New Pulaski Mayor Has Ideas
During his campaign for mayor of Pulaski, J.J. Brindley had notebooks handy in his office and pickup truck.
“Every time i heard from someone with a question, I wrote it down and then tried to get answers,” he said at a Pulaski Exchange Club meeting.
After talking with Terry Harrison, Pulaski City Administrator, Brindley said often he learned more about why the city did some things.
Which leads into one of Brindley’s ways of looking at things.
“My focus is not that of doing things. It’s how we do things,” he said,
A lifelong Pulaski resident, Brindley won his first try for public office in November.
University of Tennessee Southern
Building a partnership with UTS, formed by a merger of the former Martin Methodist College with the University of Tennessee Southern, is a goal of Brindley’s.
A director of business development for Brindley Construction LLC, J.J. Brindlley has travelled throughout areas of Middle Tennessee and North Alabama, meeting with local business, civic and political leaders.
“So many people are excited about UT Southern,” he said.
The move by UT will bring many opportunities to Pulaski and Giles County, some of which may not be apparent yet, he said.
In the short time since the merger, UT Southern’s enrollment has risen and tuition has dropped, a good situation for the educational institution.
One reason for UT”s move was to keep more college students in Tennessee instead of leasing for nearby colleges and universities in other states.
That ties in with another goal of Brindley’s.
“We’ve got to give the kids something to do, a reason to stay here,” he said.
“With UT Southern, we’ve got to build a stronger relationship with them.”
North First Street, Downtown
Due to his employment with a construction company and a property developer, Brindley sees potential in downtown Pulaski and areas of First Street, which runs through the area.
While a lot of work has been done to renovate buildings, more work remains undone. Investment by the University of Tennessee System in purchasing assets of the former Martin Methodist College has spurred a sizable amount of building improvement.
That includes Increasing the attractiveness of neighborhoods by dealing with abandoned properties.
“We’ve got to fix it. This is an issue,” Brindley said.
Downtown areas often are judged by the condition of their buildings , he said.He would work with local business leaders to continue downtown revitalization, Brindley said. .
At least one sidewalk project is finished on the North End, and others are in planning stages.
While generally well designed and built, sometimes the work could have been done better to avoid other problems, he said.
Those who did the work and followed the plans should not be blamed, he said.
Pulaski has its share of drainage problems, and better design and engineering could help solve these problems, he said.
Pursuing federal and state grants to improve the city’s infrastructure, from better streets to improved water and sewer, is another goal, Brindley said.
Old Genesco Building
The former Genesco building is no longer used since a company that was there moved to a building in the Dan Speer Industrial Park South.
While the building site could be used for a recreation center, Brindley said that demolishing the structure would be very expensive.
More housing is needed to encourage those who commute to work in Pulaski and Giles County to move here, others have said.
Without getting into the home building business, local government can offer help to developers in other ways, through revised regulations or lower fees, he said.
Working with developers to address the shortage of affordable homes is another goal mentioned by Brindley.
He learned the value of hard work at a young age, working summers cleaning up job sites and helping construction crews. In high school, Brindley started working at Davis and Eslick Grocery after school, stocking shelves and bagging groceries.
After graduating from Giles County High School in 2004, Brindley began working full-time for Brindley Construction as a laborer.
“My grandfather, Robert Brindley Sr., believed in starting at the bottom in business and climbing up the ladder on your own merits, and that’s exactly what I’ve done,” said Brindley, director of business development at Brindley Construction.
As a man of deep faith, Brindley said he believes everyone is equal in the eyes of our Creator.
“That is the kind of Mayor I want to be,” Brindley said. “I truly believe in representing all of Pulaski and not just those who have the loudest voice.”
He was a member of the 2014 class of Leadership Giles as well as the 2016 class of Gattis Leadership, where he received the Leadership Distinction Award.
In 2017, he participated in the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for Managers.
Brindley is a past president of the Pulaski Kiwanis Club and member of the Associated Builders and Contractors Board where he served as president of the Emerging Leader Board for two years.
“There are truly exciting times ahead!” Brindley said.
“One of my favorite things about that job was forming relationships with the customers when I would take groceries to their cars,” Brindley said. “I love people, and building community is something that comes naturally for me.”