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We Need More Pie Please

In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to have numerous discussions about all of the hustle and bustle in our community. There are lots of building projects currently underway, new businesses opening, and companies such as Gander Mountain working their way thru the planning process in the hopes that they too can open their doors in Mt Juliet one day soon. I’ve also had other folks tell me that the city has no business granting any more residential or multi-family building permits since we already have times of the day when traffic is bad. Someday we may look back at this point in our city’s history as somewhat of a turning point; a reality-check if you may. Together we are going to need to decide what we want to be when we grow up.

For a city that essentially has a property tax rate of zero (since 100% of what is collected is designated only for emergency services) to fund things like parks and recreation, sidewalks, paving, city services, and such, sales tax is king. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that those services will not be any cheaper in the future than they are today. I’m also going to take a wild guess and assume that most folks do not want to pay more in property taxes either.

So the question begs to be answered; how do you raise more sales tax dollars and keep property taxes as low as possible? There may be many more, but two options readily come to mind. Option one would be for those of us who live here already to go out and spend a lot more of our money. Option two is to do what we can to get more people to live here so that they too can contribute to the sales tax base; i.e. grow the tax base. I’d say most are already spending about all they can and unless their income sees a significant increase then I doubt their spending will increase dramatically anytime soon. That means our current pie is pretty well divided up I’d say.

So, that now leaves us with the other option which is making the pie larger. How do we make the pie larger so there is more money spent in our community and thereby allowing us to grow the tax base? We need more “spenders”. We need spenders that are not even here yet to move into our community and to contribute more money to our local economy. These spenders need to represent as broad and diverse of a populous as possible. What are we doing to attract these folks? Where will they live and work? What can we do to help remove the “barriers to entry” into our community? If we don’t do that, then what happens? As for me, I’d rather grow the pie!

I will see you right here next week! Follow Mark on Twitter @MJChamber #mjchamber or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit 24/7 at www.mtjulietchamber.com.

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Your Backyard Is Beautiful!

Got your attention didn’t I? Well, the backyard I am talking about sure has mine. We’ve probably all referred to parts of our neighborhood, maybe our community and perhaps even our state as our “backyard”. The one I am sharing with you today is our State Park system.

Tonya and I recently started on a quest to see as many of the Tennessee State Parks as possible. It kind of started on a whim one day when we decided to take a little day trip to visit someplace new that we had not yet seen together. On one of our first stops we picked up a free park guide that shows the location of over 50 parks from one end of the state to the other. This locator map shows where they all are, directions on how to get there, and what types of activities are available at each. We have now visited over a dozen in the Middle TN area alone! I have to say, this is yet another reason to absolutely love the place we call home.

Mt Juliet is located only a few miles from the geographical center of Tennessee, making it just about as convenient as possible to visit them all. That cannot be said if you happen to live in Memphis or Mountain City up in the far NE corner of TN. In fact, if you lived in Mountain City, TN it would be closer for you to drive to Canada than to the other end of your own state (521 miles vs. 544 miles per MapQuest)! I hope everyone gets a chance to see some of the beauty and magnificence our state has to offer. We even went to one State Park (it’s only been a State Park for a couple of years now) that was not yet on our map which is located about 20 or so miles north of Cookeville. We were actually on our way to Burgess Falls and Tonya saw the sign for Cummings Falls State Park. We thought “what the heck, let’s check it out” and it is spectacular! Some might even call my ability to get from the passing lane driving 70 MPH to the exit ramp in under 5 seconds a bit spectacular; I hope everyone else on the road that day thought so too…JK.

Another trip took us on the Natchez Trace Parkway all the way down to Davy Crockett Park near Alabama where we enjoyed the afternoon attending Davy Crockett Days. From waterfalls and foot bridges, cliff views and scenic overlooks, to beautiful drives and wonderful picnics, we have truly come to appreciate our own back yard. So far our visits have been easy day trips nearby. We are looking forward to broadening our travels and hope to get to Reelfoot Lake near Tiptonville in the NW corner of TN across the Mississippi River from Missouri to Warriors Path State Park near Kingsport in Upper East TN. The next time someone asks you why you love Mt Juliet, maybe you too can add this to your already long list of reasons why we love our own backyard! I will see you right here next week!

Follow Mark on Twitter @MJChamber or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit 24/7 at www.mtjulietchamber.com.

 

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The Community Is On A Roll…

Each week I have the opportunity to use a few words to share my thoughts with our community. I hope you enjoy reading this column as much as I enjoy writing it.

As I was thinking about the very important role that each of us play in our Community, I began to liken it to that of a bicycle or other tire with spokes. You may be asking yourself what in the world they have in common, but when you stop to think about it there are many similarities. Obviously the bigger you are the bigger tire you need to get you around. The bigger the tire, the more support you need and the more crucial each spoke becomes. And the more tires used to pull the same load, the easier the load is to carry. Granted, in the Old West a wagon might have only needed a dozen spokes. But, thinking about how large we are getting, how many people now depend upon us, the speed at which we are moving, I would suggest to you that we need really strong and reliable tires.

Our (Chamber) tire is made up of nearly 600 strong and reliable spokes (Member Businesses) and we are all working towards a common and united cause; to make our community a desirable place to live, work, and raise a family. Other tires needed to help us achieve our mission might include such things as; the school system, our youth sports, our Senior Citizen Center, our local governments, our many churches and other places of worship, our neighborhood associations, and the list goes on and on. As like most other tires, we need to keep it filled with air; in our case that is an array of valuable programs and services which help our customers to keep moving forward. As like any other tire, when the air gets low the load seems heavier and in some cases can literally grind to a stop. Looking forward, there are a lot of great folks evaluating our current assets and opportunities in order to be as prepared as possible for the future growth which is sure to follow.

At the Chamber, our leaders, volunteers, members, and staff are also preparing for the future with even more programs and services being put into place for the benefit of the entire community. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, questions or concerns, you are encouraged to share your ideas. Call, email, or even better yet, stop by to let us know what you think we can do to make sure the tire stays full.

The Chamber of Commerce is working hard to make sure that all of the tires in the community are working together and pulling the load in the same direction. We have to help insure that there are enough people pulling the wagon in the desired direction in order to make it as smooth of a ride as possible. Each of you is making a huge difference in your community by supporting the Chamber of Commerce and our member businesses. Your past, present, and continued support are crucial. Together we are going places that none of us could go alone. And as for the Chamber Tire; well, we are really on a roll…I’m available 24/7 at www.mtjulietchamber.com. See you right here next week! Follow Mark on Twitter @MJChamber or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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2008 Hits