Note: Lisa Walker is seeking re-election as Ashland City Council member for Ward 1.
I believe the most important government is the one closest to you. As residents of Ashland City, we should focus on what happens in our own backyards. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past eight years, focusing on Ashland City, and that’s why I’m running for council member representing Ward 1 in the upcoming Town of Ashland City Municipal election on Dec. 7.
I chose to run for council in 2011. No one asked me to take on this endeavor. I’m not a “pop-up” candidate who develops an interest in public service only during election season. I’m involved in the city every single day.
After eight years of service on the Council, we (city staff and council working together along with the city attorney and city planner) have made some great strides:
• We worked hard to recover from the nightmare of the 2010 flood.
• We’ve increased opportunities for non-residents to contribute to our tax base through sales tax and a hotel-motel tax and the promotion of tourism. I also serve on the chamber of commerce tourism committee.
• Largely through grant money, the Ashland City Fire Department built a mobile training facility, which keeps training close to home and can be used by other Middle Tennessee departments, thus saving time and money.
• In 2015, the Ashland City Police Department received accreditation from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.
• Our park offerings have expanded with the Chris LaCrosse Farmers Market Pavilion, the Riverbluff Park connector to the Preacher Poole Walking Track, disc golf, and new playground equipment at Riverbluff; the city also maintains the ball fields (school board property) behind the Ashland City Elementary School and repaved the city tennis courts so that Cheatham County Central and Sycamore High Schools have a place to play.
• We worked closely with the director of the Joint Economic & Community Development Board to bring more businesses to our area such as Caymas Boats, which provides more job opportunities.
• We received the Tennessee Downtowns Grant, which supports our work with local businesses to improve the appearance of downtown and embark on a comprehensive revitalization effort.
• We have expanded more online services.
• We’ve funded the Senior Center as it continues to grow and offer more activities. It is a model that other cities have visited to learn how to have such a successful center.
• Last, but certainly not least, we have accomplished these things and managed our city in a fiscally responsible manner.
We are also in the midst of building a new city hall and fire station to replace the ones we have outgrown.
We have worked cooperatively with private entities, state, county and federal government, and our largest employer, A.O. Smith, to forge a solution to flooding issues with the A.O. Smith plant. A berm will be constructed as part of this solution that will also provide expanded park offerings with a manmade lake. The Town of Ashland City has completed all of its responsibilities and AO Smith needs approval only from the Army Corps of Engineers to begin the project.
We are also exploring establishment of a dog park and expanding the Bicentennial Trail.
I’ve been deeply involved with and understand these issues and projects. Now is not the time to throw out that knowledge and “change horses in the middle of the stream.” Experience does matter, and I want to continue to work for you, the citizens of Ashland City to put that experience to good use.
That’s why I am respectfully asking for your vote on Dec. 7.