Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tennessee Farmland Legacy Conference

Many of you will remember Cumberland Region Tomorrow (“CRT”) – I had posted their own coverage of our Comprehensive Growth Plan (“CGP”).

It has been a privilege working with Bridget Jones of CRT, as she has provided us with a great deal of insight and advice in coordinating and in moving forward with the CGP.
Recently, Robertson County Chamber of Commerce CEO Margot Fosnes and Mayor Bradley (I was also invited, but regretfully could not attend because of worked related scheduling) attending CRT’s “Farmland Legacy Conference” – both had an opportunity to share with the conference attendees what is going on with our CGP.
Here are video excerpts from that conference – please take a moment to check it out.

December Commission Packet

Many of you may know this already, but just as a reminder, our “December Commission Packet” can be found here. They are regularly posted on the Robertson County website approximately a week before each Regular Meeting of the Robertson County Commission.

As you know, the “commission packets” are our monthly agendas for the Robertson County Commission “Regular Meetings.”

The Week of December 17, 2012


December 17, 2012 – December 21, 2012
Date & Committee/Board             Time                    Location
Monday – Dec. 17
Animal Services                                                    6:00 p.m.                      RCOB
Finance                                                                  6:30 p.m.                      RCOB
County Commission                                            7:00 p.m.                      RCOB
Tuesday – Dec. 18
911 Board                                                             9:00 a.m.                       ECC Building
EMS                                                                        5:00 p.m.                      EMS Buildin
Wednesday – Dec. 19
Thursday – Dec. 20  
Highway Commission                                         10:00 a.m.                      Highway Office
Friday – Dec. 21

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Week of December 10, 2012


December 10, 2012 – December 14, 2012
Date & Committee/Board             Time                    Location
Monday – Dec. 10
Tuesday – Dec. 11
Law Enforcement/Workhouse Board              5:00 p.m.                             Sherriff’s Conf. room
Solid Waste                                                          6:00 p.m.                             RCOB
Wednesday – Dec. 12
Airport Board                                                       8:00 a.m.                              Airport
RTA                                                                        10:00 a.m.                           Nashville
GNRC                                                                     11:00 a.m.                           Nashville
MCHRA                                                                 Noon                                     Nashville                             
Thursday – Dec. 13  
Zoning Board of Appeals                                    6:00 p.m.                             RCOB
Friday – Dec. 14

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Federal, State and Local Inmates: What is OUR Responsibility?

How might this apply to Robertson County? Well, in my humble opinion, this County relies too much on “state” (“Tennessee Department of Corrections” or “TDOC”)) prisoners as well as federal prisoners to – and, I quote folks around government - “make” money or “generate revenues.” You are reading this correctly, there are folks in and around your county government who believe that “the jail” (the “Robertson County Detention Facility”) is an opportunity to increase our county revenues.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Robertson County Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Here is just another quick reminder about tonight’s tree lighting ceremony in Springfield at the Courthouse Square – we will look forward to seeing you there this evening!

The county is scheduled to light up a Christmas tree at the county courthouse in Springfield at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.
This year, a permanent Christmas tree – a blue spruce – is being planted at the corner of the courthouse building nearest to the red light at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Main Street.

The Week of December 3, 2012


December 3, 2012 – December 7, 2012  

Date & Committee/Board           Time                    Location

Monday – Dec. 3

Buildings and Grounds                  5:00 p.m.                     RCOB

County Growth Plan workshop     5:30-7:30 p.m.             First Presbyterian

School Board                                 7:00 p.m.                     Central Office

Tuesday – Dec. 4

County Growth Plan workshop     5:30-7:30 p.m.             Cross Plains City Hall

Wednesday – Dec. 5

County Growth Plan workshop      11:30 a.m.-1:30p.m.    Adams Clubhouse 
Thursday – Dec. 6  

County Growth Plan workshop      5:30-7:30 p.m.             Coopertown ES                        

Friday – Dec. 7


Red River Preserve: Business Feasibility Study

It is great to see this project being discussed in the news – these next couple of months will be critical for the project’s moving forward. The culmination of over two years work will likely be at a pivot point over the next two to three months.

