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Jackson County Mayor: UC Needs More Collaboration Between Counties

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Jackson County Mayor: UC Needs More Collaboration Between Counties

UCHRA Board Chairman Randy Heady said the region’s success relies on collaboration between county mayors.

Heady addressed the board at Thursday’s End-Of-Year Board Meeting. Heady said county mayors need to pretend that there are no borders between cities and counties.

“We need to work together,” Heady said. “We’re going to be stronger as an Upper Cumberland region. We have one of the best regions there is, but we need to work together to be stronger. We’re going to get more done working together than we will working against one another.”

Heady said being present and participating is also vital. Heady said that part of mayoral responsibility is consistently showing up to represent the community, as well as communities of other Upper Cumberland counties.

“We draw county lines,” Heady said. “We draw city-county lines. Y’all, that’s got to end. It’s got to end. If you want to make the Upper Cumberland the best it can be, you’ve got to get rid of those things. You’ve got to collaborate.”

He said two of the projects he is most proud of in his time as Jackson County mayor only worked because of collaboration with other county mayors. He said that in 2019, he worked to get an ARC grant to provide water to a large area of Jackson County. The affected region spilled over into Clay County and Heady said Clay County Mayor Dale Reagan’s collaboration is the only reason the counties were eventually awarded the grant.

He said he worked on an ARPA water project, and Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter stepped in without hesitation to help provide water to Upper Cumberland communities that would never have gotten access to it without his willingness to help. Heady said there have to be more collaborative projects like those two.

Heady said the EMS Directors Association asked for help from county mayors to get TennCare reimbursement rates raised and though the increase felt unlikely, the diligence and teamwork from different counties got the job done.

“Everybody will tell you, we should not have gotten that,” Heady said. “We met with the governor, we met with everybody. Here’s what I want you to know. That group of EMS Directors, that group of Mayors that went there got the whole state of Tennessee an increase of TennCare reimbursement across the state because of the effort.”

Heady said the Upper Cumberland is a representation of all that is right about the world today. He said with continued partnership, the region can get even better.


The post Jackson County Mayor: UC Needs More Collaboration Between Counties appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.