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Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan discusses the Issues; looks at Clarksville’s bright Future

 

Election 2014Clarksville, TN – Tomorrow, Tuesday October 3rd, is Tennessee’s General Election. Ballots will be cast on a range of offices and issues. Clarksville will also be electing the Mayor for the next four years. The candidates are Mayor Kim McMillan, City Councilman Bill Summers, and City Councilman Jeff Burkart.

Current Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan was sworn into office in January of 2011. When she was elected, her first goal was to reestablish the trust and integrity in the Mayor’s office. She came into office with two decades of experience representing the citizens of Clarksville-Montgomery County.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan

She spent time in the legislature, having having been first being elected in 1994, then in the Governor’s office, then at Austin Peay before being elected as Clarksville’s Mayor.

“So I knew coming in, I had two decades of experience representing the people of this community. So I felt like I had a good finger on the pulse of what I thought the people of Clarksville deserved and expected,” stated Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan.

“For example, one of the first things we did was to open up the budget process. To provide an open process where we had on television, the Department heads actually taking about their budget priorities and what they would like to see in the budget and available to answer the questions about their individual departments,” said Mayor McMillan.

“I worked hard to make sure we have live streaming of every council meeting so that everybody that can’t actually get to the council chambers but wants to see the government process has the ability to do it,” stated Mayor McMillan. “We have a Clarksville TV channel now that actually broadcasts the council meetings live and records them for later viewing. Their on the internet on the City of Clarksville website now so people have access to them.”

“It’s my believe that it’s the people’s business not just necessarily the twelve council members and myself. The people deserve to be able to have an open process that they can participate in,” Mayor McMillan commented.

Education

While the City of Clarkville does not have a say in running of the Clarksville Montgomery School System (our elected School Board and appointed school Superintendent oversees the schools), it does contribute money and additional funds above what the Tennessee Code Annotated requires.

“Education is something that I think is the under pending of everything we do,” said Mayor McMillan. “I think our role as a City Government and my role as the Mayor is to be a cheerleader for having the best school system that we can have and to answer questions to the extent that I can. To work with the Education Foundation, which I served on the board of and a contributor to, to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support moving forward with our school system.”

Transportation Improvements

Traffic congestion effects everybody City and County wide because no one likes to have to sit in traffic.

“I think as the Mayor and as the City Council we have a obligation to do everything within our power to help eliminate certain issues. But I know after my two decades of experience at the state level and otherwise, that the way to get that accomplished is to partner and work with other agencies.”

“I am very proud of the fact that because of the relationships that I have with TDOT officials and even federal officials, we have been extremely successful in the last four years that I have been mayor in achieving a great number of partnerships that allow us to move forward with improving the current roads we have and start the process of building new roads in this partnership that we have. We are going to continue to do that. I hope when I’m reelected that I can continue to move forward with that partnership.”

“We have achieved a great many very positive things what are going to make in the long run a real difference in our situation. What we have been able to do at Madison and 76. To be able to improve not only that intersections, but the roadway on either side of 41A and Madison street. That we’re going to see widening, we’re going to see additional turn lanes, we’re going to see a new intersection, we’re going to see access roads and the best thing that I believe for the citizens of Clarksville is that TDOT has actually come in and said they are going to pay the whole thing. That’s a 5 million dollar project that they are willing to take on the entire cost of.”

“That’s why I think leadership is important and the leadership and got to be more that saying I am going to improve a roadway. It’s got to be about finding out and figure out how you can actually make it happen at the lowest cost to the taxpayers in Clarksville-Montgomery county. I am very very proud of what I have been able to do in that regard.”

Mass Transit

“I believe that mass transit is the future. Our entire Middle Tennessee region is growing faster than any other region not only in the state, and not only in the southeast, but in the entire country. So as a region, we have to partner together to look at ways to solve our transportation and transit issues.”

“So I am very proud of the fact that when I became mayor I figured out how we could join the regional transportation authority which is a regional organization that helps with transit. I am now the president of that organization. By being the president, I am able to really get issues to the forefront that effect not just Clarksville, but our entire region since we’re such a part of the whole region. That’s how we got the commuter buses that came through the Regional Transit Authority, the RTA.”

“Because of that I think it has changed the lives of many of our Clarksville citizens who now are able to ride on that service because that work in Nashville. We have seen a great increase in the number of people in Nashville coming to Clarksville on that service. It’s so popular that it’s grown from one bus to four now. Twice a day, every day going back and forth between Nashville and Clarksville with stops in Cheatham County too.”