Cheatham County mayor David McCullough said officials should have the study sometime next month.
He said it will first be reviewed by the industrial development boards and Chamber of Commerce and ECD representatives in both counties as well as himself and Robertson County mayor Howard Bradley.
If officials believe the park is financially feasible, the goal is to get a copy of the study to county commissioners the first week of January.
McCullough said a joint meeting will be held the second week in January for Cheatham and Robertson officials, pending a decision to move forward on the park. The meeting would be held in Robertson County as Cheatham County previously hosted a similar meeting in July.
I really do not think folks grasp just what this projects means for Robertson County, but not just for Robertson County and Cheatham County – the entirety of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Robertson County Food Banks Need YOUR Help

Just thought I would pass this along due to the circumstances -
Food banks throughout Robertson County are facing supply shortages as the winter months and holidays approach.
Mary Jackson, with United Ministries, said the shelves get pretty low each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“This is our most dire time of year,” Jackson said. “We’re in need of non-perishable foods, canned meats, vegetables, peanut butter and cereal.”
It is a blessing to be apart of so many civic groups that contribute to these ministries, and Jillian and I try each year to participate with our church, Springfield Baptist Church. I am not saying this to tout what we do, but I am saying this as someone who believes in these ministries, and what they do for our community.

If you have an oppurtunity, follow the links that I have embedded in the "sidebar" and find out a way that you can contribute and help!

The Week of November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012 – November 30, 2012

Date & Committee/Board           Time                    Location

Monday – Nov. 26
EMS                                              5:00 p.m.              EMS Building

Tuesday – Nov. 27
Highway Commission                     7:00 p.m.              Highway offices
Wednesday – Nov. 28
Safety                                            8:30 a.m.              Co. Mayor’s Office    

Thursday – Nov.29
Friday – Nov. 30

White House Library Expansion

I try to keep up with our neighbors in Montgomery, Cheatham and Sumner Counties - it is always a good method to assess where we are in Robertson County. Not to mention, in Sumner County, we share municipalities.

This story has to do with the City of White House, and the Sumner County Commission's allocating funds for a library expansion project.
Raising the funds for a library in White House has already began. Mayor Mike Arnold said a bond issuance would likely be taken out for the project, which is expected to break ground in the summer of 2013. While the city’s current 4,000-square-foot library is located on the Robertson County side of White House, the proposed new 25,000-square-foot facility would be in Sumner County.

“We are estimating it would cost about $3 million,” said Elizabeth Kozlowski, director of the White House Library. “We are going to be putting it in front of city hall, because the city already owns that land.”

The excitement for residents, said Kozlowski, is the additional 21,000 square feet of space for new and expanded programs the new facility would have, which would include a second floor for meeting space.

2012 Election Season Coming to a Close

Well, and I should be a little reserved when saying this, this most recent election season is finally coming to a close - pending any action taken by some of these candidates.

The votes in alderperson's race in the City of Springfield and the city commissioner's race in the City of Cedar Hill have been tallied.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Comprehensive Growth Plan & Cumberland Region Tormmorow

Here is yet another reference to our Robertson County Growth Plan (“CGP”) OUTSIDE of Robertson County – this article from Cumberland RegionTomorrow (“CRT”).

Many, many thanks to Bridget Jones of CRT for passing this article along to me. Robertson County can look forward to being publicized in a forthcoming newsletter discussing our efforts with the CGP.
Here is a blurb from the article describing Robertson County,

....a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Words that were applicable 30 years ago, 150 years ago, and 300 years ago....and, even  today. 
Since the Pilgrims observed the initial Thanksgiving holiday in 1621, this
occasion has served as a singular expression of the transcending spiritual
values that played an instrumental part in the founding of our country.
One hundred and twenty years ago, in the midst of a great and terrible civil
conflict, President Lincoln formally proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving
to remind those “insensible to the ever watchful providence of almighty God” of
this Nation’s bounty and greatness. Several days after the dedication of the
Gettysburg battlefield, the United States celebrated its first national  
Thanksgiving. Every year since then, our Nation has faithfully continued this
tradition. The time has come once again to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, an
occasion for Americans to express gratitude to their God and their country.
In his remarks at Gettysburg, President Lincoln referred to ours as a Nation
“under God.” We rejoice in the fact that, while we have maintained separate
institutions of church and state over our 200 years of freedom, we have at the
same time preserved reverence for spiritual beliefs. Although we are a
pluralistic society, the giving of thanks can be a true bond of unity among our
people. We can unite in gratitude for our individual freedoms and individual
faiths. We can be united in gratitude for our Nation’s peace and prosperity when
so many in this world have neither. 
As was written in the first Thanksgiving Proclamation 120 years ago, “No human
counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.
They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God.” God has blessed America and
her people, and it is appropriate we recognize this bounty. 
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, in
the spirit of the Pilgrims, President Lincoln, and all succeeding Presidents, do
hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 1983, as a National Day of Thanksgiving,
and I call upon Americans to affirm this day of thanks by their prayers and
their gratitude for the many blessings upon this land and its people. 
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 15th day of
September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.
Happy Thanksgiving, to you and yours! Count your Blessings, one by one, not just today, but  each and every day!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Robertson County Director of Schools Search: Timeline

