MICHIGAN CITY – Franklin O. Anderson has lived in the city’s Sixth Ward all his life.
After filing candidacy paperwork in July to run as an independent for the Sixth Ward seat on the Michigan City Common Council, he reflected on how the neighborhood looked when he was a child and how it looks today, as well as some improvements he’d like to see implemented in the future.
“It was a great neighborhood,” Anderson said. “It’s still a great neighborhood. I’d like to see them clean it up, work with the people and make it look like a neighborhood again.”
Clean-up efforts and other simple enhancements are on Anderson’s list of hopes for his ward, as well as the re-establishment of the Lakeland Reunion.
“I’d like to see the streets, the gutters, the drains cleaned up and down Karwick [Road] to make it look a lot better,” he said. “And to work with Oak Hill playground and others in the area to make them look better. We’ve got a beautiful park out here, and there are some woods I’d like to address. And I’d like to see Trail Creek cleaned out.”
On a citywide level, Anderson said he hopes to see the city bring back the summer jobs it used to provide for local teens, possibly with the Parks or Street departments.
Regionally, he hopes to see the South Shore Line create a triangle route that runs through Valparaiso and Merrillville to help Michigan City residents access more jobs throughout Northwest Indiana.
“I’m not a real political man,” Anderson said. “I just want to help the Sixth Ward. We can be neglected now and then. There are things I don’t know about, but I’m here to learn and give my best opinion.”
In the November election, Anderson will be up against Republican candidate Dan Granquist and incumbent Councilman Gene Simmons, who was appointed to his position via Democratic caucus after the resignation of Chris Schwanke in 2017.
“Gene’s a good person,” Anderson said. “He came by and we talked about things that can be done. If he gets it, I’m still on his side. I’m not trying to take anything from anybody. I’m just taking a shot at something I would like to do, and I think I would do a good job of it.”
After working more than 30 years for Weil-McLain, Anderson retired six years ago. Since then, he’s spent his time fishing and hunting, raising chickens and rabbits, tending his two gardens, and helping to care for his 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“I’m not a politician, but I’m willing to get out and work with my constituents and be their voice,” Anderson said.