It's Time To Move On Roads.

This is a letter to the editor of the Williamson Herald. Click here for the original article.

The Williamson Business PAC has been carefully monitoring the important work being done by the 110th General Assembly the last couple of weeks.  The PAC stands with all Tennesseans as we pride ourselves on the quality of our roads, plus the fiscally conservative approach to “pay as you go” that ensures construction and maintenance are completed without incurring debt. 

However, with a current almost $10 billion back-log of road projects, coupled with unreliable funding from the federal government and a state funding source that has not been addressed for almost 30 years, the PAC believes the time is ripe for Tennessee to attack the problem and ensure the can is not kicked further down the road.

“Sustainable funding sources for roads” have become household words and we suspect much discussion has ensued around the kitchen table due to the fact that “gas tax increase” have accompanied those words. Governor Haslam’s proposed legislation, the IMPROVE Act (Improve Manufacturing, Public Roads & Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy), has taken some twists and turns, but with slight revision has continued on its way through both legislative chambers.

Some of the revisions include decreasing the gasoline and diesel tax increases while increasing the food and Hall tax decreases, reducing the corporate F&E tax and increasing property tax relief for our veterans, elderly and disabled.  A net tax decrease is the current result, versus a projected net neutral state originally proposed.

The PAC has been supportive of these fiscally conservative efforts that spread the use of our roads over the greatest possible population in order to not overburden Tennessee residents.  Before the General Assembly convened this session, we had already met with our full legislative delegation and assured each of them they would have our support as they supported the governor’s plan and navigated the law-making waters.  

Today, the PAC applauds the efforts of Sen. Jack Johnson for his affirmative vote on the Senate State & Local Government Committee and Rep. Sam Whitson for his affirmative votes on both the House Transportation Subcommittee and House Transportation Committee.  We watch with anticipation the continued supportive efforts by Majority Leader Rep. Glen Casada and Rep. Charles Sargent,  who chairs the House Finance Ways & Means Committee, as well as sits on the House Finance Ways & Means Subcommittee.

Great roads are a key component of economic viability and development.  The PAC thanks the many mayors, businesses and community members that have engaged in this issue.  As we move on to the next steps of the process, the PAC will remain vigilant, stay engaged and stand at the ready to continue to support our Williamson County elected officials as together we solve this very important issue that affects our Tennessee highways and byways and thus our lives each and every day.

Mark Cleveland, Franklin

Williamson Business PAC Names New Chairman

The Williamson Business PAC today announced the election of Cherie Hammond to serve as the organization's chairman in 2017. 

Co-Founding board member Dennis Norvet, a Franklin resident and VP of construction firm Skanska, served in 2016 as the organization’s first chairman and will continue to be involved as a board member.  “We recognize a great leader when we see one,” said Norvet.  

The Williamson Business PAC was organized to provide the business community with a voice in the electoral process, encourage economic development, promote excellence in public education and promote citizen participation. As volunteers, its members dedicate considerable time to meet with local elected officials, vet candidates, and stay well informed of the issues affecting Williamson County. The Williamson Business PAC has been active in recent school board elections, engaged in problem solving with every Williamson County state representative, and met with a vast majority of county leadership from mayors, commissioners and judges to other involved leaders.

 “We’re on a listening campaign," Hammond said, “always looking for common ground, shared interests and practical solutions."  

"We’re pleased about the positive reception and high level of engagement we have enjoyed with so many elected officials,” said Mark Cleveland, Board Secretary.  “The business community truly values each opportunity to dialog and share perspectives."

Cherie Hammond has been a leader in almost every facet of the Williamson County community for almost 20 years.  A CPA by trade, she owns Cherie Hammond Consulting. She is a former member of the Williamson County School Board, a member of the Brentwood Morning Rotary Club and currently serves on both the Williamson Inc. and Maryland Farms YMCA Boards.  

About Williamson Business PAC

The Williamson Business PAC was formed in 2016 to support the county’s public education system and promote pro-business public policy. To make a financial contribution or to learn more about the Williamson Business PAC visit www.WilliamsonPAC.org #WilcoBizPAC

 

WILLIAMSON BUSINESS PAC CONGRATULATES NEW ELECTED OFFICIALS

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Williamson Business PAC congratulates the winners of last night’s local elections. All of the seven candidates endorsed by the PAC were successful in their races, five of which will become members of the Williamson County School Board, a race of top priority to the newly formed county PAC.

“While we are certainly excited for our victorious candidates, the real winners last night were our students” said Dennis Norvet, Chairman of the Williamson Business PAC board. “A big thanks is due to our donors and the voters of Williamson County who have helped keep our schools moving in the right direction. We look forward to working with the new and returning members of the board.”

