December 2020 Newsletter

December 22, 2020by Matt Fitterer0

Updates to Long Range Plans

Spring Hill has a number of long range planning documents in place to serve as guides for elected and appointed officials and provide direction in our decision making process. These plans cover everything from land use, transportation, utility services, parks and recreation, and facilities.
None of these plans are permanently fixed, and as such need to be revisited from time to time to ensure they still match the communities vision, accommodate unforeseen changes and are appropriate for Spring Hill moving forward. Very rarely is a plan completely scrapped and overhauled. More often changes to the plans are tweaks and minor adjustments to reflect changing priorities or needs within the City. This month, BOMA finalized updates to both the Comprehensive Plan and the Major Thoroughfare Plan.
Changes to the Comprehensive Plan (which can be seen here) were limited to the future land use map. The changes were driven by government land purchases (both the City and County) and changes to our roadway network that occurred following the last plan revision in 2015. The updated map will better communicate what future development may look like to neighboring land owners and citizens alike.
Likewise, changes to the Major Thoroughfare Plan were primarily driven by changes in land ownership & development and the need to better serve current and future residents. Given that changes to roadway planning can have a multitude of impacts, the City utilized a consultant to aid in technically analyzing the proposed changes prior to adoption.
City Administrator Resigns, What Happens Now?
Long time City Administrator Victor Lay has resigned to accept the same position in Nolensville. So what happens now?
On January 4th, BOMA will have a special called meeting to vote on two items. #1 – the appointment of an interim City Administrator, and #2 – authorizing the Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) to aid in the search and recruitment for a permanent replacement. A hire will not be made until after the April 8th, 2021 election, making our upcoming election more important (more on this later).
Potential Land Purchase Ends
Monday evening, BOMA tabled the purchase contract on 500 acres of land off Jim Warren Road, east of I-65.
I’ve previously shared and discussed the City’s need to acquire additional land in order to facilitate relocating the public works department and expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. Unfortunately, some early due diligence revealed the soils on the property were not suitable for spray or drip effluent – meaning that this property would not aid in our wastewater challenge.
The City’s needs are unchanged, so BOMA will continue work to find an alternative land tract or pursue other strategic options.
Thoughts on the 2021 Mayoral Election
Spring Hill will elect a new Mayor on April 8, 2021. I’ve mentioned many times before that I will not be a candidate, but I certainly have some strong opinions on the race.
Over the next few months we’ll have a few different candidates share why they think they are best situated to serve as Mayor for the next four years. I’ve heard numerous arguments already that suggest candidates with experience as Alderman are better suited to serve as Mayor. This is absolutely false.
Experience as an Alderman is in no way a necessary prerequisite for a successful Mayoral term.
Our Governor wasn’t a member of the General Assembly before taking office. Our President wasn’t a member of Congress before taking office. Both had real world experience and skills that were transferable to the position. Are we going to pretend that being the part time Mayor of Spring Hill is somehow more complex or difficult than being Governor or President?
What matters is that a candidate brings leadership skills, communication skills, an ability to comprehend and resolve complex challenges and a work ethic to the office. It doesn’t matter if those skills are developed as an elected Alderman or outside of government.
I’ll share additional thoughts on the Mayor and Alderman races next month, along with some key questions that you should ask anyone running for office.
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Thank you for reading!

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