This is Frank Bolus and I will take this opportunity to welcome you to my web site. I would like to tell you about myself and why I am a candidate for the Johnson City Commission.
I was born and raised in Johnson City and have always considered this my home. At seventeen I joined the US Navy and proudly served for three and one half years. I served aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Tarawa on the flight deck crew assisting with the takeoff and landing of navy planes. After transferring off the carrier, I worked as an aircraft mechanic, and served as a flight crew member.
After my discharge I returned to Johnson City and enrolled in ETSU. While a student at ETSU I kept my aviation connection by working for Piedmont Airlines at Tri Cities Airport.
Upon graduation I moved to Knoxville where I taught Industrial Arts at Park Jr. High.
After about a year in education I returned to aviation and joined the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) in Los Angeles. In over 30 years with the FAA I held several positions in Air Traffic Control and training at various locations. When I retired from the FAA my wife and I returned to Johnson City, via Plainfield Indiana, where I taught Industrial Arts for six years.
As a retiree, enjoying all the benefits of living in East Tennessee, I felt a debt of gratitude to the community, and ran for public office. I won and served six years (one two year, and one four year term) on the Washington County Commission.
While serving, I was on the Education and the Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural (CIA) committees. I was instrumental in passing a pay raise for the county and city teachers. During my tenure the Washington County Commission passed a bond issue to build two new schools in the county and expand the two county high schools. Johnson City received 52 million dollars from this bond issue. The city used this money to improve and expand the eighth through twelfth grades at Science Hill and build a new gym and football field. Johnson City also built a new Fairmont Elementary school and improved the Indian Trail Middle School.
I also obtained $25,000.00 for the Seniors Center in Johnson City, and $2,500.00 for the Hands On Museum and the Arts Council. We also worked out a trade with Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) on a trade for the Johnson City health center. During my tenure there was good communication between the county and the city and we accomplished a great deal. When the city and county work together great things can be accomplished.
I enjoy my membership in the Johnson City Senior Center and the many activities they provide. I believe that supporting seniors and making this area attractive to newly retired adults can continue to be an important stimulus to economic development in this area.
One thing I haven't mentioned above is the fact that when I was chairman of the CIA Committee I brokered a deal with the Johnson City Development Authority (JCDA) to implement a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program in the old downtown area that included 1,700 pieces of property. From these properties the county has given the JCDA $650,000 to date. In May of this year it will jump to over $900,000. The county got $144,000 from the University Edge Apartments, and the city received about $85,000.00 in property taxes.
My reason for seeking a seat on the city commission is because cooperation between the city and the county is essential to sustain economic growth. I have the background, the experience, and the will to accomplish this.
The City Commission also needs to work effectively with the school board to keep Johnson City schools one of the leading school systems in Tennessee.
I will appreciate your vote.