Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge reflects on eight years in office

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – After eight years in office – Washington County, Tennessee Mayor Dan Eldridge will soon serve his last day on the job.

Mayor Eldridge spoke with News Channel 11’s Justin Soto about his greatest accomplishments and goals he hopes the county’s new mayor will strive to complete.

Eldridge said he’s proud of what he’s done in his two terms as Washington County mayor.

Even though there’s still work do to, “I’m actually giving Joe Grandy a stack of files of projects that I’m working on,” Eldridge said.

He said one of the things he’s most proud of is the Washington County Industrial Park.

“The county commission has invested a few million dollars and prepared pad ready sites to make us competitive in attracting new business and industry to this area,” Eldridge said.

He’s also proud of the work done to improve county finances.

“Actually being able to reduce the county’s overall debt by more than $50 million even while investing $60 million in new capitol projects,” Eldridge said.

Eldridge also loved being able to change lives after the Dry Creek floods.

“We had 25 families there that lost everything they own, and through a plan that we developed, they were able to have their homes completely restored at no cost to them,” he said.

More recently – Washington County political campaigns got ugly.

“The state of politics in Washington County is very discouraging. It does not represent who we are as a people,” Eldridge went on to say,”I encourage our new officials taking over this next term to really focus on communicating to our constituents.”

Multiple challenges lie ahead for Joe Grandy – including a proposed multimillion dollar new school in Jonesborough that remains in limbo for the school board.

“I’m just going to say it’s been more self serving political agendas that have distracting from taking care of business that’s going to benefit children and the community,” Eldridge said.

Another challenge ahead involves taxes.

“Our tax revenues are flat. The expectation of our citizens for us to continue a high level of services is going to continue to be there,” he said.

At the end of the day – Eldridge is ready to move forward in the place he loves.

“I’m pleased and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to serve the people of Washington County,” Eldridge said.

He also told us he’s looking forward to now spending more time on his farm as well as with his family – including a new granddaughter.

Washington County mayor elect Joe Grandy will take the oath of office Friday at 9 a.m. at the justice center in Jonesborough.

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