The Leadership Cheatham County class spent the day in Nashville Tuesday at the State Capitol, learning about the legislative process on the state level . The day was highlighted with educational meetings with state leaders from a variety of state departments in addition to lunch with Cheatham County’s state representative Mary Littleton.
The day started out with the class hearing from a Leadership Cheatham County alumni and Board of Trustees member Brett Howell, who is a communications specialist with the County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS). He explained the functions of CTAS and how it was created by the Tennessee General Assembly, as part of the University of Tennessee, to provide prompt and accurate technical assistance on a daily basis to Tennessee’s 95 counties.
The class then had a brief introductory meeting with Rep. Littleton, where she spoke about the current legislative session, bills that she is working on and how some of the current legislation being debated could affect Cheatham County and the 78th Legislative District. The class’ visit also coincided with “Ag Day on the Hill,” where agriculture programs from across the state gather at Legislative Plaza to advocate for their programs. As part of that, the class had the opportunity to witness the traditional cow milking competition that pits the Speaker of the House, Beth Harwell, against the Lieutenant Governor, Ron Ramsey, as well.
The class then observed a house committee meeting on the planning and zoning processes across the state, before breaking for lunch. At lunch the class was once again joined by Rep. Littleton in addition to representatives from the Tennessee Department of Revenue. Director Karen Blackburn spoke to the group about how state tax collections work and broke down the process of how state-shared taxes work and how individual counties and municipalities benefit. Director of special investigations David Remke also spoke to the group about how the department goes after businesses and individuals who attempt to skirt paying the taxes they owe along with examples of recent cases that have been prosecuted.
The class wrapped up its day by returning to the state’s Capitol building, where they had the opportunity to sit in the Senate Chambers and hear from Mr. Greg Duncan, who is the assistant chief of operations with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. He gave the class an update on current road construction projects in Cheatham County, in addition to insight into how projects are selected then carried out from beginning to end.
Next month the LCC class will gather for its final educational day before graduating from the program and take a look at the Emergency Services in Cheatham County.
Now in its 17th year, Leadership Cheatham County’s purpose continues to be focused on the enhancement of individual leadership skills, abilities and community knowledge while fostering a free exchange of ideas and concerns. In addition LCC aims to help develop a positive, cohesive community image and foster attitudes of increased commitment, cooperation and participation within our community for the long-term benefit of Cheatham County.
The LCC program consists of nine monthly seminars, group discussions, field trips and retreats that address various issues of importance in Cheatham County. Participants will view and gain a hands-on knowledge of the county’s history, agriculture and tourism offerings, in addition to seeing how the education system, businesses and industry, safety services and government operations all work together within Cheatham County and its four cities.
Each participant will also be involved in the development of a group project that will benefit the county as a whole. Previous classes have completed such projects as the development of the county-wide fire plan, the county animal control facility, satellite early voting locations and the Cheatham Vision Plan among many others.
NOTE: Attempts were made to include State Senator Jim Summerville in LCC State Government Day but he has been out of the office with a recent illness and was unable to participate.