The Robertson County School Board has recently released a timeline for the ongoing Director of Schools search.

The board decided at the Nov. 5 school board meeting to bring in candidates to be interviewed the third week in March, following the system’s spring break. Interviews of the five semi-finalists will be conducted in one day, Saturday, March 23, with plans to choose the new director by the following Monday, March 25.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The State of [Robertson County] Schools

I was able to attend this event hosted by The Robertson County Chamber of Commerce and Robertson County Schools(“RCS”). This article was written in advance of the event.

The State of the Schools event organized in conjunction with the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce will be held Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Springfield High School. Topics include accountability, local school scores and their trends, school building plans for the county and an update on the search for the next schools director. A question-and-answer session is reportedly planned.
I appreciate RCS having a frank discussion with members of the community with regard to the “state” of the school system.
Overall, at times, it was readily apparently that RCS was defensive about the scores. I can certainly understand that posture with the discussions being held in our communities. Just imagine what RCS would be like if we could address the issues we have with the Springfield cluster….
Here is a previous article by the Robertson County Times related to the system-wide scores. Apparently, this article was the source for the angst expressed continuously by RCS.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Comprehensive Growth Plan: Online Surveys

The following in announcement/press release regarding online surveys that can be completed in order to assist in the Comprehensive Growth Plan effort.

It is a way that you can help with Robertson County’s Comprehensive Growth Plan without leaving your home! Follow the link below to complete the online survey.
Though, I certainly encourage you to attend the upcoming Community Workshops, please take a couple of moments to assist Robertson County in this effort.

Comprehensive Growth Plan: Community Workshops (December 3rd - 6th)

Here is an announcement/press release regarding the upcoming Community Workshops that are coming up in December (12/3-6). Please mark your calendars to attend. The workshops will be conducted in Springfield, Adams, Coopertown and Cross Plains.

We hope to see you there!
Residents Are Encouraged to Attend Community Workshops and Provide Input for the Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan for Robertson County and the cities of Adams, Coopertown and Cross Plains
Workshops are in Adams, Coopertown, Cross Plains, and Springfield, December 3-6
Springfield, TN – Residents are encouraged to attend Community Workshops to learn about the  Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan for Robertson County and the cities of Adams, Coopertown and Cross Plains. The workshops are scheduled for Monday, December 3 through Thursday, December 6.  The workshops will be led by consultants with Littlejohn Engineering Associates, Inc.
The Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan will give officials a roadmap to guide future growth and development, accommodate change, and maintain the unique character of Robertson County.  “Every resident or business in Robertson County will be affected by this project in some way,” said Jonathan Garner, chair of the project’s steering committee. “Roads, housing, parks, schools, and even historic landmarks are under discussion. Public input on this project is crucial to its success.”

Gorham-MacBane Public Library: Director Resignation

In the event that you have not heard this by now, please allow me to pass along that Mary Schmidt, Library Director for our Gorham-MacBane Public Library has resigned.

Here is message from the Library Board of Trustees representative, James Marshall:

The Week of November 19, 2012

Here is a list of Robertson County Commission meetings for the Week of November 19, 2012:

Date & Committee/Board                                             Time                    Location

Monday – Nov. 19
Ceremony - honoring Meggs/Walton                           10:00 a.m.                           Courthouse
Audit Committee                                                              5:30 p.m.                             RCOB
Budget Committee                                                           6:00 p.m.                             RCOB
County Commission                                                         7:00 p.m.                             RCOB
Tuesday – Nov. 20
911 Board                                                                           9:00 a.m.                              ECC Building                      
Wednesday – Nov. 21
RTA                                                                                      10:00 a.m.                           Nashville                             
GNRC                                                                                   11:00 a.m.                           Nashville
MCHRA                                                                               12:00 p.m.                           Nashville
Thursday – Nov. 22 
COUNTY OFFICES CLOSED/HOLIDAY                                                                                                                                 
Friday – Nov. 23

Comprehensive Growth Plan: Being Discussed Throughout Middle Tennessee

These are several articles that I have posted on Facebook, but I wanted to share them here on “From the Blackpatch.”

