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.
The day started out with the class hearing from State Representative Mary Littleton, who represents both Cheatham and Dickson County. 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.
After meeting with Rep. Littleton, the class got a tour of the Tennessee State Capitol building, during which it had an impromptu visit with Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who was at the capitol on business but stopped to visit with the group for a moment and discuss her time representing Cheatham County prior to redistricting.
The class then observed a committee meeting, sitting in on the House Finance Committee as it discussed the state’s budget. At lunch the class was joined by representatives from the Tennessee Department of Revenue. Deputy Commissioner Phillip Mize 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 meet with Sen. Jim Summerville, who represents Cheatham County, in the Old Senate Chambers. After hearing from Sen. Summerville and having the opportunity to ask questions, the class then heard from a four other representatives of state government.
Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson addressed the group about not only the important role agriculture plays in the Cheatham County, but how it is advancing across the state and the challenges that farmers and agriculture producers are facing in Tennessee. Greg Duncan from Tennessee Department of Transportation then spoke about his department, what TDOT does and doesn’t do and answered questions from the class.
Cheatham County resident Pat Smith, who currently works as a consultant assisting non-profit organizations, addressed the group about how consulting to and for state agencies operates. Smith who has a number of years working in multiple public service positions at both the state and local government levels was able to elaborate on the process and share some of his experiences. The day then concluded with the class hearing from Tennessee Department of Tourism representative Leigh Glover who spoke about how important tourism is for the state and how much of a revenue generator it really is and can be.
Next month the LCC class with gather for a truly educational day, as it explores the education system in Cheatham County, visiting a number of the schools in the county and hearing from educators across the county.
Now in its 18th year, LCC’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, the Cheatham Vision Plan, an anti-distracted driving campaign for county schools among many others.