Franklin’s Margaret Martin receives Bob Kirk Local Government Leadership Award

Franklin alderwoman Margaret Martin was awarded the third annual Bob Kirk Local Government Leadership Award by the Tennessee Municipal League at their 81st Annual Conference in Chattanooga.

The Bob Kirk Local Government Leadership Award is presented to the council member, alderman, or commissioner who is at least in their second term of service to their municipality and has shown themselves to be an outstanding public servant to both their municipality and their community. The award is named for Dyersburg City Alderman and TML Past President Bob Kirk who served his city for nearly 51 years as an elected official with great esteem and continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to better his community.

A native of Franklin, Martin first served on the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen as an alderwoman from 1982 until 1986. She ran again in 2009 and was elected to represent the city’s Ward 4. A portion of her term, she served as the city’s vice mayor. Martin was also a member of the Franklin Planning Commission for eight years, including two years as chair of the commission.

Never shying away from difficult decisions, Martin has gained a reputation as a mediator on the board and is always trying to find workable solutions that benefit all sides of any situation.

Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore said Martin’s impact on Franklin has been “immeasurable.”

“Her contagious smile and attitude make her memorable to all she meets,” Moore said. “There are many projects in Franklin that were vetted and improved over a glass of sweet tea served in her parlor. Developers may not have left with the answer they wanted, but they were always clear that Alderman Martin had the best interest of the citizens at heart. Margaret will leave some big shoes to fill in the many roles she has filled through the years. Her legend will continue with stories of her candid comments and her love for the city.”

Franklin City Administrator Eric Stuckey said Martin is known for her willingness to drop everything to help others in her community, whether they be a concerned citizen or a city employee.

“Margaret’s life consistently focuses on the question: ‘How can I make the lives of others better?’” Stuckey said. “Alderman Martin will drop everything to speak to a citizen or go visit a site to better understand a problem. She’s also been known to provide a sanitation worker or a police officer a cool lemonade on a hot day.”

Outside of her role on the board, Martin was an elementary school teacher at Franklin’s Johnson Elementary School for more than 30 years. She has served in numerous other leadership roles including as a board member of the Franklin Special School District, the First United Methodist Church and the Downtown Neighborhood Association, as well as through her volunteer work with numerous community organizations, such as Franklin Tomorrow.

Martin is also a dedicated member of the Tennessee Municipal League, a frequent site at conferences and meetings. She works to encourage others to participate in League events and has become well-known by fellow members and legislators who she works with.

As she retires from her position on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Martin will certainly continue in her dedication to the city of Franklin as well as the most important role she has held in her life: as a mother of two and grandmother of five.