Name David Pair
District 3
Current Occupation & Employer TN Housing Development Agency
Political Experience I’ve worked on several campaigns, mostly helping with door-to-door outreach or covering a polling location. These experiences were almost all volunteer with the exception of one election year right after graduating college where I earned slightly more than minimum wage for the time I worked.
Education BS in Political Science from UT Martin (graduated Cum Laude)
Civic/Religious Organizations You Belong To n/a
How Long Have You Lived In Williamson Co.? 8 years
Military Service n/a
Email Address davidaustinpair@gmail.com
Phone Number 615-604-8660
Thank you for volunteering to serve your community, what motivated you to seek this position? I hoped to run for public office at some point in my life and decided to take advantage of the two open seats available in District 3 during the 2014 election.
On your first day in office, what will be the top item on your agenda? Something Else
Have you attended County Commission meetings or work sessions, researched the duties and responsibilities of a County Commissioner, and talked to other elected officials about what your role and time commitments would be as a Commissioner? Incumbents: How do you communicate with your constituents and when are you available to meet? I am accessible to the residents of District 3 by email and phone. Most of the constituent inquiries I receive are from people experiencing challenges trying to navigate through the government bureaucracy. I also organized three community meetings during my first term in office to provide information about issues currently impacting District 3 residents. The last one was held in October 2017 and focused on the upcoming Duplex Road Widening Project. This meeting was attended by almost 200 individuals. I plan to host similar meetings on a periodic basis if re-elected.
The County Commission is responsible for approving the budget and funding our schools, roads, and infrastructure with property taxes collected. On the other hand, cities fuel growth by approving zoning requests and building permits for commercial and residential construction. What would you do to encourage a shared fiscal responsibility with local municipalities? Additionally, in your mind, who should pay for growth and how? Extend the agreement associated with the recently-approved referendum, where municipalities would permanently divert their share of the $0.5 cent sales tax increase to pay for debt service for new school construction Negotiate with municipalities to increase their contribution for new school construction in their immediate area. Ex. Agreement to help pay for road improvements at or near new school buildings.
Our current property taxes if left unchecked are estimated to double - perhaps triple - in just a few years. The tax burden is on current residents many of whom are looking forward to retirement, living on fixed incomes, or raising families. Would you support legislation to foster sharing the cost of growth with the business sector as many high growth States have done? Would you support researching alternative funding sources such as making commercial or business rental leases subject to sales tax? What other cost containment measures would you recommend? TN counties are currently limited in the ways they can generate revenue (property, sales, and wheel tax). I am willing to consider alternative options for generating revenue that would broaden the local tax base.
In 2016-2017, $44,000,000.00 or 21% of our property tax dollars were allocated to pay the interest on our debt. While interest rates are currently low, if we continue to fund growth by borrowing, we take on significant fiscal risk as bonds interest rates rise. What funding ideas to you have other than purchasing 20 year bonds? Establish Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts for new school construction projects located in the undeveloped, unincorporated part of the County. A TIF district uses the increased property tax collections in a defined area to pay the debt service associated with installing infrastructure. One possible location could be the area south of I-840 between College Grove and Triune. Potential to lease new public school buildings and/or implement an Owner/Advocate system for building and maintaining public school facilities, similar to Maury County’s system In certain unique situations, consider condemnation to purchase land for future school construction. This option should be used sparingly and only apply to unique situations. Ex. Having multiple, willing sellers with second-tier sites but the most efficient and logical property to locate a new school isn’t currently on the market.
In an effort to promote accountability and transparency local municipalities in other states have put their checkbook register on line for citizens to see how their tax dollars are spent. What recommendations would you make to increase transparency and accountability to the electorate? I support increased transparency and accountability within County government. The County Commission should establish and follow a well-defined process if it decided to make improvements in this area. This process should involve soliciting input from elected officials and members of the general public about what additional information to provide and how the information should be presented.
What cost containment measures can you suggest to save tax dollars? Over 10% of the County’s annual budget is earmarked for debt service payments and a majority of these bonds were issued for new school construction. I believe potential cost savings are available during the site selection, land acquisition, and construction process. WCS should utilize the services of a real estate professional as it evaluates and acquires property for new schools. The land acquisition cost to build the new K-8 school in Thompson’s Station was roughly 50% of the overall project cost. WCS should also use a third-party firm to hire General and subcontractors and monitor the overall construction process. In the past these tasks have primarily been the responsibility of WCS staff.
Schools funding including interest payments on money borrowed to build new schools is close to 80% of the total County budget. Commissioners vote either to accept or reject the budget as presented, they have no control over how the money is spent. If the budget is rejected, they must negotiate with the Director of Public schools until they reach a resolution. Would you support a resolution to change current law to allow line item veto power to the County Commission when approving the School Budget? No