“That is the wave of the future is being able to deal with mass transit. The train line is something that is extremely important to me.”

“Because of my role within the RTA, I was able to convince them to fully fund the study that we have now signed that will now being going forward to look at developing a commuter rail line between Nashville and Clarksville and how we can access the existing tracks that are already there and can they be rehabilitated so that we’re not having to build an entirely new line that we can use those existing lines so that we can have that commuter rail line.”

Draw Down at Fort Campbell

One of the concerns in Clarksville is the possible draw down by 2016 of Fort Campbell. Worst case is listed at 16,000 military and civilians.

“I think where we are with respect to the potential for a draw down or any cuts and let me be clear by saying we don’t know if that’s happening yet.”

“I know there have been some recent articles that maybe some of the Kentucky people thing that it’s coming. I believe you have to be prepared on both ends. But we still dont know and were putting our best case forward.”

“I think the important thing to know is that we, being the City, have worked with the County, we’ve worked with the Chamber, we’ve worked Economic Development Council, we’ve worked with the leadership at Fort Campbell, we’ve worked with the Kentucky Chambers of Commerce and the Kentucky Mayors, both City and County.”

“We have compiled a informational piece that has been sent to everyone in Washington that needs to see it. We’ve also begun a letter writing campaign where we have had thousands of letters written by the citizens in our community that have been sent directly to the lawmakers in Washington to consider.”

“We are in the process now of getting ready for the public forums, the listening tours, that are going to be happening in January and February of next year. That’s really our goal right now is to make sure we are adequately prepared for those listening tours so that when people from Washington come to our community that they can make sure that they hear how any type of cut backs, draw downs, would effect our community and effect the status of our armed services and military in total.”

Jobs

Jobs are always a concern to any community. Clarksville has been blessed with additions like the Hankook Tire facility.

“I think it is incumbent on the City Mayor, the leadership of the City Mayor’s Office, the City Council and all of the leadership and other elected officials in the city to work as closely as possible with their counterparts in the County Government and with the Economic Development Council, the Industrial Development board, the Chamber and all of the other organizations like Aspire and others who’s job it is to try to attract and recruit jobs for people in our community.”

“I can honestly say that I think all of us together are doing a fantastic job at doing that. Just the fact that we were able to land the Hankook Tire facility here speaks volumes about our ability to work together, our ability to partner with State Government and even the Federal Government in some respects to bring in those kinds of jobs says that if we work together all things are possible.”

“It’s an exciting time in Clarksville because we have people knocking on our door wanting to come to this community and we just have to seize on those opportunities and all of those entities that I’ve mentioned need to work together to try to offer those things that each one can unique do to try to make that happen so that people have jobs to be able to stay in our community.”

Parks and Recreation

With a growing community brings the need of parks, trails, walk ways, etc, to keep a high quality of life for people.

“I could not be more proud than I am of our Parks and Recreation Department and the support that our city and the entire community gives towards increasing the opportunities for our citizens and those that come from beyond our county boundaries to access our parks.”

“Just in the last four years alone, we have substantially increased the number of walking trails, bike trails, mountain bike trails, splash pads have become a wonderful opportunity that can add to the existing pool system that we have here in Clarksville. I think it is incumbent upon us as a city and me as a Mayor to continue to make sure the quality of life that our citizens enjoy is the best that it can be.”

“I think that the offerings that we have are tremendous with Liberty Park, the Marina, and all of the parks across our city. I think we have seen that Parks and Recreation has been working hand in hand with the Mayor’s Office to make sure that we continue to expand our parks like Burchwood Park and make sure that it’s a park that everybody can enjoy.”

“I foresee in the future more parks coming online because we have seen that people enjoy that opportunity to be outdoors, to be with their family, to access that quality of life that only parks can provide for them. I think as we move forward on the construction of an Athletic Complex that will have not only additional soccer fields, but tennis courts and hopefully a partnership with the Nashville Predators to have ice rinks.”

“The possibilities are unlimited for the amount of recreational and other types of opportunities that we can offer to our citizens and those that come from elsewhere which creates an economic development opportunity for us as well.”

“Fort Defiance is a wonderful addition to our community both from the historic perspective and the educational perspective. But we can always do more to enhance that.”

