While Spring Hill is home to many historic Civil War sites, some might say that the amount of resources poured into preserving and improving them pales in comparison to the city of Franklin's historic sites, thanks in large part to the nonprofit organization Battle of Franklin Trust.
William Pomeroy, who's running to represent Spring Hill's second Ward as alderman, said that if elected, improving and expanding the city's Civil War sites would be a top priority of his, helping Spring Hill grab a chunk of the multi-billion dollar Civil War tourism industry.
A native of Brentwood, Pomeroy graduated from Nashville's Hume-Fogg High School in 2003. Also an Eagle Scout, Pomeroy then set his sights on the University of Tennessee where he graduated in 2007 with a degree in History while undergoing the Army ROTC program.
Shortly after graduating college, Pomeroy was commissioned as an officer in the Army where he went on to serve in the Military Police Corps for seven years in places like Hawaii and the Middle East.
Following his military service, Pomeroy went to law school and soon opened his own practice. Pomeroy moved to Spring Hill in 2017 and is married with one child. He has another child on the way this summer.
As far as his decision to run for office, Pomeroy said he had made the decision last fall to help 'bridge the gap' between average citizens and those leading the city.
"I really wanted to help make an impact, and it's something that when I speak to people, there's a disconnect between the political class and the common Joe and the average folks - I thought I could help bridge that gap," Pomeroy said.
Spring Hill's Civil War tourism potential
"I think there's potential to plus up the Civil War sites of Spring Hill," Pomeroy said of his candidacy aspirations.
"Right outside City Hall, you've got Civil War potential there with the federal artillery sites... just look at what the Battle of Franklin has done for the city of Franklin, it's been really great for them. Civil War tours in Tennessee is a $2 billion a year industry, I think there's potential to plus up the Civil War stuff [and] the historical sites there in Spring Hill."
While the city's most prominent Civil War site, the Battle of Spring Hill, does have The American Battlefield Trust - a nonprofit organization - working to preserve the site, Pomeroy said that he would like to see even more resources poured into improving Spring Hill's standing as a prominent place to visit for Civil War history.
Bettering Spring Hill
When asked what he considered to be the largest challenge facing the city, Pomeroy's answer was not a huge surprise: infrastructure.
"It seems to be the popular thing to say, but it's just the truth of it," Pomeroy said.
"[Infrastructure] would be close to the top [of my priority list]; I know there's already been a lot of work done on it with the money coming in with the interchange and 31. [I'd also like to see an improvement with] parks, doing what we can to make people stay in Spring Hill and make Spring Hill attractive."
Pomeroy said that he is a "big fan" of the city's parks, and that if elected, he hopes that amenities in the city could be improved by the end of his first term.
In terms of encouraging economic development through the use of granting tax incentives for businesses, similar to the tax abatement extension for the auto-parts manufacturer Faurecia that granted the company more than $1 million savings, Pomeroy said that he would look at similar future decisions on a case-by-case basis.
"It's more of a case by case basis, but at the same time, I can understand the incentive on the front end of it, but I think it's something you don't want to get in the habit of doing indefinitely," Pomeroy said. "You end up having a race to the bottom, but of course I'm for economic development."
Leading through a pandemic
One factor Spring Hill candidates must look at that is unique to this election is how exactly they would lead amidst an ongoing pandemic.
In Middle Tennessee alone, leaders have taken drastically different approaches to managing the pandemic. From Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham's refusal to sign onto a county-wide mask mandate, to Franklin Mayor Ken Moore issuing the county's first stay-at-home order, local leaders have demonstrated widely different methods of balancing safety and personal freedoms.
When asked how he may balance those two things as an alderman, Pomeroy said he would almost exclusively delegate pandemic-related safety measures to each individual citizen.
"I'm opposed to stay-at-home orders; at the beginning I think it made sense, but I think that they've been proven that they're not really that effective, and what are you going to do if someone doesn't stay at home, put them in jail?" Pomeroy said.
"In Nashville, they're charging people under a Class A misdemeanor that carries a possible [sentence] of 29 days in jail for not wearing a mask... I think it's just crazy, it's insane."
Pomeroy also said he was strictly opposed to mask mandates.
"I'm opposed to mask mandates as well because I don't think they're effective," Pomeroy said.
"You get caught up in these masks and you take your eye off the ball - washing hands and social distance - instead what you're doing is you're just trying to hunt down people to charge them under a Class A misdemeanor for not wearing a mask... it's just crazy."
Academic and military experience
When asked what accomplishments of his best demonstrate his ability to lead Spring Hill, Pomeroy pointed to both his academic and military experience.
"When you're in the military, you kind of just do every single thing that comes your way, and I think the board is going to be similar to that," Pomeroy said.
"You're going to get a lot of tasks assigned to you; there's a steep learning curve. I'm trying to learn as fast as I can now, [but] with my military background and my successful time in studying law as well, I think it shows that I can grasp things, figure out small problems and then get the best resolution for them."
Pomeroy is just one of nine candidates running for office in the upcoming city election. 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.