I want to focus on the role of a Williamson County commissioner which is much different that a Brentwood City commissioner. I encourage voters to contact me. Get the facts on where I stand on the current issues facing our county. Contact me via an email note at Vote4paulwebb@gmail.com.
The three top issues that seem to concern most of the residents in the sixth district are:
#1 The top issue for the residents of the 6th district, and all of Williamson County, is the school system. I am working with the Mayor, School Director and fellow commissioners to find additional funding for the schools. I served on the Task Force that developed the Education Impact Fee. This will generate funds from new residential developement to build schools. A group of residential home builders have filed a law suit to stop this new fee for the schools. Isn't it ironic that the companies that benefit from the high real estate market in Williamson County do not want to help pay for one of the main assets of Williamson County, our superb public schools? Our schools are the marketing draw to Williamson County and this allows the builders/developers to reap the rewards. I think they should embrace ways to support our growing community.
The passage of the increase in the sales tax will allow us to fund the capital projects for the schools. In three years, one-half of the new sales tax increase will go directly to the schools to fund their day to day operations.
As Williamson County grows, we must continue to insist on excellence in our public schools. Not only is our children's education vital to their success, but it also is an important economic issue to our county. Our top rated public schools help, especially in Brentwood, keep our residential property values rising. Our school system not only prepares students for the next level of education, but it also is a valuable incentive for new businesses looking to move into our area. Companies want to move to communities that value the "quality of life" and our education system is at the top of the list.
My three sons are all graduates of the Williamson County school system. My granddaughter will begin attending Edmondson Elementary School this school year. I will work to ensure that her school will be even better than the ones father and uncles attended in Brentwood.
#2 As a CPA with over 30 years experience in business and non-profit management, I have a conservative fiscal view of how the county spends the revenue received. Williamson County does a very good job of stretching the income dollars to get the most effective results. Williamson County has earned a AAA rating from multiple ratings agencies, an indication that outside financial experts see Williamson County as having an efficient and conservative spending policy. It also means that any funds borrowed will have the lowest interest rates in the market. I am very much aware that I am a trustee for the funds of every citizen in Williamson County.
#3 Traffic is an issue that we must continually work to make better. I have served on local and regional boards that deal with traffic and growth issues. I have the experience and the relationships to make sure that the voice is heard from Williamson County and from Brentwood regarding our roads and managing our traffic flow.
#4 Growth is an issue that contributes to overcrowded roads, overcrowded schools and a sense of frustration the the exisiting residents of our county. Most of us have moved into the county because of the climate, job opportunities, great schools, small town "feel" but near a large city. Our local leaders have done a great job of making this a wonderful place to live, work and play. Too much, too quickly can turn things around in a community making it not such a great place to live. As a Brentwood resident and former city commissioner, I support our one-acre density. We have growth but it is well managed growth with the strict residential zoining. Commericial developments are only allowed in certain areas of the city, mostly at the northern and southern borders. I cannot say that is the same view in our sister cities as they look at growth. As a county commissioner, I have little authority on what is built in the county per the state of Tennessee rules. I can encourage citizens in the county to get with their neighbors to consider an "up zoining". When unicorporated county residents get together they can request their area be rezoned from one acre density to a higher density of three, five or larger lot sizes. All of this has to be approved by the Planning Commission and County Commission but it is possible.
Another way to protect our rural county character is to encourage large land owners in Williamson County to place their land into a land trust. Organizations such as the Land Trust of Tennessee can provide information. Sometimes the Land Trust will purchase the land if it will be used for the public interest. They can also help land owers find the necessary tax and other information needed for them to decide if a land trust donation or sale is in their best interest. Brentwood Green Space is a local organization that can also help guide landowers wishing to protect their land from becoming the next large developement. This is a lot of information but it is just the tip of how we can protect our scenic beauty and slow the continuing residential growth in our county.
There are other issues that affect Williamson County but not all of them affect the 6th district. One that does affect us is law enforcement and the county jail. We need strong law enforcement in the entire county. We must make sure our county jail and detention facilities can hold the law breakers so they will not be let loose to commit more crime. Brentwood does not have a jail so we need to do our part to maintain an adequate jail and detention facility.