Local mayors honored by the Black Caucus

WARREN – Trumbull County’s two African-American mayors were recognized by the Youngstown-Warren Black Caucus for their service to the community during a dinner last week at DiVieste’s Banquet Center.

McDonald Mayor Glenn Holmes and Warren Mayor Doug Franklin were recognized by the caucus as the first African-American mayors in their communities.

Holmes is in the final year of his second four-year term in office in a community of about 3,246 residents.

“I am planning to run for a third term,” Holmes said. “It is nice to be recognized by your peers.”

Franklin is in the final year of his first term as mayor.

He previously served six terms on Warren City Council, including as a ward councilman, councilman-at-large and city council president. He served as the city’s safety service director for two terms under former Mayor Michael O’Brien. Warren has a population of just over 40,000 residents.

Franklin, who is completing his first term, says he is leaning towards a decision to run for a second term as the city’s top elected official.

“I should have an announcement soon,” Franklin said.

The Youngstown Warren Black Caucus, an organization formed in 2007, supports issues important to the African American community and those seeking economic and political justice for all citizens. It is a chapter of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.

Holmes described learning as a young newspaper delivery boy that serving the needs of others can bring a sense of self-gratification. Growing up in Girard, Holmes and his family moved to McDonald in 1991. He was elected to the village’s council in 2004 and as mayor in 2008.

Franklin described being humbled and appreciative at the honor. He called the timing particularly meaningful because it coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

“I’m sure we are both benefactors from some of those struggles and victories,” Franklin said. “So the timing was nice to have our tributes on that anniversary.”

The dinner was held at Divieste’s and featured state Rep. Alicia Reece, president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, as keynote speaker.