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Bo Wilson returns for Commission seat

Posted 7/30/22

J.D. (Bo) Wilson is seeking a seat on the Bedford County Commission, representing the 5th District. Wilson previously held this seat for 28 years and is reentering the race in order to “help …

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Bo Wilson returns for Commission seat


J.D. (Bo) Wilson is seeking a seat on the Bedford County Commission, representing the 5th District. Wilson previously held this seat for 28 years and is reentering the race in order to “help return fiscal responsibility to local government.” He believes that after nearly three decades of service, he’s very qualified to serve.  

While on the Commission, he was on the finance committee, heading the committee at one time. He also served on the Courthouse and Property Committee and was chairman pro tem of the Commission.  

Wilson was involved with building the new Bedford County Health Department. The former Commissioner said that was done for “50 cents on the dollar,” thanks to a private donation he and the late Dr. Fred Ownby, a local heart specialist, were able to secure.  

He’s also proud that Bedford County Agricultural Center was built during his time on the Commission. He recalls how the County paid for it with monetary assistance from private individuals and the State. Wilson said he was instrumental in obtaining these funds.  

Another contribution to Bedford County, he said, was his assistance in the purchase of the old First National Bank building— one which now houses Bedford County Annex.  

“The purchase price was $300,000, but that cost was covered by rent from Regions Bank and lease termination fees. Total cost to Bedford County to purchase the building was zero dollars!”  

During his lengthy tenure, Wilson was a part of the County’s action to donate $1 million from the sale of the old hospital on Union Street to help build the new Shelbyville—Bedford County Public Library. The other million needed was privately raised, he said.  

“We now have a state-of-the-art building envied by other cities and counties around us,” said Wilson. “The Volunteer Fire Services also grew . . . . New fire trucks were purchased and new facilities were built, thanks to many volunteers and donations as well as support from the county.”  

He was a Commissioner when the Normandy Fire Station was destroyed by a tornado in 1995. Wilson said he had promised Chief Paul Prince that he would work diligently to help replace that structure. Normandy still uses that facility today. 

“Bedford County now enjoys a lower fire rating which makes individual’s fire insurance cost less, thanks to the Bedford County Fire Department and its volunteer fire departments.”  

During his tenure as a Commissioner, Community High School, Cascade and Learning Way Elementary schools were constructed. Wilson said he stills recognizes education has one of the most important jobs of local government.  

Bo considers the establishment of the finance department, along with the adoption of the 81 Act, to be one of the best management and cost saving tools Bedford County ever enacted. He is proud of his involvement in both of these areas.  

“All financial information on every department in the county is available so that the County Commission can make the best use of taxpayer money,” he advised.  

Wilson said he was privileged to work with during those 28 years with many Commissioners and County mayors who “wanted only the best” for Bedford County. He looks forward to the opportunity to bring his expertise back to the Commission and move Bedford County forward. 

“If elected . . . [I] plan to focus on road improvement and infrastructure, safe school environment, continued support of fire protection and ambulance services and good management of taxpayer money.”  

While born, raised and educated in Lincoln County, he has called Bedford County home for 50 years. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, he married the former Rheaetta Farrar, a life-long educator, now retired.  

The Wilsons have two grown children, Jim Bo and Sarah Mac. Professionally, he’s retired from banking and still farms some. The Wilsons are active members of First United Methodist Church-Shelbyville.  

Early voting for the Aug.4 general election ended Thursday. So local residents will now go to the polls on Thursday to cast their vote for the Commission seat.