“Some of the plans that we have in the works are to connect it to our greenways. As you know we have some wonderful greenways but they do not always connect to each other so we have plans in the works to purchase additional land and some of it will be land we already own because it’s owned by Gas and Water with the water treatment plant that is over on that area.”

“We have already applied for a federal grant to actually get some additional money to hopefully build a pedestrian bridge across the waterway right there so we can have a trail system that will connect our existing trail that comes off Pollard road through that whole area, down by Fort Defiance, across the river and then actually joins up with the trail system we have over here that goes on the riverwalk.”

“I think that that is a great possibility because of the fact we have already submitted the grant to the Federal Government to try to build this bridge. I think it’s something that can happen.”

Performing Arts Center

One of the projects for our area that has been discussed is a Clarksville Performing Arts Center.

“The whole idea of a Clarksville Performing Arts Center has been something that has been first and foremost on my mind since before I took office as Mayor. One of the first things I did when I took office was join the Roxy board of directors and the current Roxy leadership and begin to talk to them of the possibility of not just expanding the existing Roxy, but actually building a performing acts center that could house the Roxy and other additional performances and touring troupes and other cultural activities that I think are important to our community, but also serve as a meeting place, a mini conference center so to speak that would house the ability to have meetings and small conferences as a public facility.”

“Once we did that, we realized we could not do it alone. We’re going to have to get some expert help.”

“So, we went and did an RFP and hired who we thought to be the best company in the entire nation, they have offices in New York, California and other places. To come in and do a feasibility study for us of first of all what we need, second of all what the community will support, third what does it need to look like and how much is it going to cost. That is being done right now.”

“In fact, we are at the very concluding stages. We just got back the real meat of the whole study which was the community survey which indicated that our community will support a performing arts facility that will provide all the things I’ve talked about. That was what was so important. So much so, that their already willing to give the necessary dollars that can be combined with city dollars to actually make it a reality.”

“So were in the final stages of completing the feasibility report to tell us exactly what we need and estimates of how much it might cost so we can start building it.”

Convention Center

Another project that has been kicked around for a few years is a Clarksville Convention Center.

“The question of a true convention center like they have in some cities I think is a great idea from the perspective of having something we can generate revenue from bringing in people from across the country to come our community and go to a convention or a conference.”

“But, I do believe that if we are going to have one it’s going to have to be a public/private partnership. I don’t think that the public dollars should pay for the entire facility unless we know for a fact that it’s going to cash flow on day one and begins to provide that revenue.”

“So I think it needs to be a public/private partnership. We have been looking since I have been Mayor. I know we have had multiple discussions with different identities about coming and locating a hotel franchise and a convention center. I just dont think that we have found the right fit yet with the right partner. But we’ve got to continue to look and I think it is a top priority for the Chamber, EDC, IDB, the City and the County and we will continue to look at it.”

Telecommunications

One of the bright spots for the Clarksville community has been the additional services offered by CDE, like it’s internet service that can now provide 1 gig service to residents and businesses alike.

“CDE does a magnificent job of providing the services that I think the people of Clarksville enjoy. The fact that we have the 1 gig service is a selling point and a recruiting tool to bring people in.”

“I will say that part of the issue with that is because of the way it is setup, CDE’s territory is limited where they can offer their service. It has to be in the city. As we all know, the industrial park, where most of our industrial customers are located and who might enjoy the 1 gig service is in the county.

“So as a result, because we have not been able to extend the service area beyond the city limits, We haven’t been able to promote the 1 gig services much. but I will say that there have been bills pending in the General Assembly and I know there will be another one next year to allow CDE to compete with other service providers, just compete, not have a monopoly, but just compete with other the service providers to provide that service to businesses that are in our community so we can really really market our 1 gig service to business to have it to continue to grow and expand.”

The Future

“I am more than excited about our community and the unlimited possibilities and opportunities that we have here. Our growth has provided us with the ability to really play at a national and global level for business for companies and as we continue to do that and we bring more and more people it does bring greater challenges because we have to provide the expanded infrastructure and the expanded level of services that growth requires. But we’ve done that. We continue to do that.”

“I am very excited about the possibilities for Clarksville. I think we’re on a roll and we’re not stopping. As you probably know, I serve on the leadership boards of many national organizations. Clarksville is top on the list of communities that everybody looks to. I am proud of that fact.”

