Since my last letter I’ve had the chance to meet Mr. Sullivan and get a tour of his place. Fascinating. Some of the history and memories sitting in that yard are priceless. Also since that time, Mr. Sullivan has lost his latest attempt to work with the city on a reasonable solution. The first appearance before a judge did not result in him being grandfathered in. He had case law in his favor and I am saddened by the outcome but he vows to press on. Personally, I think the entire law is flawed as it will prevent any of you from passing on your passion for historic automobiles or tractors or motorcycle or trailers or other machines to your children unless they are in perfect working order because heaven forbid anyone see a non-operable vehicle sitting in our community. Oh the shame of it all! (sarcasm intended) I don’t want our beautiful town to turn into a junkyard, no one does. And that’s not the point. The point is we have a city council acting more like the board of a home owners association than a city council. If I wanted to live in Franklin, I’d move!
The current ‘Junk Car’ definition has been on the books since 1993 from what I can determine. What changed recently was the addition of enforcement language. Through KingstonSprings.Net I’ve requested a complete copy of the entire ordinance with the new language from the city. As of this writing I have yet to receive it. This provision does state that operable and licensed antique cars are fine. I know that Mr. Sullivan has obtained tags for about two dozen of his operable vehicles. Yet this doesn’t seem to have satisfied some in city government.
Mr. Sullivan intends to fight on at his own expense. Now he needs a lawyer. I asked if there was a defense fund set up. His humble nature led him to say, “No, I can pay for this myself.” It’s going to be several thousand dollars. Mr. Sullivan has mentioned that he has been amazed at how many people have simply pulled in his driveway to talk with him and express their support. Several have tried to contribute money on the spot. Now you will have a place to send those funds. I have been in contact with Community Bank in Kingston Springs. As of this morning (Friday, 7/20) there will be an Andy Sullivan Defense Fund to which you can contribute. It will be used for one purpose only – to help defray the legitimate costs that Mr. Sullivan is incurring to battle an unreasonable personal persecution and preserve your right to pass your passion on to your own children. Mr. Sullivan has stated several times that he isn’t doing this for himself. He’s doing it for his son if he wants to rebuild historic cars. He’s doing it for your son or daughter if they want to do that as well. He’s doing it for personal property rights.
I have yet to understand how what Mr. Sullivan is doing can be considered a “public nuisance” per the ordinance. Nonetheless, the fund is set up. Please contribute. I hope we can offset at least part of the expense as he presses on. I dislike capricious and arbitrary rules which exist merely because someone has the authority to impose them. Freedom means not only doing what you want as long as it doesn’t harm others, it also means fighting for that same right for others. Please contribute to the Andy Sullivan Defense Fund. Anyone who would like to contact me to ask any questions may feel free to do so using the information listed below.