By MATT BLOIS
Nolensville will elect a mayor and two aldermen in November.
Four people are running for the two open aldermen seats.
The Mayor and Alderman serve four year terms. They are elected at large, rather than representing specific wards.
Derek Adams invites you to ask him anything. It says so right on the T-shirt he wears to Board of Mayor and Aldermen meetings.
The software engineer decided to run for Alderman because he wants to apply some of the standards for excellence in business to the government.
“In my work I have timelines I have responsibilities. If I don’t get those things done it looks bad,” he said. “I want to apply that same logic on our government.”
Adams doesn’t have any experience in elected office, but he got interested in politics around the time of Barack Obama’s first term as President.
He says he wants to prioritize spending on roads and public safety, which he sees as the primary functions of the municipal government. He also says he’s wiling to work with developers to find scenarios that work for the town and the developer.
Adams said he doesn’t like the town’s beer ordinance, which requires restaurants selling beer to earn at least 65 percent of their revenue from selling food.
“Franklin and Brentwood don’t have any such law, and our demographic is not different from theirs. We’re a very family oriented town,” he said. “They don’t need any such ordinance to prevent dive bars, which I know was the original intent of the ordinance.”
He has lived in Nolensville for two years with his wife Courtney and his children Ginny, Sullivan and Harvey. He previously lived in South Nashville, just north of Nolensville.
Steve Cody is hoping to use his experiences on the boards of homeowners associations to balance growth with preservation.
After serving on homeowners association boards for 12 years in two different states, Cody is running for Alderman in Nolensville. In Nolensville, he served on the board of the Bent Creek Homeowners Association for five years.
Even though he hasn’t served as a public official, he said he’s qualified for the job,
“From a career perspective I have a lot of business planning, budgeting, strategy development type experience combined with 12 years of homeowners associations,” he said.
Cody said his priorities as an Alderman are planning ahead for the city’s growth and managing the budget well.
“I have a strong interest in preserving the historical value of Nolensville while managing the explosive growth,” he said. “We can’t stop the growth, but we can manage it so we balance growth and historical preservation.”
He previously worked 19 different assignment during a 36-year career at UPS, before retiring recently. Most recently, he worked on marketing the service to healthcare organizations.
Cody lives in Nolensville with his wife Mellisa. He has two daughters.
Alderman Tommy Dugger is the only incumbent in the race, and the only candidate with experience in public office.
Fellow Alderman Brian Snyder is also up for reelection, but decided to run for Mayor instead of Alderman.
Dugger was one of Nolensville’s first Alderman when the town incorporated in 1996. Aldermen didn’t receive any compensation then. Now, the Mayor is paid $550 per month and Alderman are paid $425.
He was on the board until 2010, and then took a break. He was elected again in 2014. During his time on the board, he has served as Mayor and Vice Mayor.
“I just want to continue to help what we started,” he said. “We started in 1996 without a dollar in the bank … We started from scratch. I’ve got a lot invested, a lot of time invested, and I’d like to continue four more years.”
In addition to serving on the board he also sells real estate and insurance. He previously worked as for Sara Lee for 27 years, at one point directing sales for all of Tennessee.
Dugger was born and raised in South Nashville, and never went too far away. He’s has lived in Nolensville with his wife Linda since 1992. He has four children and five grandchildren.
After attending Board of Mayor and Aldermen meetings off and on for the last few years, Dale Gustafson decided he wanted in on the action.
Gustafson is running for Alderman this November. He doesn’t have any experience in elected office, but he has always had an interest in politics.
He was pleased that he had a little bit of competition in the race.
“It’s important that voters have a choice,” he said.
Gustafson recently retired from a career forecasting commodity prices—mostly corn, soybeans and wheat. That gives him more time to get involved with city government.
“I’ve always had an interest in it, but when I worked from 4 a.m. until 6 p.m. I didn’t frankly have time,” he said.
He lives in Nolensville with his wife Jackie. They’ve been in town for about four years. He has one daughter in Brentwood and another daughter in Chicago. He has two grandkids.