Eldridge announces Washington County Mayor campaign for re-election

Incumbent helped county weather recession without property tax increases while improving services

(Jonesborough, Tenn.) – Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge filed his qualifying papers with the election commission to formally begin his campaign for re-election today. The former business executive says his first term as mayor saw county services improved in the midst of a recession without a property tax increase.

“Our county was able to increase its support to education, public safety and many other key services without a tax increase,” says Eldridge. “While many Tennessee counties saw a reduction in services and an increase in taxes, my approach of running county government like a business continues to bring significant benefits to every Washington County resident. There is much more to be done and I remain committed to continuing the progress that we have made.”

“We can’t count on state or federal dollars to create the conditions that will bring continued growth and prosperity to Washington County. Our success will be the result of the vision we have, the decisions we make and how wisely we invest. I want to help lead our county to an even better future, and the next four years will be critical to our success. I am asking voters to continue the progress with their vote and support,” Eldridge says.

Taking office in 2010, Eldridge quickly went to work to evaluate the county’s needs and restructure its debt, taking advantage of lower interest rates and addressing funding and organizational needs of county government functions. The results are important for county residents.

In the past two years, the county increased funding to local education by more than 13 percent, amounting to $2.5 million per year in increased funding to county and city schools. An additional $600,000 in instructional funding resulted from eliminating capital purchases from the operating budget.  The county funded $2.8 million in facility improvements and $500,000 in school safety upgrades.

The county funded four additional Sheriff’s patrol officers, the first patrol expansion since the 1990s. Four additional detention center officers were added, including a training officer position.

Eldridge helped to orchestrate the sale of the Downtown Center that facilitated an agreement with Northeast State Community College to locate a campus in Washington County to enhance educational opportunities. He also led disaster relief after a 2011 tornado and a 2012 flood in the Dry Creek community. The response to the Dry Creek flood now serves as a model for disaster recovery across Tennessee.

“We have many more challenges ahead and I’m confident that we will make this great county even better in my next term as mayor,” Eldridge explains. “Managing the ever-increasing demand for funding in this recovering economy means financial expertise and proven experience in county leadership is more important than ever.”

“I’m at work bringing private-sector investment together with our local, state and federal economic development partners to bolster our local economy through new and expanded industrial and manufacturing plant and equipment, retail development and corporate office locations. My goals are to help companies create jobs and to grow the county tax base. In fact, within the next month or so I hope to be able to announce some very exciting expansions that will grow jobs and bring more dollars to our schools. I believe we all hope for an improved quality of life for the citizens of Washington County. To accomplish this goal, as mayor, I will continue to focus on improving education, better employment opportunities and wise management of your tax dollars.”

For more information on the Eldridge campaign and to join in his re-election effort, visit www.ElectEldridge.com or www.facebook.com/electeldridge or call 423-341-4680.