Editor’s Note: Three seats on the Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners are on the Nov. 3 ballot — District 1, District 3 and District 4. In District 1, incumbent Ray Justice is being challenged by Vince King. Here are the candidates answers to the Mt. Juliet News questionnaire. Districts 3 and 4 will be in next week’s paper.

Name:

Ray Justice

Age: Declined to answer Occupation: Retired Law Enforcement Officer

Question 1 (200 words or less): What makes you the best candidate for the position?

Pure and simple, experience. Having been involved for a number of years, I know the pitfalls of growth. With District 1 being the new hotspot, experience is needed to avoid making the same mistakes over again that we’ve experienced during the building of Providence. If you don’t know the history there’s a good chance of repeating it.

Question 2 (400 words or less): What do you see as the greatest challenge facing Mt. Juliet and how would you address it?

Our greatest challenge is growth associated with being a suburb of Nashville while maintaining absolute separation. To maintain our identity will require jobs created in our city to give our population the opportunity to stay in Mt. Juliet. To live, work, play, and worship in Mt. Juliet.

Question 3 (200 words or less): What does Mt. Juliet city government do well?

We get out of the way of private enterprise. We encourage business development and we work with local Mt. Juliet/West Wilson Chamber of Commerce to give our businesses every opportunity to succeed. We have been named as one of the most business friendly cities in our state. That wasn’t by accident. The Beacon Center has recognized our city as one of the most efficiently run cities in our state. Our budget and financials are extremely strong and we have one of the lowest property tax rates.

Question 4 (400 words or less): What does Mt. Juliet city government need to do better?

Get roads built! We have got to do a better job of getting TDOT to honor our agreements and get our roads fixed. The singular most frustrating part of being a commissioner is having two major state roads and not having control of the construction and expansion of those roads.

Name: Vince King

Age: 62

Occupation: Entrepreneur/Sales

Question 1 (200 words or less): What makes you the best candidate for the position?

There are several attributes and skills that I feel make me a viable candidate for District 1 Commissioner. My strongest attributes are my Faith, integrity and character, all of which define a person for who they are and represent. Over my 40 plus years of work experiences, including serving in the military, I have developed a diverse skill set that suits being a Commissioner for the people. Some of those key skills are:

• Critical thinking, problem solving and thorough decision making

• Teamwork, communication and listening

• Professional respect and strong work ethic

• Leadership by example

Question 2 (400 words or less): What do you see as the greatest challenge facing Mt. Juliet and how would you address it?

Obviously, everyone is focusing on and very concerned about growth and the issues it brings with it. Numerous mistakes have created flooding issues, unsafe roads for travel and unnecessary high density living. We have got to get input from the citizens of Mt. Juliet on what they expect and want to see going forward. What kind of businesses do we want to recruit? What can be done to attract high paying jobs so people live, play and work here? What kind of entertainment could we bring in for families? We need less density when planning and approving new subdivisions. How are we going to address government services with the continued growth? Police, Fire, Sewer, and Street Departments have to be staffed and supported to insure service. With the opening of Green Hill High there needs to be consideration to a new West Division/Lebanon Road connection. I’ve heard the residents on Tates Lane (a one lane road) are getting increased traffic which is really scary, another build it and worry about traffic later situation. What’s going to happen when 20-30 cars are exiting the new park from Tates Lane on to West Division at the same time? How many cars are going to use East and West Division when Amazon opens? Nonaville Road residents should certainly be concerned about traffic with the apartments and subdivisions coming there. Are Developers going to widen the road from Lebanon Road to Saundersville Road? All of these issues should be addressed between the citizens, Planning Commission, City Manager and the Board of Commissioners as a Team, not each with individual agendas. Growth is certainly a good thing when done with transparency, control and proper planning.

Question 3 (200 words or less): What does Mt. Juliet city government do well?

I’m sure each Department is working diligently and performing well considering staffing and resources available. Greenways and Parks are doing a great job during the recent growth and planning for the future.

Question 4 (400 words or less): What does Mt. Juliet city government need to do better?

The city has got to address roads and traffic at some point. We can’t always be “reactive” to the traffic problems created by apartments, hotels, parks, schools and businesses that get built. We can’t just sit back and wait for the state and a developer to come along and fix all our road problems. When decisions are made the question should always be “Does it benefit the future of our city and our children?” I also feel the city should have researched hiring a liaison for the victims of the recent tornado to help navigate the bureaucracy presented with insurance companies, FEMA and government red-tape. There are people still trying to figure out how to get their homes and businesses rebuilt with no outside assistance.

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