Craighead buys square property

Lebanon’s mayor said his recent purchase of property adjacent to the historic town square is not a conflict of interest. Mayor Philip Craighead has actively pursued a controversial plan with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to redesign traffic flow around the square and add...
Mar 1, 2013

 

Lebanon’s mayor said his recent purchase of property adjacent to the historic town square is not a conflict of interest.

Mayor Philip Craighead has actively pursued a controversial plan with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to redesign traffic flow around the square and add various improvements.

Several business owners on the square have spoken out against the plans, saying the disruption during construction could hurt businesses.

Lebanon’s mayor said his recent purchase of property adjacent to the historic town square is not a conflict of interest.

Mayor Philip Craighead has actively pursued a controversial plan with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to redesign traffic flow around the square and add various improvements.

Several business owners on the square have spoken out against the plans, saying the disruption during construction could hurt businesses.

State Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, owns two properties just off the square and is considering buying another, but he said he's stayed neutral during square discussions.

“I felt it would be a conflict of interest if I was involved in stuff, so I went to TDOT and told TDOT that I don’t want any updates; I don’t want to know anything that’s going on with the square, and I went to the mayor and told him that he would have to take lead on it or have somebody else do it,” said Pody.

He said he listens to people’s comments or concerns about the plans and helps people get in touch with appropriate people, but he refuses to take a position in favor or against it.

According to Craighead, it’s just a matter of investing in the community.

Craighead said his family recently bought a building at 104 E. Main St. to use as a rental property.

According to county property assessment data, Craighead Home Sales, Inc., Craighead’s family business, bought the 113-year-old building for $85,000 in December.

The property, which backs up to the Arcade building, is valued at $70,200, including land.

“Lebanon’s been my home for 40 or more years,” said Craighead. “I believe in Lebanon, and I’ve invested my whole life in Lebanon.”

More than 45 properties in Wilson County are owned by Craighead or Craighead Home Sales, according to property records.

“That’s what my wife and my son do,” said Craighead. “They buy properties, and they invest in them. Just because I’m mayor doesn’t mean that they’re not able to work and make a living.”

Craighead said the former owner of the building approached him about buying the property, and Craighead knew someone needing office rental space.

“Instead of an empty building, it’s being fixed up extremely nice,” said Craighead. “It’s not any conflict for someone to be invested in the community that they love so much.”

 

Log in or sign up to post comments.