Lifelong Bradley County resident and current energy manager for Bradley County Schools, Johnny Mull, announced today that he will be a candidate for the Bradley County Commission in the 3rd District in the May 6, 2014 Republican Primary.
Mr. Mull said he made the decision after being approached by numerous people within the community who felt he could be an asset to the citizens of Bradley County by serving on the Commission. Mr. Mull said he is "both honored and humbled that friends, family, and citizens of this community would consider me for such an important leadership position in our community."
Mr. Mull said he has been "very gratified by the level of support shown by people throughout Bradley County and the 3rd district following his decision. “I spent several months prayerfully considering my decision and discussing it with many constituents. I am at peace with my decision and look forward to the campaign, as well as discussing the many challenges and opportunities ahead for this great community and the 3rd District.”
Mr. Mull said he believes his background and experience in education and administration will serve him well as a County Commissioner. He served as a teacher and coach at Bradley Central High School for 12 years, and has served as the energy manager for Bradley County Schools for the past 14 years, which included three years as the head football coach at Lake Forest Middle School.
“Serving as a teacher/coach at Bradley Central High School and as coach at Lake Forest Middle School allowed me the opportunity to mentor young people into responsible citizens within our community,” Mr. Mull stated. He assumed a leadership role in Bradley County Schools when he became energy manager in 1999. Since assuming that role, he has assisted Bradley County Schools in saving over $11.9 million through energy conservation efforts.
Mr. Mull, and Bradley County Schools, have been honored on three separate occasions for their achievements. Mr. Mull has been named the Southeast Region’s Energy Manager of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers. Bradley County Schools has received the Founder’s Circle Award and the Energy Lighthouse Award from Cinergestics Energy for being a consistent leader in energy conservation. Mr. Mull says it is vitally important to stretch tax dollars as far as possible and to be good stewards of taxpayer money.
He said, "The vision for our community must come from those we entrust in leadership positions. I believe that we, as a community, must determine where and what we want Bradley County to be in 5 years, 10 years, and beyond." He said the County Commission "plays a vital role in that vision, and how we are going to get there."
Mr. Mull also believes citizens should have an active voice in government, and that elected officials should listen to any and all concerns of citizens. He vowed to listen to all concerns and opinions of all citizens, and especially to those of the 3rd District before making any decisions once elected to the Commission. Mr. Mull said he is a firm believer in servant leadership, "where you lead by serving those you represent." He believes in order to fill that role; a person must have unquestionable integrity and character. He said he believes in being a bridge-builder, in uniting and not dividing, and in finding solution, compromise, and agreement.
Mr. Mull believes in expanding the tax base through economic development. He said the County Commission should work with others actively recruiting industry and high paying jobs into the community. Mr. Mull said if people have better, higher paying jobs, then they spend more money and buy larger homes, all of which in turn expands the tax base, helps support services that taxpayers need and want, and keeps taxes low.
Mr. Mull said in order to bring in those jobs "we must continue to stress the value of an education and an educated community, serve and protect citizens through strong law enforcement and other vital services, and provide cultural and entertainment opportunities for our citizens. He says all of these qualities, along with a low tax rate, will continue to help us attract industry into our community."
He said he believes his involvement in the political process has given him a good understanding of how good government should work. His mother, Pam Dockery Mull, served as Bradley County Circuit Court Clerk for 16 years until her retirement in 2006. His grandfather, John “Red” Dockery, served as Bradley County Trustee from 1966 until 1982, and his great-great grandfather, E.L. Gibson, served as Bradley County Sheriff from 1916 until 1919. Mr. Mull said their experiences and wisdom have been and will continue to be valuable assets in grasping and understanding the political process.
Mr. Mull said there will be many challenges, issues, and concerns that the community will face in the future. He said, "We must meet those challenges with a Commission who is proactive, and not reactive; a Commission who will unite, and not divide; and a Commission that is passionate about their community and the people they serve. " He said he hopes to put his experience to work for our entire community.
Mr. Mull is an active member in the community serving as a former board member for OAR (Opportunity for Adult Reading), former member of the United Way Fund Distribution Committee and current chairman for Bradley County Schools United Way Fundraising Campaign, a member of the Association of Energy Engineers, former District Board Member of TSPMA (Tennessee School Plant Managers Association), former member of the Bradley County Mitigation Planning Team, former member of the Council of Deacons at Mount Olive Church of God, and active supporter of Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce Safety Council, and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for children).
Mr. Mull has one daughter, Kelsey, who is a 16-year-old Junior at Cleveland High School. Mr. Mull attends First Baptist Church in Cleveland.