As of May 29th, I am officially a candidate for Clarksville City Mayor. I made this decision for no other reason than to serve the community my wife and I call home. We have considerable family history in Clarksville, a grandfather that graduated from Clarksville High in 1923 and two daughters who also attended Clarksville High 80 years later. We had a great-grandmother who ran a boarding house in what had been the first Mayor of Clarksville’s home on what is now Strawberry Alley. Family roots go all the way back to the founding of Clarksville-Montgomery County at Renfro Station.
I have been continually involved in community activities since retiring to Clarksville in 1994 from the Air Force. This involvement has caused me to develop concerns on how the community is growing, but not addressing issues and challenges it faces. Addressing those concerns is what led me to become a city councilman for eight years and now leads me to run for Mayor in 2018.
During the past four years the continued lack of a coherent vision for our city, poor budgetary decisions aimed at just getting by for another 12-months, multiple property tax increase efforts, spending money on projects with no plans to completing them, failure to address infrastructure needs, and expanded strife and fights that now go beyond the city council itself and extend to interactions with county government have enabled citizens to realize a change is needed in city leadership. Many people have encouraged me to run for mayor. As I did with my military and city council service, I will answer the call to serve.
Therefore, I ask for your support and vote this November to become your next city mayor. Look at the vision and proposals I’ll present for your review in the weeks and months ahead.
Together, I know WE can make a better Clarksville.
LEADERSHIP is the central issue of this election. A recent media “Editorial Opinion” piece inferred that the current city leadership operates more as a “monarchy”, with little to no time spent on communications and consensus building, but expecting the council to “rubber-stamp” her proposals. This type of interaction with duly elected council members, who represent constituents too, has caused serious riffs almost from the start of this administration’s time in office.
The media and supporters of Mrs. McMillan often spin this raucous interaction as personal politics of a few, always looking to stop progress. They ignore council members being continually expected to support her actions but rarely given the information on a plan including timetables to complete, costs involved and funding sources. The council is upset that this mode of leadership is what has put the city into a financial bind and led to Mrs. McMillan’s fix……property tax increases….. twice in four years.
It is overlooked that, when the council proposes something positive, Mrs. McMillan fights against it. This fighting has even expanded to interactions with the County Mayor and Commission when they have approached the city to work on mutual projects. The council has used its power to intercede and work with the county, thus placing Mrs. McMillan in the position of a figurehead only.
It is also overlooked that at least 21 different citizens have or are serving as elected council members since Mrs. McMillan’s tenure started. The infighting has only grown worse and even the working atmosphere and turnover in her office staff has been noted. The poor interactions and turmoil that have occurred within city government with 21 different council members, a County Mayor and County Commission have only one common denominator……….Mrs. McMillan. It is time for a leadership change!
I have years of educational study and practical use of leadership skills that have resulted in unit and personal awards during my military career. My military and civilian consulting work consisted of identifying and correcting the leadership, management and operations issues that hampered organizations from being efficient and effective. My leadership work within the Clarksville community and at the state legislature has resulted in additional personal recognition and organization awards. My work as a city councilman resulted in problems solved for constituents, city department heads and community businesses. My council work efforts were recognized in a re-election with over 81% of the vote.
I have trained most of my adult life to be a leader and make the team I work with better. These are the ingredients our city needs for its future. Together we can make a better Clarksville.