It's Time for Leadership
Graham Stowe is a 27 year veteran with engineering and executive experience, including oversight of multi-million dollar budgets, leadership of hundreds of military/civilian personnel, & responsible stewardship of expansive infrastructure. After a successful military career his family settled on a small farm in Campbellsville. Graham is committed to defending Giles County's rural values and culture, and preparing our communities for the threats and challenges that confront us.
To learn more about why you should support Graham for Giles County Executive, please explore the site and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
In a Nutshell
Don't Want to Read Further? Here's Where I Stand..
We should have more community dialogue, more community engagement, more public comment. We can have evening commission meetings and town-hall gatherings around the county to improve public access to their government.
As we all tighten our home budgets to deal with the reality of Bidenflation, there's no better time than now for county government to scrutinize spending, identify/correct inefficiencies, and hold the line against future tax increases.
Given federal dysfunction, global issues quickly trickle down to the county level - from food and energy inflation to supply chain disruptions. We need to address an array of potential crises that impact our local security and emergency readiness.
Let's agree that each side of the political divide want the best for our children. We must resolve to work together for greater local control of our children's education. Our challenges primarily come from Leftists outside the county; we ALL want to preserve the childhood of our children and empower our teachers to do what they do best - TEACH. Let's free them (and our children) from flawed, politicized ideologies.
We have a history of Democrats and Republicans arguing - but working together as Americans who honor constitutional liberty. That is much, much different from today's Marxist Left that intentionally stirs up division and unrest. Giles County liberals and conservatives must stand together against national insanity. We're for traditional, constitutional, cultural norms and objective reality. We're multi-racial but find unity in our history and heritage.
Our county has yet to assess existing laws that protect our environment and agriculture. Before moving forward with zoning, we need countywide dialogue on our goals/objectives for 2030 and beyond. We have yet to define a problem statement; is the concern "nuisance properties" or meteoric residential growth? All of the above? Let's avoid jumping to premature solutions (with unintended consequences.)
Local Issues - Local Solutions
It's Time for Leadership
Washington DC is dysfunctional and our national culture is fractured. This has unfortunate consequences for Giles County and our communities. Thankfully, most solutions begin at home.
We live in a beautiful county - abundantly blessed with resources - surrounded by friends, neighbors and churches in communities rich in history and heritage. Unfortunately we've allowed a small (but vocal) minority to intrude on our liberties, traditions and culture. Our county government's response?
Silence. Acceptance. Submission.
Liberty, Tradition, Culture - These are what cement communities into a united county. They're values a County Executive should be defending - with energy and conviction. But the silence is deafening as our local busybodies call us “bigots” for preserving our heritage,
“alarmists” for defending our gun rights,
and “ignorant” for protecting our young children's innocence.
Defending our freedoms and values first begins with iron-spined, common-sense leadership
right here in Giles County -not in Congress, not in our General Assembly,
but in our own County Courthouse.
Emergency Preparedness: Given lessons-learned from 9-11 to COVID, increasing uncertainties in world events, and supply chain fragility, Giles County must prepare to care for our most vulnerable in times of crisis. I will move quickly to strengthen our emergency and ambulance services, and coordinate with law enforcement, churches, and businesses to improve community readiness. Readiness goes beyond mere equipment - we must cross-train, improve integrated training plans, and run realistic countywide drills to boost emergency preparedness.
Economic Preparedness: We need to invest in local self-sufficiency, from agriculture to manufacturing. We’re a breadbasket - middle Tennessee’s supermarket shelves should be stocked with Giles County farm products, and food-freedom laws should allow farmers to sell direct to the public. We all know we rely too heavily on China for manufactured goods; this provides an opportunity for county government to work with our General Assembly to bring more tech and manufacturing jobs to rural counties. I will work with our State Rep, Economic Development Commission, and UT Extension Office to pursue opportunities for economic growth and resiliency.
Pass Senior Property Tax Relief: Our County has sat on this since 2007. Thankfully a handful of commissioners have brought this forward for immediate consideration. Our seniors on fixed, meager incomes need tax relief, particularly as inflation squeezes and property values head upward. This would be a means-based tax relief for our most vulnerable neighbors. Please - let's get this passed before Election Day.
Education and Property Rights
Educate children to be functional adults. Let's synchronize efforts with our elected State representatives, School Superintendent, School Board members, teachers, and parents to advance a K-12 education curricula that focuses exclusively on communication skills, math, science and history - subjects that prepare students for the workforce and citizenship. Review and eliminate from the curricula all age-inappropriate sexualization. We must stop subsidizing flawed ideologies that threaten our children's education and psychological welfare. Let's work toward more local control of education and curricula; parents and our elected School Board must have precedence over “experts” in Nashville and DC. Great teachers working in tandem with engaged parents is the key.
Zoning: There is a necessary and rightful place for county planning; a failure to plan is a plan to fail. But planning has to conform with the reality of constitutional property rights and the will of the people. County planning also must take into account the variety of economic strengths and challenges of individual communities, from Minor Hill to Ardmore, and Elkton to Lynnville. Whatever planning we do must involve community dialogue and address countywide concerns. Our current leadership's tendency to rely on a hand-picked, unelected, and biased Planning Board needs to end.
County government has a spending problem; we do not have a revenue problem.
By necessity we balance the annual budget but that’s only half the battle, especially with inflationary pressures and a minimal “rainy day” fund. We have a wasteful habit of always growing the budget from the previous year’s baseline with zero analysis of value or “bang for the buck.” Inevitably this habit is inefficient, leading to unnecessary spending. What comes next - every few years the county gets behind on revenue, and then comes the knee-jerk reaction to raise taxes without addressing root problems.
A more efficient budgeting method requires that line-items be justified on an annual basis, not merely carried over and increased for inflation. Every county function that proposes a budget should be fine-tuning their requests based on needs and costs, which vary from year to year. This is no different than the way voters and business owners manage their finances; unfortunately it’s not how county departments develop their budget. Once we have budget discipline we’ll find savings - guaranteed. Savings yield opportunities; we’ll be equipped to steer funds to address critically essential needs, from fixing roads to repairing schools. And we can start ramping up our savings for future infrastructure needs. For bonus points we can AVOID the perpetual cycle of tax increases.
You Can Help
The campaign process has a way of bringing out the worst in people.
If you hear rumor or hearsay that I support this or that foolish idea,
I'd be glad to set the record straight.
If I said it I'll stand behind it. If I didn't say it then I'll gladly provide an accurate correction.