It certainly seems that our Comprehensive Growth Plan is being discussed throughout Middle Tennessee.
Check out these two articles:
Residents are encouraged to attend Community Workshops to learn about the Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan for Robertson County and the cities of Adams, Coopertown and Cross Plains. The workshops will be led by consultants with Littlejohn Engineering Associates, Inc. The Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan will give officials a roadmap to guide future growth and development, accommodate change, and maintain the unique character of Robertson County.

RC Comprehensive Growth Plan in the Nashville Post

Friends of mine on Facebook undoubtedly saw where I had posted this a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to share this post here on “From the Blackpatch.”

The Nashville Post covered our Comprehensive Growth Plan in a quick article. It is always great to see Robertson County being showcased for the rest of Middle Tennessee.

Robertson County Growth Plan: EXPLAINED

Many of you have asked me what the Comprehensive Growth Plan “is” and what it will mean for Robertson County since I had previously discussed it back in October.  It is a project that cannot be easily reduced to a sound bite or a blurb, but my quick two-second response is that it is an “assessment of where we are, and where we would like to be.” Here is a much more thorough explanation of what this project encompasses –

“The Robertson County Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan is an intergovernmental initiative of the County and the Cities of Adams, Cross Plains and Coopertown to create a long-term vision and strategic plan for the County’s residents. Based on a comprehensive and inclusive community outreach process, the 2040 Vision Plan will be created for this county located north of Nashville. Citizens in the County desire to retain the rural, farmland economy that is unique to this region, while managing encroaching growth from the Nashville metropolitan area and capitalizing on opportunities for economic development. This effort includes engaging a broad and diverse population in a variety of formats including one-on-one interviews, community meetings, web-based consensus-building tools and workshops. A final comprehensive plan and strategic plan is the product of this effort.”
As you can see, this project is critical for Robertson County.
Please take a minute to go to the Comprehensive Growth Plan website found here (simply go to the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce website – and add “/growth”
In following posts, I will let you know how you can provide input towards this effort. Your input is critical!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Comprehensive Growth Plan: Website

Over the last few weeks, the Robertson County Comprehensive Growth Plan (CGP) has kicked off, and is now in high gear.

One of the partners, the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce has graciously offered to allow the CGP to utilize their website – check it out here:
“Bookmark” this website so that you can periodically check for updates and the progress being made with on your CGP.

Election 2012: Voter Leave

Remember over the next couple of weeks, but especially on November 6th -

Under state law found at T.C.A. § 2-1-106, any person who is entitled to vote in an election held in Tennessee is entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off from work, up to three hours, in order to vote during the time the polls are open in the county where the employee is a resident. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent, and the employee is required to apply for voting leave to the employer before noon of the day before the election. The state law further provides that the employee cannot be penalized or suffer a reduction in pay due to the absence. There is an exception to this requirement—if the employee’s work period begins three or more hours after the opening of the polls or ends three or more hours before the closing of the polls, then the employer is not required to allow any time off from work.
State law sets the minimum requirements for voting leave, but your county may provide for more time off than is required. Check your local personnel policies. Leave policies for all county offices are filed in the Office of the County Clerk.

The Week of October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012 – October 26, 2012
Date & Comm./Board             Time                    Location
Monday- Oct. 22 
EMS                                                               5:00 p.m.                      EMS Building     
Delinquent Tax                                            6:00 p.m.                      Co. Mayor’s Office
Tuesday- Oct. 23
Nominations                                                5:00 p.m.                      Co. Mayor’s
Wednesday – Oct. 24
Thursday- Oct. 25
Zoning Board of Appeals                           5:00 p.m.                       RCOB
Highway Commission                                7:00 p.m.                       Hwy.
Friday-Oct. 26

Saturday, June 2, 2012

MPO: Robertson County is Still Waiting....

You may have seen this story recently – hopefully the MPO (the “Metropolitan Planning Organization”) will make a decision soon as to accepting Robertson County as a member.

I have spoken about the MPO before, but if you need additional information as to just what the MPO is and how this affects Robertson County – more information can be found here.

