Bartlett, Tennessee: Mayor A. Keith McDonald.
What do you feel will be the biggest economic challenges for Bartlett in 2012?
Our biggest economic challenges in 2012 include the sustainability of our existing businesses and our ability to attract new business in a very competitive and shifting environment. We are also challenged by a housing market that is still very slow in new housing starts and by declining home values. Additionally, foreclosures are still a problem. Within this context, we are also challenged to maintain a high level of city services and keep property taxes as low as possible. The uncertainty of the consolidated public school system and the possibility of forming a municipal school district will have a huge impact on attracting businesses and the future growth of Bartlett.
What do you feel will be Bartlett's greatest assets in 2012?
Bartlett's greatest assets include a diverse economic base with some growth industries in life sciences and agribusiness that are adding jobs and expanding. Bartlett has a strong positive image, excellent city services, and continued population growth.
What is the outlook for Bartlett in 2012?
Our outlook is for a slowly improving local economy, and if the national economy improves, we should do very well. Possible annexations in 2012 will add to growth in population.
What are your goals for economic growth for Bartlett's in 2012?
Our goals for economic growth in 2012 are to increase jobs in the areas identified in our economic development initiatives in life sciences, agribusiness, and retail development. We also anticipate additional capital investment in these areas and will see an increase in housing options for seniors.
How will you measure the success of these goals?
We will monitor the growth in business licenses, building permits, the inventory of vacant lots, capital investment, and job growth.