During Alderman Kevin Gavigan's first term in office, the city has secured a $25 million grant to construct a new interchange on I-65, completed Duplex Road, made plans to widen and extend Buckner Lane and Buckner Road, and secured Main Street as being part of the state's three-year transportation plan.
Gavigan vowed that if re-elected, his priority would be to continue what he called a series of "exceptional strides" in the city's infrastructure.
The youngest member of the Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Alderman at 34, Gavigan has been a Spring Hill resident for years alongside his wife and four children.
A graduate of Lipscomb University, Gavigan is a licensed lawyer in both Florida and Tennessee and specializes in banking and finance law. Gavigan currently works as assistant general counsel for FirstBank, and enjoys playing basketball and tennis in his spare time.
Keeping critical projects moving
Winning his first election in 2017, Gavigan said that his first priority was to address the city's inadequate infrastructure. Close to the end of his first term now in 2021, Gavigan says that continuing that mission would remain at the top of his agenda.
"When I began my service four years ago, I resolved to help fix the road infrastructure in our city beyond all else," Gavigan said.
"In that time, we made exceptional strides, led by the extraordinary $25 million federal grant awarded to construct our own Spring Hill exit on I-65. In that time, we also saw the completion of the Duplex Road Widening Project and significant advancements in the widening of Buckner Lane and Buckner Road."
Perhaps the greatest and most needed goal reached, Gavigan said, was cementing Main Street for being widened to five lanes in the near future.
"Perhaps most importantly, however, we also secured the inclusion of the Highway 31 widening project in TDOT’s 3-year Multimodal plan, meaning we have, for the first time ever, secured [the Tennessee Department of Transportation's] support and investment to widen Highway 31," Gavigan said.
"Spring Hillians want their tax dollars allocated and reallocated towards road infrastructure. If re-elected, my chief priority will be to keep these critical projects moving at warp speed and disallow anything, or anyone, to derail them."
'A uniquely critical election'
With the 2021 Spring Hill election will come many changes; Mayor Rick Graham, Vice Mayor Amy Wurth and Alderman Jeff Graves will be gone. Alderman Vincent Fuqua is running for mayor, and the city administrator, engineer and planning director have all resigned.
Because of all this, whoever is elected to lead this April will have a lot of work on their hands. Gavigan argues that re-electing him could help "steady Spring Hill" during a "potentially turbulent year."
"With our City Administrator, Victory Lay, leaving for a new professional opportunity, and a Mayor-elect, who will not be Rick Graham for the first time in eight years, consistency of leadership on the Board of Mayor and Alderman is more important now than in any recent year," Gavigan said.
"In addition to the hire of our next City Administrator and election of a new Mayor, the Board of Mayor and Alderman will also be tasked to hire a new city engineer and city planner come April. Without steady, continuing and experienced city leadership elsewhere, Spring Hill’s momentum and recent advancements could be set back significantly."
"This is why I am asking for [citizens'] vote in April; to steady Spring Hill in a potentially turbulent year. Simply put, the current road infrastructure plan is at risk of derailment and setbacks without the relentlessly persistent voice and experienced advocacy for the plan."
Priorities beyond infrastructure
Gavigan's stated priorities extended past infrastructure, and included things like addressing the surge in mass residential development.
"Beyond throwing every available resource at roads, I want to champion other important aspirations of my constituents," Gavigan said.
"These include restricting mass residential development, holding residential developers accountable, expanding the city’s park and greenspace footprint, enhancing the availability and quality of youth sports, and supporting our existing business owners economically."
Gavigan also reflected on his past voting record, and vowed that he would hold true to his to them if re-elected.
"It has been a top honor of my life to have represented Spring Hill these past four years," Gavigan said.
"In that time, I have proudly voted against the recent property tax increase, refused to approve any property rezone or annexation that would increase residential density, and more than tripled impact fees for new residential development. These are but some accomplishments that I am proud of. If re-elected, I will be continue advancing these initiatives to strengthen and mature our great city."
Gavigan is just one of nine candidates running for office in the upcoming city election, and will be running against political newcomer Brent Murray and local business owner Angela Privett 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.