Angela Privett

Angela Privett

The city of Spring Hill is growing at an exceptionally fast rate, becoming in 2019 part of the single fastest-growing area in the state.

Candidate for Spring Hill Ward 3 alderman Angela Privett wants to couple that continued growth with more businesses, vowing that if elected she would seek to modify the city's Unified Development Code to make opening a business even easier within the city.

Angela Privett

Originally from Alabama, Privett has a long history in business, opening up several childcare facilities in her home state after high school. Privett entered the real estate industry after moving to East Tennessee in the early 2000s where she focused on development and new construction.

Privett continued her work in the real estate industry throughout the early 2010s at The Villages, a retirement community in Florida that spans across 32 square miles with a population of nearly 80,000.

It wouldn't be until 2016 that Privett moved to Williamson County where she would later open of The Landing, an event venue, in late 2019.

Privett said that her experience in real estate, housing development and business have equipped her with the tools to help lead Spring Hill as an alderman, and hopes to use that experience to put the city on the path to success.

"If we just took a portion of what I learned and instituted part of that here, we could catch up and properly plan for the future"

Privett pointed to her years worth of experience as the reason why she decided to run, as well as her recent venture with The Landing as a tool she could use to help better the city.

"When I took on this building I learned a great deal in addition to what I already learned being in real estate sales, but I learned a great deal about city government and infrastructure," Privett said. "And I've been told that due to my experience from locals that I had a lot to offer. I've been told that I would make a great candidate."

Privett pointed to her experience in The Villages as well, arguing that being involved in development on such a mass scale would make her well suited for the position of city alderman.

"Anybody that knows anything about The Villages, they sell between 4,000 and 5,000 homes a year," Privett said.

"The town now is about 50 miles long from point to point, they still have about 15,000 acres to develop, but you learn a lot about infrastructure, you see everything going in because you're involved. If we just took a portion of what I learned from The Villages in Florida and instituted part of that here, we could catch up and properly plan for the future."

Spurring economic growth

Encouraging and incentivizing economic growth would be a key platform of Privett, who said that giving Spring Hill residents a reason to stay and shop in the city would be "huge on [her] priority list."

"Economic development creates economic growth, and that creates higher paying jobs so that you're not having to leave here to go to work," Privett said.

"We all commute: I would say 90 percent of the people before COVID-19 commuted out of here to go to work. That not only cuts down on our tax revenue, that cuts down on our local businesses being able to generate revenue. Economic development is huge on my priority list, we need to get industries to come here to bring us their tax revenue, and not just chain restaurants."

Regarding economic development, Privett said that one of the first things on her agenda would be moving to modify and clarify the city's UDC to make opening businesses easier.

"I've talked to several locals in this town, people from Popeye's to other businesses around town, and I remember speaking to one in particular [who] said they found it extremely hard to get through our city administration to open up a business," Privett said.

"Being a small business advocate being that I am a small business owner, I think that without going against codes and guidelines, we should help [people] the best that we can to create small businesses here rather than some of the things I've heard that they've been through."

"The Unified Development Code... some of it just doesn't line up, and it's up to the interpretation of the reader. There needs to be a little bit easier process to get through that grey area for [people] to be able to open up their businesses."

Infrastructure and planning

When asked what she viewed as the biggest challenge facing Spring Hill, Privett provided an unsurprising answer: infrastructure.

"It may sound like a canned answer, but as we well know it's the infrastructure," Privett said.

"Yes, there may not be a whole lot at this current time we can do about [U.S.] 31, but we are creating a bypass so that is good. The infrastructure, the sewer and the proper planning for the future... I'm seeing a lot of Band-Aids stuck on things in Spring Hill, it's like passing the play."

"I don't mean that ugly towards anyone, but it's time to get down and tighten up our belts a little bit and see what we can do to fix the problem rather than defer. I've heard the word 'defer' in this town a lot — let's just make a decision. I think with proper planning for the future we can catch up. I think it just takes more business-minded people to step up."

Amenities

While stressing the importance of a city to have proper amenities such as parks, trails and sports fields, Privett said it would be important to prioritize goals correctly, addressing more dire needs with greater focus.

"Obviously [amenities are] very important, but I do think we need to prioritize first — as an outsider looking in, I think that there's more top pricing priorities finically that we need to see to," Privett said.

"Now, if we're getting grant money to pay for all of that, then of course let's do all of that, but if we're just putting the city in more of a financial strain to do those things, I would not be able to consciously put the city [through that] where everybody's putting tax dollars in."

"I know that we have to travel out of here to go to parks and to do anything, that's the biggest complaint. There's nothing here for families to do, so parks are important, it just needs to be set on a priority list."

Leading through a pandemic

When it came to her approach on leading through a pandemic, Privett had one simple mantra: Keep businesses open.

"We keep our businesses open for one, we don't close our doors, we don't run in fear — God didn't intend for us to live that way," Privett said.

"The pandemic is real, I've been affected by COVID-19 heavily for five straight weeks — that was last February. I do believe in the vaccine and I've never taken a vaccine in my life. But we keep our businesses open because if you close your businesses, yes, you may be keeping down some of the spread, but what else is rising up when you're doing that?"

"I just know I would do it quite a bit different than our mayor in Nashville, I take more of the stance of [Maury] County Mayor [Andy] Ogles: open your business, use discretion."

Election

Privett is just one of nine candidates running for office in the upcoming city election, and will be running against incumbent Kevin Gavigan and political newcomer Brent Murray to represent Spring Hill Ward 3. 

Early voting will be from March 19 to April 3, with Election Day landing on Thursday, April 8. The last day to register to vote is March 9 — click here to register to vote online.