Looks Forward to Helping Local Officials Bring Jobs to the Area
Republican gubernatorial nominee and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam today visited a group of local elected officials and economic development professionals in Brownsville to receive an update on the progress of the TVA Megasite being developed there.
Mayor Haslam was an early supporter of the Haywood County Megasite and has made frequent visits to Brownsville over the past two years in order to learn more about the progress being made as well as the challenges that remain and how he can help now and also later, hopefully, as governor.
Today is Mayor Haslam's second day in a row in West Tennessee focusing on rural economic development. He spoke yesterday with a group of local officials in Jackson about the unique challenges facing rural areas and discussed strategies for bringing jobs to West Tennessee.
"Bill Haslam understands the importance of this project to West Tennessee and to the state, and we truly appreciate his support," Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith said.
"He has been a strong supporter of the Megasite from the beginning, and there's no better person to help us complete it and bring jobs to West Tennessee than Bill," added Smith.
Mayor Haslam highlighted his plan to create a leadership position within the Department of Economic and Community Development devoted solely to small town, rural and agriculture issues as well as his regional approach to economic development, which will involve leveraging the unique assets of each region for job creation.
"The Haywood County Megasite is a significant asset to the region and to the state," said Haslam. "The folks here have done a great job creating this opportunity and moving the project along, and I just want to make sure they know that they will have the full support of the governor's office if I'm elected."
"As governor, I will work hard to bring jobs to West Tennessee," continued Haslam. "And working with the folks on the ground, the Megasite will be an opportunity to do just that."
Mayor Haslam is the two-term Republican Mayor of Knoxville, reelected in 2007 with 87 percent of the vote. A hardworking public servant, Haslam led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city's debt, tripling the rainy day fund, reducing the number of city employees to the lowest amount in 15 years and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family's small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee's largest companies with 14,000 employees.