The city of Franklin has grown tremendously over the past decade, exploding from a population of 62,487 in 2010 to 83,454 in 2020 — and with it, so too have the issues associated with growth.
Bhavani Muvvala, a candidate at large for the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen, says he wants to ensure the city is equipped for the growth over the next decade.
Muvvala moved to Tennessee from Cupertino, Calif., 12 years ago, originally coming to California from India in 2000. Muvvala has been married for 29 years and has two sons.
Muvvala has a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering and a master’s in commerce and economics, which he received in India, and is also a member of the Franklin Rotary Club and a volunteer for 4-H Youth Development program.
He a general manager for MMR Senior Alliance Corporation, a company that offers services for clients with dementia, Alzheimer’s, seniors and people who have disabilities.
“I want to be a part of the growth and progress that’s happening in Franklin”
When asked what his primary motivation was in running for office, Muvvala said it was wanting to help manage the city’s growth over the next few years.
“I think the city and administration are doing an excellent job — there are no complaints,” Muvvala said. “Seeing the future in the next 10 years or five years, [however], the population is going to develop. So we need to have the infrastructure, the schools, the roads, the parks, the pavements, the sidewalks and we need to maintain the greenery.”
More specifically, Muvvala said implementing more sidewalks, bike trails and other forms of connectivity would be a primary focus of his if elected, and that one avenue of funding he would explore would be to petition for more state funding.
The Williamson Home Page sat down with Mavalla inside the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Cool Springs — Muvvalla noted that though the meeting place was in central Franklin, there were a lack of sidewalks in the surrounding area.
“Even though we are in the middle of the city, you don't have any sidewalks on Moores Lane or Malory Lane,” Muvvala said. “I was talking to the mayor the other day, they are expanding Franklin Road and from Moores Lane to Franklin downtown — we can put the sidewalks [there, it] will be an excellent thing, just like on the Mack Hatcher.”
Muvvala said another major priority of his would be instituting more affordable housing within the city.
As of August 2021, the average home price in Franklin is $664,326 per the Zillow Home Value Index, a 28 percent increase over the same time last year. City leaders have discussed pursuing affordable housing projects for years such as on “The Hill” property located in downtown Franklin on 5th Avenue. Those discussions, however, have yet to yield any results.
Muvalla said moving projects like The Hill property forward would be a major priority of his.
“We need more affordable housing, otherwise the small industries are going to suffer,” Muvvalla said. “If we don’t have people in the service industry, if they need to come from other cities, it costs more for transportation and deteriorates their living conditions.”
When asked what his pitch was to voters, specifically what he felt separated himself from other candidates, Muvvala said it was his desire to help the city thrive and his commonality with the every man and woman.
“I am a simple family man; I'm not a realtor, I'm not a pastor, I’m just trying to work with the common people. So I think that I can be a good leader if elected, I can do a better job because I have lived and worked in different parts of the world, in different continents. And I can understand the bulk of the people.”
Muvvala will be running against Alan Simms, Gabrielle Hanson and John Haynes for the alderman at-large position.
The upcoming Franklin election will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Franklin residents will need to be registered to vote by Sept. 27 to participate in the election. To check if you registered already click here, or to register to vote online, click here.
This is the first of several profiles on Franklin alderman candidates.