals in the same leadership roles over a long period of time. (If you’ve never heard of groupthink, you should look it up.) Groups like the above described can also become complacent and forget the real reasons they are in their current roles. Of course, there will always be the “That’s just not how we do things.” mindset. This problem is perpetuated by residents who, for one reason or another, are not informed about local politics or don’t properly attribute the cause of problems to the proper source. This creates a never-ending cycle of stagnation and “business as usual,” with no one any better off at the end of the day.
As I walked neighborhoods and knocked on doors with my campaign team, the number of people who didn’t know the names of the people they voted into office saddened me. These same people also voiced a number of similar concerns and frustrations about the current state of Franklin. Some attempted to remedy situations and others chose to do nothing, mostly because they felt it wouldn’t do any good to complain. I complained once and given the response I, and others with the same complaint, received, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and try to change things from within. Of course, not everyone with a grievance is going to run for office, but you can make a positive impact by keeping yourselves informed of what is going on in our Township. We all reside here, and we all have a vested interest in how well the town is managed and run.
This brings me to my final point in this letter. As mentioned above, I was surprised by the number of residents who couldn’t name the current mayor or their current Councilperson. Everyone did know democrat versus republican. What does that say about us as voters? Local politics has a much more average daily impact on our lives than anything going on in Washington, D.C., yet we’re all so caught up in parties and us versus them. Franklin is certainly not D.C.; every Republican is not Donald Trump and every Democrat is not Hillary Clinton. We know their names and their platforms, but we don’t know those of our own local government? (I admit that up until a few years ago, I was basically one of those people.) Perhaps it is finally time for us to stop the cycle of stagnation and negativity, stop thinking of the party first, and start making a difference by looking at the individual people we’re electing. Perhaps, then, we can be the positive example in our local corner of the world.