By Curtis Hayes, Mayor of Livingston, TN
I first met Karl Dean in 2015 when I had the privilege of presenting him with the Mayor of the Year award at the Tennessee Municipal League’s annual conference.
I was serving as the League’s president that year. It was near the end of Karl’s last term as Mayor of Nashville, and we were honoring him for the outstanding job he did moving the city in the right direction.
I am in my fourth term as the Mayor of Livingston. It’s the seat of Overton County and my hometown going back six generations. What I have learned over the last 10 years is that all mayors face the same issues.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re living in Nashville with a population near 700,000 residents or Livingston with less than 5,000 residents. Our problems are the same. We all have to replace water lines and stay focused on issues like public safety, parks and jobs.
Take the May 2010 flood for example. Livingston dealt with the same challenges as Nashville but just on a smaller scale. Livingston had $2 million in damage while Nashville had $2 billion, but we both had to figure out how to rebuild our communities from the damage the flood caused.
I have deep respect for Karl and the way he led the city of Nashville for eight years. The challenges he faced and the problems he solved means he can relate to every town and city across the state of Tennessee, and they can relate to him.
Karl came to Livingston recently. He spent time talking with me at City Hall, met with our Chamber of Commerce and visited our local Rotary Club. He’s making similar trips to communities all over the state.
Whether large or small, all communities need the same things. We all need good public schools and good jobs. Karl knows how to focus on both of those things. And he understands the impact state decisions have on local communities as only a mayor can.
We would all benefit from having a governor with Karl’s leadership experience. That’s why I am putting my full support behind his campaign, and I encourage you to do the same.
I know Karl can win in every part of Tennessee because he understands that the Tennessee Way is about getting the job done. Join the campaign efforts today.