Keeping Franklin whole is Beckwith's goal

By Justin Boyd Record Courier staff writer Published:

Mark Beckwith is happy with the legacy he's inherited as Franklin Township's newest trustee. He does not plan to change much in the township government, he said. "Basically, we've always had good trustees and I just want to carry on what's already been established," said the 35-year-old Beckwith, who is a life resident of Franklin Township. Beckwith succeeded longtime trustee Robert Garrison, who took office when Beckwith was 3 years old. Garrison did not seek re-election after serving eight terms as a township official. Keeping Franklin Township intact is a goal for his four-year term, he said. The township is currently contesting a bid by the city of Kent to annex a new shopping strip along S.R. 59. "To prevent annexation is a goal," he said. "Beyond that, my intent is to continue the services that are already here." While his new position is the first elected office Beckwith has held, his association with the township dates to his college days, when he drove an asphalt truck for the township road crew during his summer vacation. That experience helped inspire him to think about holding elected office, he said. "You got to cover the whole area and see all the roads," he said. "You really got a sense of what's going on." Beckwith is chief probation officer at the Summit County Juvenile Court, but also is part owner of a family farm with his parents, Charles and Marilyn Beckwith. A 1980 graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent, Beckwith graduated from Kent State University in 1984 with a degree in criminal justice. He and his wife, Kathleen, are the parents of Anne, 3, and Mark, 1. They are both life residents of Franklin Township and have been married for 12 years. Beckwith joins Franklin Township Trustees Scott Stiegmeier and Keith Benjamin.

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