The Williamson Business PAC endorsed the following five School Board candidates:

District 4: Anne McGraw
District 5: Gary Anderson
District:7: Robert Hullett
District 9: Rick Wimberly
District 11: K.C. Haugh

Additionally, PAC endorsed candidates Sam Whitson and Charles Sargent won their respective State Representative campaigns by significant margins.

The Williamson Business PAC was formed in 2016 to support the county’s public education and promote pro-business public policy. For more information about the Williamson Business PAC, visit www.WilliamsonPAC.org.

ABOUT WILLIAMSON BUSINESS PAC

The Williamson Business PAC was organized in 2016 to provide the Williamson County business community with a voice in the electoral process, encourage economic development, promote excellence in public education and promote good citizenship at the state and local level through personal and financial participation in the election process. More information about the Williamson Business PAC can be found online by visiting www.WilliamsonPAC.org.

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Williamson Business PAC adds two community and business leaders to board

“I’m so excited to announce that Michael and Cherie have joined the Williamson Business PAC,” said Dennis Norvet, chairman of the Williamson Business PAC Board. “We are committed to keeping Williamson County the state’s best place to live, work and raise a family, and they have the business and political experience to help us achieve that goal.”    

Carter, managing partner of the Tennessee-based construction firm Pinnacle Construction Partners, grew up in Detroit in poverty. Through parents, teachers and mentors, he attended and graduated from the University of Detroit. He holds an A.B. and M.B.A. degree from the University of Detroit. Carter is the co-founder of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit, as well as past chair of the Nashville Public Education Foundation and United Way of Middle Tennessee. He and his wife live in Williamson County.

“I grew up in inner-city Detroit, and I can personally attest the difference a quality public education can mean in a student’s life,” said Carter. “Williamson County students are blessed to have such good teachers and good schools. It’s imperative that we protect that asset in our community.”

Hammond has been a leader in almost every facet of the Williamson County community for almost 20 years. Her experience spans from corporate to nonprofit to governmental. A CPA by trade, she owns Cherie Hammond Consulting. She is a former member of the Williamson County School Board.

“When asked to serve on the Williamson Business PAC board, I agreed because it indeed matters who governs,” said Hammond. “As a parent of three Williamson County School graduates, I know personally what these schools mean to our families. I’m thrilled to be able to build on my nonprofit and political experience with the Williamson Business PAC.”

The original article can be found by clicking here.

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WILLIAMSON BUSINESS PAC ENDORSES SAM WHITSON FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE

NASHVILLE , Tenn. – The Williamson Business PAC today announced its endorsement to Sam Whitson of Franklin to Tennessee’s 65th House District.

“Sam Whitson has spent his life serving his nation as an accomplished military officerand we are thrilled to endorse him for State Representative” said Dennis Norvet, PAC Chairman. “His experience, intelligence and character will be a great addition to the Tennessee House of Representatives and prepare him to be a good advocate for our community”

Whitson, who spent more than 26 years in the US Army, retired in 2002 as a Colonel.  His war time service, includes Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  He was awarded the Legion of Merit and a Bronze Star for his service.  After leaving the Military he went into private sector, where managed ROTC programs across the nation.  He employed more than 400 and oversaw more than 150 ROTC programs.

“Sam has spent his entire life in public service and we believe that he will be a great addition to the Williamson County legislative delegation” said Norvet. 

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WILLIAMSON BUSINESS PAC ENDORSES REP. CHARLES SARGENT

NASHVILLE , Tenn. – The Williamson Business PAC today announced its endorsement to re-elect Rep. Charles Sargent (R) of Franklin to Tennessee’s 61st House District.

“Sargent has been a Williamson Co. citizen for more than three decades, which translates to a passion for representing our community,” said Dennis Norvet, PAC Chairman. “His creative way to recover $2.9 million in additional funding for our school system shows his commitment to investing in Williamson County’s future – a type of leadership that will show dividends for years to come.”

In addition to his representation of the 61st District, Sargent held key positions in leadership such as chair of the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee, vice-chair of the Joint Pensions and Insurance Committee and member of the House Insurance and Banking, Calendar and Rules, and Joint Fiscal Review committees. His position as Finance chair gave Williamson Co. a powerful representation as education funding appropriations were made during the 2016 state budget surplus.

Sargent’s fiscal conservative leadership also led to the monumental cut of the Hall Tax. The repeal process of this tax totals $544,000 in the first-year alone for Williamson Co. residents. When fully repealed the county’s residents will get a total of $3.2 million a year in tax cuts, a $1,295 annual savings for the average Williamson Co. taxpayer.

