By ZOË HAGGARD – [email protected]
The year lasts less than a month before reaching 2022. And between what local leaders say, there is a lot to look forward to for the year ahead.
State Representative and Acting Speaker Pat Marsh remained positive about local city and county projects.
Recently, the Petersburg native said he had no plans to get into local politics.
Marsh came from a family of farmers who raised dairy cows, corn and tobacco. Farming continues today, as he co-owns with his son, John, 400 acres where they raise cows, bulls and calves.
“I’m a farm boy, I guess you could say. I like it, ”he said.
Having lived in this area all his life, Marsh said Bedford and Lincoln counties are still agricultural.
It is part of the identity of the territory. But there is pressure on the industry.
After speaking with many farmers, supply prices, like those for fertilizer, increased by as much as 300%, from $ 300 per tonne of fertilizer to $ 1,000, Marsh said.
“It just can’t work. At $ 1,000 a ton … something’s gotta give.
In addition to changing agricultural activity, Bedford County is experiencing exponential growth. “I just can’t believe how many people are moving here and how much the price of our homes has really, really gone up,” he said.
Federal government money also distorts the way things work, Marsh said. The state increased its revenue by a billion dollars in just four months, compared to budget. The federal government asked when they could recover, which the state is also planning but will have to keep to prepare for the future.
At the state level, Marsh said they were working to cut taxes. (The state got rid of around 18 different taxes, such as Hall’s tax and property tax, as well as the grocery tax. There are also plans to remove the trade lien tax over the course of this year. the coming year, Marsh said).
“We have to keep the state strong going forward,” Marsh said.
That being said, Marsh added that one of the driving forces behind his political career was his desire to help people.
“It’s really rewarding because you’re helping a lot of people. I’ve tried helping people all my life, and it’s one of the best ways to help people in so many ways, ”he said.
Grand G Express
But before there was Capitol Floor, there was trucking.
Marsh’s family was firmly established in local affairs. They owned the Marsh department store in Petersburg Square, while his father ran three different banks.
Marsh began graduate studies in dentistry at the University of Tennessee. Having only good grades, even though he attended all of the classes, Marsh decided to follow in his roommate’s footsteps – who didn’t attend all of the classes – and majored in transportation.
After graduating, Marsh worked for Ford Motor Co. in Nashville. It was a good job, but he didn’t like it. So he followed some of his other transportation classmates who worked at Goggin Trucking – which started in 1917 and was Tennessee’s oldest trucking company, Marsh said. Goggin was ultimately built to include 1,000 people, 47 terminals, and 500 trucks from the original six tractors and 12 trailers he owned when Marsh joined the business.
Wanting to create his own truckloading division, Marsh and his brother started Big G Express (G being Goggin’s representative) in 1995. There were no terminals, just trucks and drivers, and he did. grown to include 600 trucks today, Marsh mentioned.
It’s also an employee stock ownership plan – where every employee owns a piece of the business, which has kept the “team together,” Marsh said.
“The trucking has been really good for me. It’s a really tough industry – very tough, long hours, a lot of people issues… ”But it helped him meet a lot of people.
Again, Marsh said, “I had no desire to be in politics,” he said. At 60, he was genuinely interested in retiring.
But there were two main factors that made Marsh a good candidate: on the one hand, he was from Lincoln County and had a successful business; and second, he jokes that he was related to half the people of Lincoln County. So in 2009 Marsh ran and won.
“I really didn’t know but someone in Nashville,” Marh said. That person was State Senator Jim Tracy, who encouraged Marsh to enter politics. “It was totally new – I didn’t know how the state worked; I didn’t know many government officials; I didn’t know how many people were represented; I didn’t know much at all. It was a very revealing experience. ”
But once inside, it’s hard to get out. What was supposed to be a part-time job turned into an almost full-time job.
Now in his 12th year in office, Marsh has served as Speaker of the House pro tempore, to which he was elected last December by the full body of representatives.
“I’ve never been more interested in being a part of leadership,” admitted Marsh. “Well, after being there 10 years, I felt like I had to try and do something like this, and I asked several friends. Faced with no opposition, Marsh won.
Achievements and new legislation
Currently, Marsh is on the state redistribution committee. The committee is finishing work on the House of Representatives lines and its next step will be to rework the Congressional Districts with the Senate. It will be a “big deal,” Marsh said.
There is also the Basic Education Program Committee (BEP). Over the coming year, they plan to rework BEP’s funding formula to accommodate the state’s growing population.
“It’s going to be a lot more money,” Marsh said, but agreed it would serve as an investment for public schools.
“I think people need to understand how important education is.”
Marsh has said that one of his proudest moments so far has been securing the $ 42 million budget for the new facility at Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Shelbyville. We hope that work will begin this spring on its site at 231 North Business Complex, he said.
“It will make a difference, long after I’m gone. ”
Locally, Marsh said he was proud of several projects, such as the new justice center; Vanderbilt acquires the hospital; Nearest Green setting up its distillery; and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation and United Communication’s recent partnership to bring broadband to rural Bedford County.
“I am really excited that the city and the county are working together,” said Marsh. “Everywhere you turn, positive things are happening.