A native of Hamilton County, I was born in north Chattanooga and grew up in Hixson on a small farm on Cassandra Smith Road. I attended public schools, graduated from Hixson High School and continued my education at Chattanooga State and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga prior to joining the Chattanooga Fire Department in 1977. I currently live in Hixson with my wife, Nina, and we attend Burks United Methodist Church. My 28 year career at the Chattanooga Fire Department led me through the ranks, serving as Fire Chief for the last eight years. During my tenure as Fire chief, we managed to stay in budget for 8 straight years, secure $3 million in federal grants to purchase emergency equipment, and earned a class 2 ISO rating. After a short lived retirement from the fire department, I decided to run for county commissioner in district 3, where I was elected and served for 5 years until I was appointed as Hamilton County Mayor. I was sworn in as mayor on January 11, 2011, elected to office in 2012, again in 2014 and continue to hold the office today. Since I took office,Hamilton County has welcomed 48 new companies and seen 100 expansions, with a total of 14,640 new jobs. Some of these companies are Amazon, Bass Pro, RBM, just to name a few. An expansion to existing company, Gestamp, increased investment in Hamilton County by $180 million and brought in over 500 jobs. One of our largest achievements was acquiring a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga which has employed over 3,500 since its inception. A plant expansion is underway bringing over 2,000 more jobs along with several Volkswagen partner companies. Overall, over $2.57 billion has been invested in our county since 2011. 

Another successful asset for Hamilton County is our Business Development Center, Tennessee's largest business incubator. The BDC currently houses 63 startup companies, with an employee count of 298.

The largest percentage of our budget is directed toward education, with $138 million allotted for new schools and renovations. We recently completed additions to three schools: Nolan Elementary, Wolftever Elementary, and Sale Creek Middle/High School. A much needed Middle Valley Elementary School opened at the beginning of this school year, combining two schools that were 100 years old. Quality education is the key to our progressive economic development,therefore, we are proud to devote $12 million toward public education this year.

The newest asset to our county is the addition of a Veteran Services Officer who will assist veterans and their family members when applying for federal and state benefits and provide resources pertaining to issues such as veterans' compensation, vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance, home loan guarantees and life insurance. We are proud to be able to offer these services to our veterans and their families.

I am honored to serve on several boards including, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the Joint Economic and Community Development Board, Read 20, the River City Company Board, UTC Chancellor's Roundtable and the Workforce Investment Board. I am also proud to have received the Tennessee Association of Manufacturers' C.D. Mitchell award in 2015 and being inducted into the Chattanooga Fire Department Hall of Fame and the Hixson High School Hall of Fame.

Hamilton County continues to be a superb place to raise a family, work and retire. The continued effort of many have combined to bring our County to the great place it is today.

A native of Hamilton County, I was born in north Chattanooga and grew up in Hixson on a small farm on Cassandra Smith Road. I attended public schools, graduated from Hixson High School and continued my education at Chattanooga State and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga prior to joining the Chattanooga Fire Department in 1977. I currently live in Hixson with my wife, Nina, and we attend Burks United Methodist Church. My 28 year career at the Chattanooga Fire Department led me through the ranks, serving as Fire Chief for the last eight years. During my tenure as Fire chief, we managed to stay in budget for 8 straight years, secure $3 million in federal grants to purchase emergency equipment, and earned a class 2 ISO rating. After a short lived retirement from the fire department, I decided to run for county commissioner in district 3, where I was elected and served for 5 years until I was appointed as Hamilton County Mayor. I was sworn in as mayor on January 11, 2011, elected to office in 2012, again in 2014 and continue to hold the office today. Since I took office,Hamilton County has welcomed 48 new companies and seen 100 expansions, with a total of 14,640 new jobs. Some of these companies are Amazon, Bass Pro, RBM, just to name a few. An expansion to existing company, Gestamp, increased investment in Hamilton County by $180 million and brought in over 500 jobs. One of our largest achievements was acquiring a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga which has employed over 3,500 since its inception. A plant expansion is underway bringing over 2,000 more jobs along with several Volkswagen partner companies. Overall, over $2.57 billion has been invested in our county since 2011.

Another successful asset for Hamilton County is our Business Development Center, Tennessee's largest business incubator. The BDC currently houses 63 startup companies, with an employee count of 298.

The largest percentage of our budget is directed toward education, with $138 million allotted for new schools and renovations. We recently completed additions to three schools: Nolan Elementary, Wolftever Elementary, and Sale Creek Middle/High School. A much needed Middle Valley Elementary School opened at the beginning of this school year, combining two schools that were 100 years old. Quality education is the key to our progressive economic development,therefore, we are proud to devote $12 million toward public education this year.

The newest asset to our county is the addition of a Veteran Services Officer who will assist veterans and their family members when applying for federal and state benefits and provide resources pertaining to issues such as veterans' compensation, vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance, home loan guarantees and life insurance. We are proud to be able to offer these services to our veterans and their families.

I am honored to serve on several boards including, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the Joint Economic and Community Development Board, Read 20, the River City Company Board, UTC Chancellor's Roundtable and the Workforce Investment Board. I am also proud to have received the Tennessee Association of Manufacturers' C.D. Mitchell award in 2015 and being inducted into the Chattanooga Fire Department Hall of Fame and the Hixson High School Hall of Fame.

Hamilton County continues to be a superb place to raise a family, work and retire. The continued effort of many have combined to bring our County to the great place it is today.