“Our organization was formed to give the business community of Williamson Co. a strong voice and direction for the future,” said Norvet. “Having Rep. Sargent re-elected would certainly be a big win for our County, and we are proud to have a candidate like Sargent that we put our full support behind.”

About Williamson Business PAC
The Williamson Business PAC was formed in 2016 to support the county’s public education and promote pro-business public policy. More information about the Williamson Business PAC can be found online by visiting www.WilliamsonPAC.org,

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Williamson Business PAC to reduce ties with Williamson Inc.

Click here for the complete article on the Tennesseean by Melanie Balakit

The Williamson Business political action committee will change its relationship with the county’s economic chamber following criticism from public officials.

The changes will significantly separate the PAC’s ties with Williamson Inc.

Although not formally affiliated with Williamson Inc., the PAC’s membership and governance are closely linked to the Chamber.

In recent weeks, some county commissioners have criticized the PAC’s ties with the Chamber.

The concerns included a shared mailing address between the PAC and the Chamber, Chamber CEO Matt Largen’s involvement in PAC activities and the Chamber executive committee’s ability to choose the PAC’s board of directors.

County Commissioner Todd Kaestner proposed withholding county funding from Williamson Inc. unless the Chamber dissolved its PAC. He pulled his resolution from Monday’s county commission meeting after receiving a memo from Williamson Business PAC Chair Dennis Norvet and Largen outlining several changes.

“This really meets the spirit of what the resolution was,” Kaestner said in an interview.

The PAC will make the following changes:

  • Change mailing address and phone number.
  • Williamson Inc. CEO will not be involved in fundraising for the PAC.
  • The PAC board will vote to change by-laws to eliminate the board of director of Williamson Inc.’s ability to appoint PAC board members on March 18.
  • The PAC and Williamson Inc. will not have accounting services from the same firm by May 15.
  • Williamson Inc. will not be involved in day-to-day operations of the PAC, including website maintenance, press releases and PAC filings by May 15.

The PAC formed earlier this year and has already started fundraising for the school board election in August. Corporations and individuals will fund the PAC, not county funding.

Largen and Norvet could not be reached for comment.

Check the Tennessean.com for updates.

Reach Melanie Balakit at 615-926-1638 and on Twitter @MelanieBalakit.

Current PAC board members

Members of the PAC's board of directors are chairman Dennis Norvet of Skanska, treasurer Bryan Echols of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, secretary Mark Cleveland of Hobby Express, Paula Harris of Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon Inc. and Nelson Andrews of Andrews Cadillac/Jaguar/Land Rover Company.

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Williamson Business PAC Announces Endorsements For Williamson County School Board

Today the Williamson Business PAC announces its endorsements for the Williamson County School Board. These endorsements are the product of lengthy interview and an assessment process of all candidates in every district, and the selections represent the candidates that have the background, temperament and experience that the PAC believes will make great members of the Williamson County School Board.

“Quality public education is key to our community’s overall success, including continued economic development and students that are benefiting from a robust education system,” said Dennis Norvet, PAC Chairman. “This election is critical to making sure we have a School Board that focuses on our students to ensure they are receiving the highest quality of education, and after interviewing and assessing each of the candidates we are proud to make these endorsements.”

The Williamson Business PAC endorses the following candidates for Williamson County School Board:

District 4:              Anne McGraw

District 5:              Gary Anderson

District:7:             Robert Hullett

District 9:              Rick Wimberley

District 11:           K.C. Haugh

District 1:              This race has two strong candidates (Richard Davis and Angela Durham) and after looking at both candidates, we were unable to make an endorsement.  Each candidate has demonstrated different skill sets and qualities that could make them a quality school board member. The PAC declines to make an endorsement for this race.

District 3:              After assessing each of the three candidates (Christy Coleman, Kimberly Little, & Eliot Mitchell), the PAC believe that while they have unique and different backgrounds, they each possess the temperament and skill set to be a good member of the board. District 3 has three good candidates for our citizens to choose from, and the PAC declines to make an endorsement for this race.

 

“We owe our kids a high quality public education, and our businesses need a strong workforce,” said Norvet. “Our organization was formed to give the business community a strong voice in ensure we continue moving in the right direction.”

The Williamson Business PAC board underwent an open and transparent assessment process. Every candidate was invited to complete a questionnaire and interview with the board and were then assessed on the candidate’s background, experience, and temperament to serve. The endorsements that came about from the assessment process represent the PAC’s opinions of the candidates that are prepared and capable to help lead the School Board.

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