“I think we have no where to go but to continue to move and go up and forward and expand and grow and continue to provide the kind of services that people are proud of. The one thing that I am most proud of is that because of my extensive experience in budgeting that I’ve had at the state level because I served as majority leader in state legislator, served in the governor’s cabinet, served as an officer of the Finance Ways and Means Committee and the Budget Sub Committee.”

“So I had the opportunity to learn from Governor Phil Bredesen and other leaders at the state level about budgets and how to make it work. I brought that I believe to Clarksville and for four years in a row we’ve been able to provide an extremely high level of services, grow our job base, and we’ve done it all without having to increase anyone’s taxes. I think that speaks of leadership, it speaks of knowledge of the budgeting process and Im very very proud of it and look forward to continuing to do it in the future.”

“There are so many things that I think we need and deserve in the Clarksville area. I am very excited about the progress that we’ve already made and will continue to make on the Performing Arts center and having that completed; on the work that we’re doing now on the installation of new sidewalks all over Clarksville; the work that will be starting shortly on the stabilization of the river bank of the Cumberland River so that Riverside Drive wont fall into the Cumberland River.”

“We have the possibility to continue to expand and grow the entire riverside area. I am excited about the athletic complex that I see as something that will happen in the next four years and the partnerships that we can have with the Nashville Predators to bring in ice rinks and ice hockey in additional to expanded soccer facilities and tennis facilities.”

“I think the possibilities are really unlimited. I know that the sky is the limit and that we are going to continue grow and expand and become the best place in America to live, work and raise our families. Someplace where people will continue to want to come and live here, stay here and grow here.”

“With the military presence that we have, with Austin Peay that we have, with all the wonderful facilities that we have, it just gives me goose bumps and makes me excited everyday to think about the wonderful people that we have in this community.”

“Remember, it’s not just about me, and it’s not just about the Council, its not just about Austin Peay or the military, it’s about the people in our community that makes Clarksville so special. I have been proud to represent the people of this community for two decades and look forward to the opportunity to do that in the future.”

Kim McMillan’s Bio

Kim grew up in a number of college towns in the south and moved to Knoxville in 1978 with her parents when her father took a teaching position at the University of Tennessee.  She went on to graduate as valedictorian from South-Young High School in Knoxville and then received her bachelor’s degree and law degree, both with honors, from the University of Tennessee.  While in law school, Kim served as Executive Editor of The Tennessee Law Review.

Kim is a graduate of a number of leadership academies including The U.S. Army War College, graduated 2013, Leadership Tennessee inaugural class of 2014, Leadership Middle Tennessee inaugural class of 2001, and Leadership Clarksville class of 1996.

Mayor McMillan is a member of numerous organizations and serves on a number of boards including Cumberland Bank & Trust, a community bank in Clarksville, Greater Nashville Regional Council, Vice-Chair, Regional Transit Authority, Vice-Chair, Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus, Vice-Chair and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where she has been elected to the Advisory Committee.  She is particularly interested in organizations that seek to improve the lives of others and train the next generation of leaders.

Kim has been married to Larry McMillan for over 25 years. They have two grown children, Katie and Ryan, who attended the University of Tennessee.

Kim McMillan’s Accomplishments as Mayor of Clarksville

General

  • Josten’s memory book facility expansion
  • Bridgestone Metalpha U.S.A expansion
  • Veteran’s Home
  • Hankook Tire Facility
  • Performing Arts Center feasibility study
  • R.J. Corman Bridge rehab
  • Purchased Waterworks Building & Property
  • Multi-million dollar Corp of Engineers Riverbank Stabilization grant
  • Opened Budget Process
  • Customs House Museum – HVAC and repairs
  • Smith Trahern Mansion – repairs/renovations
  • Bikers Who Care Legislation
  • Creation of Mayor’s Fitness Council

Building & Codes

  • Pilot city for app to be a one-stop shop for business needs
  • 773 new single family residence permits issued

CDE

  • Gigabit internet service

CTS

  • Commuter bus service to Nashville – 3 buses plus funding for 4th
  • CMAQ – $1.6 million for new buses
  • RTA Transit study (rail service)
  • Wrapped buses

Development

  • Liberty Park and Marina
  • Liberty Park Grill
  • Waterworks Building/Riverbank stabilization
  • Performing Arts Center plans
  • East West connector added to MTP
  • Parking meters with one hour free/credit cards accepted

