Feldhaus, a former two-term Shelbyville mayor (1987 to 1995) and council member (1981 to 1987), decided not to seek reelection as mayor in 1995 after a self-imposed two-term limit.
"I had young children, who deserved my attention during their formative years," the candidate said.
Feldhaus currently assists his wife, Jenni, at Investor Services, their family-owned investment/brokerage company. He also operates an online Internet business selling swimming pool products nationwide.
Feldhaus started his first company manufacturing ambulances in Shelbyville in 1978, which grew into a nationwide operation. His work on federal committees helped create a national health standard for ambulance construction and testing criteria. He sold the company in late 1992; his brother Steve later purchased the business back and still operates it.
Feldhaus, the eldest of six children of Mary Jo Feldhaus and the late Dr. Henry Feldhaus, graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and majored in industrial management. He earned a masters degree in business from Middle Tennessee State University in 1999, graduating with highest honors. He and Jenni have been married for 33 years. They have three children.
Feldhaus is a current member and past president of the Shelbyville Breakfast Rotary Club. He has served on the Shelbyville Power, Water, and Sewer Board and the Shelbyville Housing Authority Board. He is a member of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Association. He is a member of the Roman Catholic Church. He is a recipient of the Chamber of Commerce's Community Leadership of the Year Award. He was chairman of Bedford County Railroad Authority from 1987 until 2007. He also served on the following boards: past president of Tennessee Municipal League District 6, the governor-appointed Duck River Agency, and Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Tennessee Government Finance Officers Association. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. He enjoys boating, water sports, snow skiing, fishing, and computer programming.
"I want to see Shelbyville get back on a growth path with clear policies," said Feldahus. "Last year, when the council voted to eliminate garbage pickup, claiming, 'the city is out of money,' I realized we needed someone on the council who could understand the financial situation staring them in the face. I went to the public meeting and presented my case in writing and showed the council how they were not broke. The council discovered after the audit from last year I was correct. They had revenues of $300,000 more than they spent last year; but they still voted to raise taxes by $600,000 to continue garbage service. This type of deception or inability to understand the budget must not be allowed to continue.
"I want to turn words into action. Let's stop talking about widening North Main Street and move forward with adding the turn lane. Let's stop talking about building the library, let's build it. Let's stop talking about attracting new businesses; let's do it. We can do all of these things without increasing taxes. I have done it before, and we can do it again.
"My vast experience in government since 1981 provides me with leadership skills to help grow our economy by creating jobs and establish a more open government who cares for all in Bedford County. I want to use my business background and education to make government work smarter and more efficiently. I want a favorable business environment with competent leadership to help workers with improving job opportunities, keeping taxes low, and creating a better quality of life for everyone.
"I have always been an independent businessman, which gives me valuable experience when managing budgets and large sums of money. I have established several businesses in Shelbyville. I classify myself as a conservative for fiscal responsibility with low taxes, strong family pro-life values, and a humble attitude toward serving all of our citizens. I believe government exists to provide services and education, as well as create opportunities for the improvement of everyone's quality of life with better jobs and skills. When I was first elected to the Shelbyville City Council in 1981, I was appointed the finance councilman. We had a $300,000 budget deficit from the previous year and unemployment was approaching 20 percent. I made the tough decisions to improve efficiency. We attracted new businesses such as Calsonic and developed industrial parks, all without a tax increase.
"My open door policy and willingness to strive for answers to tough questions has been the focus of my leadership style. By taking responsibility for open debates on the big decisions facing government, a quality leader will allow everyone to participate, which results in better solutions for all. An example of this collaboration is the $4.6 million Shelbyville Recreation Center, which I promoted, developed financing alternatives, and saw to its completion before retiring from the Mayor's office in 1995. This facility is now paid for and enjoyed by everyone in Bedford County.
"I have shown that a local young person can thrive in Shelbyville by creating local businesses, serve on numerous public committees, and receive the endorsement of local voters in elected office. All of this makes me proud to live in Shelbyville. I have shown my commitment to the community, and I humbly ask for your vote to lead us out of the current economic situation with competent, open leadership."