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Meet the Mayor

A Conversation with Jamie Clary

As Mayor of Hendersonville, Jamie Clary is one of the most visible figures in the community. He is constantly on the move performing the many duties of his position, including conducting official city business, welcoming new businesses to town and supporting various civic events.

Recently, Hendersonville Lifestyle had an opportunity to sit down with Mayor Clary in order to help our readers get to know him better, and to learn about his plans for the City by the Lake.

Who is Jamie Clary?

“I have lived in Hendersonville for almost 50 years, having moved here as a child with my parents. I graduated from Hendersonville High School in 1987, and then I earned a bachelor’s degree in history, government and English from Western Kentucky University. I have always had a passion for Hendersonville and for serving my community. In past years, I served as a city planning commissioner and an alderman, before being elected as mayor of this exceptional city in 2016.”

What makes Hendersonville so special for you?

“Having lived here since I was a small child, Hendersonville is the only home that I have ever truly known. It is a close-knit community that values long-term relationships. Some of the people that I met when we first moved here are still my friends, nearly 50 years later. In addition, my entire family lives here, and they share my love for our city.”

Why did you decide to run for and serve as mayor?

“There are actually two reasons that I ran for mayor. First, like my fellow citizens, I have an investment in our city, and I want to see it continue to grow and prosper. Second, I have a personal stake in Hendersonville – I want it to remain an attractive place to live so that my two children will want to stay here when they grow up.”

What do you enjoy most about being mayor?

“I love being able to help shape the direction of our city. The future is bright for Hendersonville, and it is exciting to be a part of making it happen.”  

What motivates you?

“I want to achieve results. I do not get involved in things just for interaction or exercise. I get involved with activities because I want them to be successful and to make a difference.”

Who is/was your mentor?

“During the early 90s, I covered city government as a journalist for the Hendersonville Star News. During that time, the late Hank Thompson was the mayor. He was an inspiration to me, and his actions, suggestions and accomplishments still help guide me today.”

With all of your responsibilities, how do you maintain a work-life balance?

“As a rule, I don’t relax well. My inclination is to always be working when I don’t have family obligations, and to spend time with my family when I don’t have work obligations. I believe that my children deserve a full-time dad, and I am committed to that goal.”

What are some of your non-governmental community activities?

“Although serving as mayor takes up a lot of my time, I am still active in several different organizations, including the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Sumner, the Hendersonville Soccer Club, the American Red Cross, Bethany Christian Services and Decisions, Choices and Options.”

It is widely known that you have a strong interest in soccer. Describe your background with soccer and how you would like to see it grow in the city.

“I have always been passionate about soccer. I have participated in all levels of soccer, having played, coached, officiated and served on soccer boards. As a youth, I played recreational and travel soccer in Hendersonville. After high school, I continued my soccer career at Western Kentucky University. After college, I continued to play in several different adult competitive leagues. Today, I still play, albeit with older folks, and my children are also playing now, making me a soccer dad times two.

As we grow, I want children and adults to continue having opportunities to play soccer in Hendersonville, whether recreationally or competitively. I am working hard to ensure that our facilities and our leagues are second to none.”

 

Other than soccer, what is your favorite leisure activity?

“I love long-distance cycling. I have ridden my bike from Hendersonville to Canada, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.”

What are your top 3 goals for the city of Hendersonville?

“First, I believe that it is important to improve our image as a city. A positive first impression is vital for attracting new individuals and businesses to Hendersonville. It also enhances the sense of civic pride felt by our current residents.

Second, we need to continually upgrade our infrastructure, such as our roads and utilities. Infrastructure investments go a long way toward my first goal of improving our city image.

Finally, I want to bring more jobs to Hendersonville. Our overall economy and lifestyles are much better when our residents have local work commutes.”

Where do you see Hendersonville in 5 to 10 years?

“Per my goals, I hope to have more professional jobs in Hendersonville, with better infrastructure and an improved image.”

What is the greatest life lesson that you have learned?

“When in doubt, be quiet and be kind.”

What advice would you give to others?

“Listen more. Speak less.”

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