By SERINA MARSHALL
Staff Writer [email protected]
Mayor Joe Grandy is seeking a second term.
At a press conference held at the Maker’s Market in Jonesborough Tuesday morn- ing, Grandy, joined by his wife Lucinda, Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby and Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable, announced his intent to run for a second term for the office of Mayor of Washington County.
“Some people promise things just to get elected, and once they are in office, they do something else, or even the
opposite of what they said they would do,” Grandy said. “I’ve done what I said I would do, plain and simple. That’s still my approach, and that’s why I’m seeking a second term.”
Grandy also made it a point to spend some time discussing the financial aspect of the county over the years, from before he took office to the past four years as he sat in the mayor’s seat.
“What I brought to the office of mayor was a practical business solution and background and conservative philosophy,” Grandy said. “Leadership means steward- ship. Almost four years later, we have reduced Washington County debt over $33 million, from $165 million to $132 million. Less debt, longer vision, better jobs for a stronger region. That’s what I said we would do, and that’s exactly what we have done.”
“Four years ago, Washington County had recently made some tough decisions
to diffuse a debt crisis we were facing,” Grandy added. “When I first ran for County Commission in 2010, the old ways of building everything with debt financing had land- ed the county in over $160 million worth of debt that we weren’t paying down. Now, we have a long-term plan to get out of debt completely and save millions of dollars to the taxpayers of Washington County in interest payments alone.”
Grandy continued to say that this is the kind of long- term discipline budgeting that has already saved taxpayers millions of dollars in interest payments and will help pre- vent future tax increases.
Along with plans for financial concerns, Grandy is also excited to bring new projects to the region.
“I will invest in future focus projects with a high return on investment,” he said. “And future focus leadership means we do the right things the right way. It’s about doing things we need to do today and maximizing opportunities for tomorrow. So, my areas of focus as mayor will continue to be on education and infra- structure.”
He followed by saying that education is the most pro- found issue in the county and to provide a quality education to all citizens in every part of the county is important.
“Our job is to offer every- one the opportunity to live productive lives and to foster a culture of dignified work and an entrepreneurship that will give the town higher paying jobs that will keep our children here long term.”
Grandy said they will stay on track with planned upgrades to the K-12 school facilities, as well as narrowing the gap of teacher’s pay in order to keep the best, high quality educators.
“As for facilities, after seeking a solution for many years, we have finally broken ground on our Jonesborough School and we have funded improvements in both of our high schools,” he said. “And the most exciting project on the horizon for me will be the transformation of the former Boones Creek Elementary School into a satellite campus for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton, introducing a new concept, the middle college, which will expand opportunities for vocational education in Washington County, both for our high school and adult learners.”
Grandy said access to clean water will also be a main focus, as the county plans to expand waterlines throughout the area, as well as afford- able high-speed internet for the citizens and residents of Washington County.
“I’ve done what I said I would do, and I will keep doing it. You can trust me on what I say I will do in my second term because you saw what I did in my first term,” Grandy said. “Actions speak louder than words.”