Welcome! the Tennessee Technology Center.

Bare with me for a moment, the initial segment to this post has to do with Dickson County….
Now, as many of you have asked me before – why are you sharing news from other counties? Well, the simple answer is that I have several Tennessee counties of comparable size, close proximity and others that I keep up with just to learn what is going on in other counties. I like to think that it assists me with what we can do here in Robertson County so as to be the best for our citizens.
Sometimes, as it is with this story out of Dickson County, it coincidentally ratifies just what we are doing here in Robertson County.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Week of June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012-June 8, 2012

Date & Committee/Board   Time                      Location

Monday – June 4

Finance Committee               4:00 pm            Finance Office

Building and Grounds            5:00 pm            County Office Building

Tuesday – June 5

Wednesday – June 6

Thursday – June 7

Budget Committee                         5:00 pm                Finance Office
Planning Commission                     7:00 pm                County Office Building  
Friday – June 8


Robertson County Director of Schools Search: The Search Continues

From Robertson County Schools

The Robertson County Board of Education is now accepting application for the position of Director of Schools.
Interested individuals should contact Mr. Wayne Qualls by email at;
I hope to have more information on the search – mainly, a timeline for your calendars in the very near future.

Looking Forward to Taste of Country USA!

Simply put, I had a blast last year at this event.
The second-annual Taste of County USA is set for June 9 in Robertson County, bringing in thousands of people to Springfield’s downtown square ready to sample a taste of pre-summer fun.
The event, sponsored by the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce, offers free admission to the event spread across several city blocks. More than 50 arts and crafts and business vendors have already signed up to participate this year.

Coming Together for Our Northern Residents

I was pleased to see this funding measure pass at the May Regular Meeting of the Robertson County Commission.

Last week the Robertson County commission approved the funding for treatment of the Red River to kill the larvae of the black fly, the bloodsucking pest that has plagued residents in the northern part of the county this year.
The resolution was brought before the commission after many calls of complaint came to Mayor Howard Bradley from residents living along the Red River. People on both sides of the state line reported swarms of the flies, saying that they couldn’t go outside their homes without being bitten. Mark Hopkins of Enscience, Inc., an expert on the fly who has been working with local government to get rid of them, said that people have told him of infections caused by the bites, as well as others who have been bitten inside their ears or on their eyes by the tiny insects.
It was certainly pleasing to see commissioners from all corners of Robertson County come together to bring much needed aid to residents in the northern portion of Robertson County residing along and near the Red River.  
Mayor Bradley should be commended for his effort to coordinate between Kentucky, Tennessee, Logan County and Robertson County – not an altogether easy task.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Week of April 30, 2012


April 30-May, 4, 2012
Date & Committee/Board                           Time                                      Location
Monday – April 30
Tuesday – May 1
Fire Committee                                                5:00 P.M.                             County Office Bldg.
Joint Meeting: 
Law Enforcement/Workhouse Bd.                5:30 P.M.                             Sheriff’s Conference Rm.
Wednesday – May 2
Thursday – May 3
Budget Committee                                         5:00 P.M.                             County Office Bldg.
Planning Commission                                    7:00 P.M.                             County Office Bldg.                        
Friday – May 4

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Week of April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012- April 13, 2012
Date & Committee/Board             Time                    Location
Monday- April 9_
Personnel Committee                                                   5:00 P.M.                             RCOB- 3rd Floor
School Board                                                                      7:00 P.M.                             Central Office                
Tuesday- April 10
Joint Meeting:
Law Enforcement/Workhouse Board                      5:00 P.M.                             Sheriff’s Office
Solid Waste                                                                  6:00 P.M.                            
Wednesday – April 11
Airport Board                                                                8:00 A.M.                             Airport                 
Thursday- April 12
Friday-March 13

Sunday, April 1, 2012

RC: March Employment Numbers

Each month, WorkForce Essentials provides the Robertson County Commission with their “Spotlight on the Counties.”

This is a simple e-newsletter, but it provides us with valuable information regarding the state of our employment.
Here are the March statistics for Robertson County:
Labor Force                                                         34,390
Employed                                                            31,840
Unemployed                                                        2,540
Unemployment Rate                                           7.4%
Last Month’s Unemployment Rate                  7.5%
Unemployment Rate Change                           -.01%
State Unemployment Rate                                8.0%
U.S. Unemployment Rate                            8.3%