Two aldermen seats in the town of Thompson's Station will be up for grabs this November — one held by incumbent Ben Dilks, who won't be running for re-election this year, and the other by Vice Mayor Brian Stover.
With three fresh faces running for a seat on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen this year — Lauren Gaudioso, Rebecca Watson and Andrew Zinn — Stover spoke with the Home Page ahead of the town's election, breaking down what accomplishments he's felt the town has made in recent years, as well as what lies ahead.
A native to West Virginia, Stover moved to Tennessee in 1986, graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in marketing in 1994. Stover has worked for Sysco Foods of Nashville since 1996, and is currently the acting business development manager for the multi-million dollar food service company.
Stover currently lives in the Canterbury community with his wife, Jessica.
What is an accomplishment you're most proud of that happened under your tenure as alderman/vice mayor?
I’ve been involved in so many important and rewarding projects during my tenure as alderman/vice-mayor; from my work with the Parks Board in renaming Thompson’s Station Park to Sarah Benson Park, that honors one of the town’s longest serving public servants, to helping grow the town’s Christmas Celebration from 50 people to over 1000, to my efforts as a member of the Utility Board to help the town finalize a resolution to its long standing sewer issues.
But I think what I’m most proud of is honoring one of my campaign promises to improve the town’s infrastructure. To that end, I negotiated the deal with Encompass (developer for Canterbury) whereby they are paying a portion of the construction expense for Phase 1 of the Critz Lane expansion project, which includes taking down the dangerous hill just to the east of Clayton Arnold Road.
We have other roadway projects planned that continue to focus on improving the safety of those using the roads. Because of the town's strong financial position, most of these projects have been paid for in cash. It's my desire to continue focusing on fiscal responsibility as we steward these and other projects.
Another campaign promise was to begin recording and live streaming our meetings to assist with transparency. All meetings are now archived on the town website so residents can go back and watch any meeting they want to from the past four years to gain a better understanding of what is being discussed as related to the town.
What is something you'd like to accomplish in the future if re-elected?
The town is truly at a crossroads regarding its growth. Going forward, it is important to me that the town work on developing a sustainable economic plan that works in conjunction with our Land Development Ordinance so that the town has a clear vision in terms of the future economic needs of the town.
This will help ensure our growth is managed properly, is sustainable, pays for itself, and ultimately is beneficial to our community. This is not growth for growth's sake — that does not work.
This is about identifying opportunities to grow our respective tax bases smartly and use that to the town's advantage to preserve the things that are important to us — our rural charm and character — while creating a way to generate adequate tax revenues to run the town and pay for improvements.
What experience and/or qualities make you the best choice for alderman?
Thompson’s Station is truly home to me. The experiences and lessons learned over the last four years as alderman and vice mayor set me apart from anyone else that is running.
This is not an easy job; it requires balancing the needs of residents and communities with the needs of the town in terms of ensuring the decisions we make now are in the town’s best interests in the future. I am a servant leader focused on developing solutions that will set the town up to thrive for decades to come.
Thompson's Station is a unique municipality in that it has maintained its rural character. How important is that to you, and do you plan on pushing for this to remain?
When I talk to town residents one of the biggest reasons they were attracted to Thompson’s Station is because of its rural character. It’s not Spring Hill, Franklin, Cool Springs, or other towns around us.
I want to be a good steward of what we have here in Thompson’s Station.
We need to continue to be strategic and smart about development in our town. I don’t want our town to turn into just another place with houses and businesses everywhere. It’s vital that we keep the rural character we’ve worked so hard to protect over the years. However, we need a balance of residential and commercial development along with maintaining the existing parks and green space to ensure the town can remain economically viable.
What is something you feel the town of Thompson's Station could improve upon?
The town has done a fantastic job over the last several years securing grants so that the trail system will connect all the developments to the parks, and that schools can be constructed. I would like the see the town continue to seek out ways to provide additional amenities in the ways of additional parks or recreational areas as a way to continue to limit unwanted development and provide a means of recreation for town residents.
I would like to see some reasonable level of commercial development that includes businesses geared towards meeting the needs of our residents; whether that is in the form of family entertainment, restaurants, or even an office supply/shipping type retailer.
This is not an area for big box retailers.
Walmart attempted to come here several years ago and was rebuffed, so instead they built down the road in Spring Hill. Thompson’s Station is a special place. As it is related to development, I want to see development that complements who we are as a town, not to be defined by development.
The voter registration deadline is Oct. 5. Click here to register online. Early voting lasts from Oct. 14-29, with Election Day landing on Nov. 3.