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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