Town of Franklin welcomes new leadership

Mayor Jack Horton, with the help of his wife, Lydia, is sworn in by outgoing mayor Bob Scott.

Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer

Monday night, Mayor Bob Scott performed his last duty with the Town of Franklin by swearing in the three recently elected members of the Town Council before swearing in Franklin’s next mayor, Jack Horton. 

Re-elected town council member David Culpepper is joined by his wife, Charlotte, and his children, Ledger and Daisy as he is sworn in for his second term.

Mayor Scott gaveled in December’s meeting for the last time just after the clock struck 6 p.m., calling the meeting to order. As the meeting’s first order of business and Mayor Scott’s last, he called council members David Culpepper, Rita Salain and Stacy Guffey up one by one, along with their respective families, and swore them into office. 

Monday night was not just the end of Mayor Scott’s tenure on the board, but as Scott put it “the end of Franklin’s longest running dynasty.” Prior to the eight years Scott served as mayor and the 10 years he served on the Franklin Board of Aldermen, his wife Nancy served for 11 years as well. 

Culpepper was re-elected to the board in November and will be seeing another term. A native of Franklin, he graduated from Franklin High School in 1996 and from Western Carolina University in 2001 with a BS in Communication/Public Relations. Culpepper and his wife, Charlotte, have two children, Ledger, 12, and Daisy, 9.

Culpepper has owned and operated Architectural Salvage since 2001, which has allowed him to travel the world looking for unusual materials to bring back for distribution to dealers and designers. Culpepper, who is the only incumbent in the Franklin Town Council race, has served on the board since first being elected in 2017.

Mayor Bob Scott swears in Town Council member Rita Salain, who is joined by her sister and her husband.

Newcomer Salain is a Franklin native who grew up within the town limits. After graduating from Franklin High, Salain attended Appalachian State University and graduated from the University of South Carolina. She lived in both South Carolina and in Decatur, Ga. She retired in 2018 and moved home to Franklin in March 2020. 

Stacey Guffey was joined by his family as he was sworn in as a town council member by Mayor Bob Scott. Pictured from left are Jerry Guffey, Jackie Guffey, (front) Suleica Watts, Eliza Wadewitz, (second row) Dorothy Bautista, Nigella Mangila, Shelby Guffey, (back) Samuel Smith, Eva Smith, Carter Guffey, Nevaeh Guffey, James Guffey, Stacy Guffey, and (holding the Bible) Kathie Parris.

Newcomer Stacy Guffey is a Macon County native who’s grown into leadership in business and public life in the region his family has called home for generations. A graduate of Franklin High and Western Carolina University, Guffey served as Macon County’s planner from 2004 to 2009. He helped establish and run the Cowee School Arts and Heritage Center, where he serves as the part-time director, and founded a consultancy practice to help with economic development and planning projects throughout Western North Carolina. In 2018, to further his training in government policymaking, Guffey earned a Masters in Public Administration degree from the University of North Carolina while taking on a new role in downtown Franklin’s preservation efforts with the purchase and rehabilitation of the 1897 building that contains the Scottish Tartans Museum.