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Education, public safety, quality of life top county priorities

By Kimberly Jordan [email protected] • Updated Jul 16, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto visited the Mt. Juliet West Wilson Chamber of Commerce to talk about “great things happening in Wilson County” at his State of the County address Wednesday.

The focus of the presentation was on education, public safety and quality of life. His first topic, education, centered on two initiatives that are being proposed by the Board of Education.

“Two things are going to happen in education this year,” Hutto said. “The differentiated pay plan [is one]. It’s there to retain teachers and help us improve teachers. That will be on the budget plan this coming year.”

The second deals with technology in the school system.

“The Board of Education wants to put a computer in every student’s hand. This is gonna cost somewhere around $13 million to get this done. There’ll be a lot of controversy about this – you’re going to send this computer home; who’s going to keep up with it? Bottom line, they want to have that computer in the student’s hand so they can learn 24/7.”

Hutto said public safety in the county is also a priority. He discussed the new Wilson Emergency Management stations that were recently opened as well as the newly formed Fire Department of Mt. Juliet. Another point the mayor touched on was enhanced services, specifically a discussion of private EMS service.

“There’s been a lot of talk about private EMS. People ask, ‘Mayor how does that affect you?’ We’ve got people talking about enhancing services; that affects me greatly. If they’re a good company and Mayor [Ed] Hagerty [and his staff] will figure that out….they’re servicing my citizens as well, so we’ll work and do whatever we need to do to make things the best for Wilson County.”

The final piece of his presentation centered on quality of life. He touched on several aspects that have made Wilson County “The Place to Be.”

“We have quick access to see the Titans play; we have the Music City Star Game Day Express. [With] the widening of I-40, it’s easier to get in and out of Nashville. The Capitol Theatre in Lebanon is great; greenways and parks–we continue to work on that.”

He briefly mentioned the Tourism Department’s search for a new director. He said the county is down to its final candidate, and “she is a great lady. This is a big deal for Wilson County.”

Hutto said the county recently started a Parks and Recreation Department, which will apply for grants that “will not only go to parks in the rural areas, but can be used by the cities as well.”

He added to those in attendance that “it is an honor and privilege to me to serve you as mayor.”

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