Sunday, November 5, 2017

Franklin Candidate for Town Council: Andrew (Andy) Bissanti

Andy Bissanti (AB) and I conducted this exchange via email as our calendars could not align and there are only so many hours in the day.

FM: Tell me a bit about yourself, your family, and your life here in Franklin? What is your Franklin story?

(AB): My grandfather came from Italy to Franklin in the early 1900’s. The community welcomed him and helped him get established. He opened a barbershop, which still operates to this day as Elite Barber shop, raised, a large family of 9 Boys 4 girls, The family prospered, the kids all worked hard, brought home their weekly pay for the household and pulled together and even helped other families. My grandparents provided for their family well even through the toughest times. Growing up as a child it was great going over my grandparent’s house on Dean Ave on Sundays for dinner. Seeing all my cousins and family... I think of those days everytime I drive by the property. I now have 3 daughters and we still try to continue the tradition of Sunday gatherings of friends and family at my home.

When I first graduated From University of Denver in 1981..I spent some time in publishing, Wrote and edited for Radio and TV and for a couple of News Stations, I also Wrote for new young paper now known as the Gazette and was an editor and contributing editor for local business and automotive trade journals. The pay wasn’t great, but I learned a lot about business and people. 

Since a lot of family had military background, I was also getting ready to enter the Air Force Under their Officer Candidacy Program, However,my Dad's business really took off as the recessionary times lifted and Bank interest rates came down from 19-20 percent. I made some good investments, I was barely 24 years old but saw what I was good at and stayed with the family business to this day.

FM: What do you see as your role’s biggest challenge and do you have any suggestions on how we can resolve it?

(AB): We need to address outdated, Zoning vs. Smart growth, vs., the schools vs., the towns infrastructure. In college I studied methods of development that we could be implementing Using Smart Growth Engineering that will better control growth and ease impacts on schools. I remember my professors discussing the “Aging Baby Boomers” of the post WWII and Korea of the 40’s and 50’s We knew their impact would be felt as they sought housing and places to raise their families. 

Now they are emptynesters, and we also have the millennials who have their own set of nontraditional housing and career and living choices. We will need to address these two huge emerging markets as well as strengthen our Industrial and commercial sectors as Franklin goes forward into the 21st century.

The Opiod Crisis continues to take lives in and around Franklin and causes collateral damage to the families, mine included. When your child is an addict you hope and pray it will end or go away. But that doesn’t happen. You seek help from Doctors and counselors... Like any cancer, it’s a disease, it often gets worse and it can kill. People are dying, in the streets, in restaurants public restrooms, and in their cars and trucks. 

In order to stop the disease from spreading you need to find and stop the source and cause of it. I was glad to see our state lawmakers discussing and passing a Bill on October 27, which could make a drug deal that resulting in a death punishable as a homicide, Manslaughter, voluntary or involuntary Manslaughter charge. 

Right now when a death results from a drug distribution, the dealers brag about it and use it for marketing their products. I will continue to support the SAFE Coalition, and Franklin Fire Rescue and Franklin Public Safety in any efforts the council can assist battling this War quietly taking place in our town. I have already discussed a more widespread Narcan program in Franklin. It’s not the answer but it will save lives in the short term.

FM: What experience or background will help you to serve in this role? What do you bring to the table that helps to set you apart from the others?

(AB):  Again, I’m no stranger to zoning, planning and development. Before I sat on the council, I saw most of them depending solely on what the administration dictated. I ran the gauntlet of the various departments many times and I think I have helped resolve and streamline what was once an archaic and draconian permitting and planning process, fix many outdated zoning issues and correct some zoning and use inconsistencies throughout the town.

I do my homework; I don’t cave in to a vocal crowd. I do what I think is best for Franklin. The Economic Development Committee, which I chair, has brought in many businesses and business opportunities to our town. Most notably Cold Chain technologies, over 200 more jobs to Franklin.

FM: The Franklin Cultural Council submitted this question for Town Council candidates:
"As you know, Franklin has applied to the state for an official Cultural District designation in town. What do you feel is the role of arts and culture in Franklin and what is your plan to advance that agenda?"
(AB):  I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Cultural Council. As I have said that at council on many occasions. It will be my hope to find them a real Brick and glass home, a building in a central location. In an Age obsessed with Technology, the Arts and Culture are now more important than ever. They benefit a town and remind us of a “Human Talent” and factor in the success of any dynamic town like Franklin, The downtown Landscape continues to evolve. Opportunities will arise and I feel with my support from council it can and will happen.

You can follow up directly with Andy via email at

Noteworthy: This information is intended to help the Franklin voters when we all head to the ballot box on November 7. The interview candidates have had an opportunity to review the text before publishing to ensure the accuracy of our discussion. 

Offer to Candidates 2017 

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