Tom Williams, the former general manager of Henderson Water Utility, has thrown his hat into the ring for a spot on the Henderson Board of Commissioners.
Williams, currently working as a senior project manager with HWU, held the general manager post for more than nine years at the utility. Before that, he worked as the director of engineering at HWU for three years. Williams also worked as the Evansville city engineer.
Williams has extensive experience with civic organizations, including serving as a member and chair of the Henderson City Park and Recreation Board from 2003-2007, serving on the Henderson City-County Joint Planning Commission, serving as a board member of the Ohio Valley Art League; and serving on the Henderson County Board of Health, a role in which he’s currently active.
He was also a member of the Henderson Water and Sewer Commission in 2009-2010, before he started work for HWU in 2010.
“I want to stay involved in city government,” Williams said. “I’d just like to keep involved in it.”
He said he’s been impressed with what’s happened in the past few years with economic development, and he wants to be a part of continuing that streak.
He also said he’d like to find ways for the city to be more business friendly. The investments occurring downtown are a good start, saying the area is “becoming more of a destination.”
Williams believes the current commission is doing a good job but has a tendency “to try to please everybody,” which causes the board to spend more than what is necessary. He cites the new athletic complex on Airline Road—with its current $18 million-plus price tag—as an example.
He said it’s important not to cut corners, but each project doesn’t need all the bells and whistles. He would take a middle of the road approach, he said.
Another point of concern for Williams are projections that show the local population shrinking in years to come. He said the city needs to better market itself as a desirable place to live, including with its amenities but also with costs associated with utilities, which are lower than most nearby municipalities.
Williams is a 1975 graduate of Henderson County High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1979 from the University of Kentucky and a master’s of business administration from Murray State University in 1989.
Williams and wife, Marlene, have two grown sons and one grandson.
As of Friday at about 4 p.m., Williams and Rodney Thomas are the only candidates who have filed to run for city commissioner. The deadline for filing is Jan. 5.