Editor’s Note: The following is a series of questions and answers taken verbatim from a Lebanon Democrat questionnaire recently filled out and returned by each candidate in the District 8 Wilson County Commission race. The Democrat will publish the responses from candidates in this and other races leading up to the Aug. 7 general election.
Terry Duncan challenged incumbent Wilson County Commissioner Frank Bush for the District 8 commission seat in the Aug. 7 election.
Bush seeks his third term as commissioner for District 8 and said he provides Wilson County with more than 30 years of executive management experience in finance, banking, information systems and the Internet. Bush serves as chairman of the first Ethics Committee in Wilson County history and is chairman of the Audit Committee. In the private sector, Bush recently retired as chief financial officer of a global software company and now provides consulting services to companies with international activities.
Bush previously worked as CEO of his own company in California, CFO for several private companies and has managed all financial activities, including accounting, shareholder relations, budgeting and performance reporting. As a consultant and coach, Bush guided four private companies through multiple rounds of financing and subsequent sale to public entities.
In 2006 and 2010, Bush said he was elected to serve Wilson County based on his belief to provide quality education to children, provide essential services to the citizens of the county within budget and provide integrity and efficiency in local government.
In his personal life, Bush is an Eagle Scout and was the first national chairman of the Explorer Delegates Conference of the Boy Scouts of America. Throughout his life, he said he has taught youth the enduring values of the Scouting program.
Bush and his wife, Carol, have lived in Wilson County for more than 13 years, where he was on the board of the Hickory Lake Farms Homeowners Association and active with the Mt. Juliet-West Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.
Bush earned Series 7 and Series 66 securities licenses, a bachelor of arts in psychology from Yale University and an master’s in business administration in finance and information systems from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Duncan chose not to answer The Democrat’s questions.
What prompted you to seek office? Was it a personal initiative or did others encourage you?
Bush: In 2006, a dispute existed between Mt Juliet and the county regarding fire protection. I ran for office with a desire to resolve that dispute and make the relationship between the city and county more productive. I believe that this relationship is improved, and I have helped in small part to make it happen.
What are the most important issues in your race, and how do you plan to address them?
Bush: The most important issues are ethics, transparency and efficiency. As Ethics Committee chair, I have pushed to make all aware of potential conflicts of interest and ensure that the objective interests of all the citizens of the county are represented. Commission meetings should be streamed live over the Internet so that the citizens may see how their government operates. The commission should publish and perform to a balanced operating budget.
What would you say to voters opposed to your running for office to convince them you are the most qualified?
Bush: I have more than 30 years of private sector management experience that has prepared me to understand large complex issues, establish priorities and effectively execute those priorities within budget limitations.
What do you bring to the table that your opponents do not?
Bush: Since I am not an employee of the county, I do not have any conflict of interest in the votes that I will cast. My opponent is an employee of the county and should not vote on those items that directly affect him or his family, like the budget, for instance.
How is your experience – or lack of experience – a plus or minus for the position you are seeking?
Bush: My many years of management experience has prepared me to address large complex issues and eight years on the county commission has allowed me to understand and affect many aspects of county government. This is not “on-the-job training” when you are responsible for a $200 million budget.