Milan Blake, a project manager for payroll house Automatic Data Processing, or ADP, has announced his decision to run for the office in the May 6 Republican Primary.
Blake and his wife, Amy, have been Bradley County residents for 10 years. They have two young sons who attend public school.
While you may not know the name Blake, if you attend Bradley County Commission meetings, you know his face. Blake is a mainstay at the meetings and not just as an observer. He talks regularly with current commissioners about the issues, which means he’ll be ready to go to work for his constituents on day one of his term.
In 2008, Blake saw a need and volunteered to use his expertise to give Bradley County’s website a complete overhaul.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis was so pleased with the result, he nominated Blake for Tennessee’s Volunteer Award. Then-Gov. Phil Bredesen agreed and named Blake the recipient.
Blake is currently on the board of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway, and was a member of the Bradley County Election Commission, from 2009 to 2011. He has also served as coach to his sons’ tee-ball and soccer teams for six years.
“I like to be involved in things that are going on in our community. It’s one of the best ways to get to meet new people,” Blake says.
Blake has a strong work ethic and sees commissioners as employees of the people. “I think a good worker is prepared and ready to work at every meeting. To not participate is to cheat your employers out of the services you’ve agreed to provide,” Blake said.
“I value everyone’s opinion. I believe it’s just as important to work with those you disagree with as it is to work with those you do. In fact, sometimes it’s even more important. Some people might call that being a ‘team player’ or ‘reaching across the aisle.’ I just call it being respectful of others,” he said.
Blake believes many taxpayers are frustrated with the ongoing disagreements between the city of Cleveland and Bradley County.
“I have developed relationships with elected officials and staff at both the city and county governments and through these relationships I will work to find the common ground necessary to end the disagreements,” he said.
Blake is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and information systems.
He believes his education, talents and experience make him a good fit for the County Commission.
A U.S. Army veteran of the Persian Gulf War, he fully supports the building of the Bradley County Veterans Home and pledges to work with any and all parties to see it to completion.
With the projected number of companies coming to Bradley County, Blake will spearhead an assessment of the current road system with special attention to east-west travel.
“It’s vital that we stay ahead of our infrastructure needs or we could find ourselves in unmanageable gridlock,” Blake said.
“We need to work with the school board to meet the educational needs of our kids. I work for a Fortune 1000 company,” he continued, “and I’ve seen firsthand the kinds of skills and qualifications needed in today’s workforce. It all starts with a solid foundation in K-12.
“Bradley County does a lot of things right, and it’s a great place to live and raise a family. But there is always room for improvement, and I plan to be part of providing better, more efficient services to Cleveland and Bradley County taxpayers,” said Blake.
“When you pay your taxes, you have the right to expect that those funds are budgeted and appropriated by all elected officials correctly. The largest portion of the county’s budget is allocated to education.”
Blake said, “I humbly request your vote in the Republican Primary in May and the August General Election.”
If you live in the 3rd District, Blake would like to hear about your concerns. He invites you to contact him by phone at 423-479-8639 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.