Franklin leader finds job has unexpected roles



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Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness near the Main and Madison Street intersection where a large construction project is nearing completion Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, in Franklin, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal


Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness near the Main and Madison Street intersection where a large construction project is nearing completion Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, in Franklin, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal


On a spring night, Joe McGuinness drove around in the rain.

The Franklin mayor had taken office less than five months earlier and still was nervous that every drop of rain could lead to flooding and destruction, similar to the flood that ravaged the city in 2008.

McGuinness didn’t want the same to happen on his watch. Just after midnight May 8, he drove through the dark city streets looking for any damage the rain had caused.

The new mayor didn’t expect driving around in the rain to be part of his job description. He expected to attend meetings with businesses and oversee city projects; but since becoming mayor, McGuinness has added to his list of duties answering city officials’ phone calls in the middle of the night, visiting local schools when a nearby bank was robbed and stopping in the street to answer residents’ questions.

A year into the job, McGuinness said he isn’t sure there are set guidelines for what a mayor is supposed to do. But he knows what he thinks his duties and responsibilities are and his process for handling them.

“The entire city is my responsibility,” he said.

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