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Commissioners Work Together to Form Plans
by Ashley Murphy

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Bradley County Commission held their annual retreat this past weekend close to home. At 8:30 Saturday morning, commissioners, new and old, gathered at a historic McDonald, TN farm, Bendabout Farm.

Matt Bentley from Bendabout opened the retreat by welcoming the commissioners and giving a brief history of the farm. When started in the late 1820s to early 1830s, Bendabout was merely 40 acres. Over the course of the years, the farm steadily grew and now stands at over 4000 acres. The cabin which housed commissioners Saturday morning was actually part of the early farm, possibly built around the 1860s or 1870s and was once a 2-story stagecoach. After years of rotting wood and several moves about the land, the cabin is only a single story gathering place with modern day add-ons. Before turning the meeting over to the commission, Bentley added that he sees a "bright future" for Bradley County.

Greg Dale, from McBride, Dale & Clarion was present to inform the commissioners, particularly the incoming commissioners, a review of the Bradley, Cleveland, Charleston Strategic Plan. The plan will incorporate the different growing aspects of Bradley County, Cleveland and Charleston in areas such as economic growth, population growth, etc. Dale stated the company is about 8 months into a 12-month schedule for planning. To learn more about the BCC Strategic Plan, visit

Allison Pierce with Resource Development Systems, Inc then took center floor and asked the commissioners to discuss their ideal key areas of success that they would like to see implemented in Bradley County. Prior to the meeting, Amy Moore made a short list for the commissioners to review and add or subtract from. Those areas were Education, Quality of Life, Economic Development and Public Safety. This list seemed sufficient after taking a vote.

The entire group was then split off into sub-groups based on which key area of success interested them more. Group activities took place discussing "dreams," and what they would like to see happen; a vision for Bradley County.

The exercises were designed to have the commissioners work together, discuss and decide as a group what plans they would like to see implemented within the community for the betterment of Bradley County.

After a break for lunch, new commissioners stayed for their orientation to prepare them to take their seats in September.