Finance

  • Property taxes paid online

Fire

  • Fire Station near the airport
  • New radio system
  • Property for station @ exit 1
  • Exit 8 fire station agreement to include new truck and equipment
  • Wireless station alerting system
  • New fire truck, a new rescue truck and a new truck for Fire Station 11
  • Renovations of bays for Fire station 6
  • Fire boat

Gas and Water

  • Major infrastructure work at College & 2nd
  • Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade began
  • Water Treatment Plant work complete
  • Approval for work on second gas feed
  • Lower gas rate negotiated for savings to consumers

Housing & Community Development

  • Needmore Place
  • Concorde Garden Apartments
  • Vinings at Greencastle
  • Choice Neighborhood Plan
  • Awarded 3 projects in 2013 totaling 260 low-income units through the Low
  • Income Housing Tax Credit
  • Homeless Solutions Forum

HR

  • Clarksville Employee Wellness Center
  • Comprehensive Pay Study bringing 63% of employees in line with the market
  • Pay scale study and commensurate employee raises
  • Received Dept. of Labor Employer of the Year Award
  • Streamlined employee information access
  • Online job application process

IT

  • Live streaming of council meetings
  • Channel 3
  • Website redesign

Parks and Recreation

  • Adaptive Sports and Recreation program
  • Design of Phase I and II Red River Trail
  • Red River grant
  • Addition to Mary’s Oak trail
  • Addition of blue ways
  • Mayor’s Summer Night Lights Program
  • Triathlon
  • Athletic complex discussion
  • Greenway/blueway Development Master Plan
  • Splash Pad at Pettus Park

Police

  • Advanced reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law
  • Enforcement Agency
  • New radio system
  • Scenario House
  • Operation Defiance
  • New Providence Policing Station
  • Armed vehicle purchase
  • New station in District One
  • 30 new police cars
  • Police boat
  • “Safeguard My Meds” initiative

Streets

  • Bike Lanes on Riverside Drive
  • Finished ADA sidewalk compliance project
  • Realigning Dunbar Cave and Cardinal Lane
  • TDOT grant to improve sidewalks, bus shelters and other safety measures

Drainage improvements

  • Trenton Tylertown Drainage Phase 1 (Woodstock Excavation) CSD City

Completed

  • Rossview / Warfield (Intersection Improvements) CSD City Completed
  • North Henderson / Tiny Town (Intersection Improvements) CSD City Completed
  • Hazelwood / Trenton (Intersection Improvements) CSD City Completed
  • Sango Road Widening CSD 80/20 Split 90% Complete
  • Madison / Richview (Intersection Improvement) CSD 80/20 Split Completed
  • Madison / SR76 (Intersection Improvement) CSD 80/20 Split Completed
  • Riverside / SR 48/13 (Intersection Improvement) CSD 80/20 Split Completed
  • Dunbar Cave ‐ Paving CSD 80/20 Split Completed
  • Tobacco Road ‐ Paving CSD 80/20 Split Completed
  • Greenwood Avenue ‐ Paving CSD 80/20 Split Completed
  • Needmore Road ‐ Paving CSD 80/20 Split Completed
  • Edmonson Ferry Flashing Beacon CSD 80/20 Split Completed
  • New Providence Sidewalk CSD FHWA Completed
  • Contract for Providence Blvd Pedestrian Crossing CSD TDOT Completed
  • Exit 11 / Sango Road / MLK BLVD Improvements with new signal CSD TDOT
  • SR 374 / Evans Road TDOT TDOT Completed
  • Guthrie HWY / Alfred Thune Road TDOT TDOT Completed
  • Ruby Tuesday Access Plan CSD TDOT Const 2016
  • Trenton / Tylertown Intersection Improvements CSD TDOT Const 2015
  • SR 76 / Fire Station Road / Vaughn Road CSD TDOT Design
  • SR 76 / Trough Springs Road CSD TDOT Design
  • 41A Bypass / Denny Road / Rotary Park Road CSD TDOT Design
  • SR 13 from Alfred Thune Road to International BLVD TDOT TDOT Design
  • Rossview Road from Powell to International BLVD
  • Cardinal Lane extension
  • North East Connector road Environmental study
  • New Sidewalk work Contract executed
  • Street lighting upgrades RFP
  • Salt shed
  • Drainage mitigation

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