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Letter to the editor, Aug. 9, 2022

Posted 8/9/22

Elections in our country are critical components to the exercise of freedom and self-governance.

Elections offer all of us choices, opportunities for change and the chance to endorse what we feel …

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Letter to the editor, Aug. 9, 2022


Elections in our country are critical components to the exercise of freedom and self-governance.

Elections offer all of us choices, opportunities for change and the chance to endorse what we feel is the direction each of us would like to see our country, our state and our county pursue.

Some candidates win, some candidates lose but most importantly we as voters make choices.

Elections always present consequences but equally they provide opportunities.

Local elections, in particular, are personal in nature. Local County Commission candidates are our neighbors, our friends and part of our family. Our local County Commission candidates choose to run for office with the intention of providing a public service. Contrary to what many people think, County Commissioners do not have a staff, they do not have an office, they don’t get government paid benefits, they don’t live in Washington D.C, they don’t pass laws and they certainly don’t have any incentive to become career politicians.

I have never written a letter like this before, but I believe it is important enough that everyone should know.

Over the past four years Bedford County has been afforded the services of one of the finest, most competent and unselfish individuals I have known, Mr. Jeff Sweeney.

Commissioner Sweeney is a professional builder, developer, and successful businessman. Four years ago, our county needed assistance as a Project Manager for three inherited major construction projects. Commissioner Sweeney stepped up and volunteered his services at no cost to Bedford County.

The new Judicial Center was over budget and behind schedule. Commissioner Sweeney volunteered services saved Bedford County taxpayers over $700,000.00 which otherwise we would have been forced to pay with additional taxpayer monies.

When our County began the construction of the new Cascade High School, Commissioner Sweeney again volunteered his services and, on this occasion, he saved taxpayers over $100,000.00 by his efforts and knowledge.

The County Annex building project was a disaster. Commissioner Sweeney stepped in to oversee the completion of this project, he pulled it together, he met important timelines over and over and through his unpaid efforts, delivered a completed project saving the taxpayers over $50,000.00.

Through his sheer determination, his hard work and his wide-reaching network of contacts, Commissioner Sweeney helped created the Shelbyville Bedford County Partnership. The Partnership Board of Directors contains some of the brightest, creative, and successful business leaders in Tennessee, all of which are volunteering their time to help Bedford County attract quality business opportunities, create innovative jobs and insure everyone here have a chance to succeed.

These are only four examples of what Jeff accomplished. There are dozens more equally important and singularly responsible action that reflect his commitment to public service.

During his four years of service, this county, this County Commission and all of us as taxpayers have been witness over and over to the importance of having high caliber individuals, like Jeff Sweeney, offer their talents, offer their time and put in the work at no cost and no financial reward to them individually, but done simply for the betterment of our community.

He has been a friend; he has been a competent and capable community servant and he has left an indelible record of accomplishment for the entire county.

The people of Bedford County need more people like Jeff Sweeney, and we need more people to lend their time to public service. His service, his commitment to Bedford County and his accomplishments are a testament to his hard work and resolve to be a true public servant.

We will miss his presence on the County Commission; we will miss his advice and counsel and we will dramatically miss his abilities. But it will be the Bedford County taxpayers who will miss him most of all.

Gregory Vick

Bedford County Commissioner