The public school system is the primary reason I live in Williamson County. It is a central component to the quality of life in this county. While I appreciate all the incredible work from the administration and teachers in WCS, we do have to continue to innovate. We need to invest in our teachers. Bricks and mortar are important, but the 21st century skill sets needed are equally important. As county commissioner, I will be a strong advocate for new resources to continue to innovate the curriculum.
Over the past decade, we have seen dramatic growth in Williamson County. What was primarily a residential neighborhood community with a supportive retail sector has really transformed greatly with incredible growth in almost every area of the county. As a District 10 county commissioner, my focus will be on looking for creative ways to preserve the historical and residential character of our county and improve the balance with our expanding areas of growth. For example, we have a strong, robust service community in our county with our teachers, police officers, fire fighters, retail workers, utility, city, and county government workers, etc. Our county is so much richer when these folks can afford to live in the communities which they serve. As your county commissioner, I will work tirelessly to support affordable housing in the county and make the best decisions possible with a fact-driven data approach that serves all our county residents.
The most pressing issue facing the county commission on healthcare is the support of Williamson Medical Center. I fully support maintaining WMC as a county resource and would not support a feasibility study on selling WMC. Given the future uncertainty of healthcare, WMC is an incredible asset for the county. With respect to my view on healthcare as an issue, I believe healthcare is a human right and responsible governing should always be moving toward this ideal.
Living in Franklin, I appreciate the rich history of the Battle of Franklin and its role in one of our country's darker chapters. This history is entwined with the struggle for racial equality. As a county commissioner, I would be a strong advocate to continue support for this national treasure, advocate for resources to continue to develop historical context, support efforts to change insensitive and offensive historical sites, and also work to promote a civic environment that emphasizes equality for all.
Our country has been in a high-intensity conflict with troops on the ground for 17 years. As a county, we need to anticipate the long-term needs of our returning soldiers. My concern is that not enough time has been taken to investigate veteran needs. Given my personal connection, as a county commissioner, I want to spend some time to know how we are doing as a county for our veterans and see how we can help.
In this year alone, we are averaging 1 school shooting every 3 days. These include the horrific events like Parkland, but suicides, and accidental shootings as well. These are important conversations to prioritize immediately in the county. We need to act quickly. Parkland was a community remarkably like our own. As a veteran of the Gulf War, I cannot 'un-see' the destruction and death I saw. I absolutely feel for these young people in Parkland. My war was almost 30 years ago and I still recall those images instantly. We need to not be afraid to discuss what we can do pragmatically now and act. As county commissioner, I will advocate investment in additional security, training for our kids, and investigating additional intervention programs. As a veteran and someone who understands live-fire exercises, I will not support arming teachers in our schools.