Brentwood Squanders Racquet Collaboration With Williamson County

Whether you see it as a deliberate move or as poor decision making, four of your elected Brentwood Commissioners squandered the opportunity to do a $10-12 million indoor tennis & pickleball facility as a 50/50 partnership with Williamson County.  This was worth more than $5 million to the Citizens of Brentwood.  In the past I have not criticized fellow commissioners in my writing, but in the past, we have not had anything this financially irresponsible.

On August 30, Williamson County informed Brentwood that “… further consideration of a potential city/county partnership on a racquet facility in Crockett Park is not in the county’s best interest.”  When Williamson County Commissioner Christopher Richards was asked in a public meeting why the county lost interest in working with Brentwood, he said it was because they “felt the room was hostile.”  In addition to our City Commission meetings, I’ve attended the Ad Hoc Committee meetings as an observer, and I can understand why representatives from Williamson County feel this.  Williamson County viewed this project as a way to reinvest tax dollars contributed by Brentwood Citizens back in our city, and they were repeatedly rebuffed.

From the moment the Maryland Farms YMCA announced its closure until this summer, Brentwood and Williamson County have been discussing a collaborative project to build a $10-12 million indoor tennis pickleball facility at Crockett Park.  Late in 2022, this came to the Brentwood Commission with a suggested structure where:

  • Brentwood provides the location,
  • Williamson County provides all staffing and facility maintenance,
  • Facility construction is divided 50/50 between Brentwood and Williamson County,
  • Brentwood owns the building,
  • Proceeds from the operations are split 50/50 between Brentwood and Williamson County,
  • Williamson County gives Brentwood residents priority to 50% of available court time based on this 50/50 cost split (which is a non-issue, since other Williamson County facilities in Brentwood like the Indoor Sports Complex naturally run 65%+ Brentwood resident usage because of location)
  • Williamson County Parks & Rec forge an agreement to keep the former YMCA tennis, pickleball, and racquetball courts available to bridge the gap during construction.

Unfortunately for Brentwood residents, at the May 22nd meeting of the City Commission, Commissioners Spears, Travis, Macmillan and Mayor Gorman halted the process.  Instead of passing resolution 2023-57 giving permission to Brentwood’s city staff to work out facility and operational details, they put the entire process on “hold” indefinitely.

Recognizing we could miss the opportunity, I along with Commissioners Dunn and Little tried again to move the collaborative process forward at our June 12 meeting, and again Commissioners Spears, Travis, Macmillan and Mayor Gorman declined, instead forming a separate “Ad Hoc” committee to investigate and debate.  Like many good opportunities, this one didn’t last, and while Brentwood delayed, Williamson County predictably moved on.

As a Brentwood resident, I am growing increasingly concerned about the tone and decisions made by our city commission. While I do not expect unanimous agreement, I believe a certain level of integrity and responsibility should be upheld. That includes situations such as this collapse of this partnership with Williamson County for the tennis & pickleball facility and the controversial handling of the Martin Center funding earlier this year.

Brentwood is ingrained in our larger community, and we collaborate with neighboring cities and Williamson County on a wide variety of services including public schools, public safety, emergency communications, ambulance service, courts, jails, and animal control just to name a few.

Some of your Brentwood Commissioners are taking an increasingly “isolationist” stance with Williamson County, and it is concerning.  It takes years to build good relationships but not much time at all to tear them down.

My job is to work for the best interests of Brentwood Citizens.  Part of doing that is ensuring Brentwood is a trusted, reliable member of the larger community and to work with the County, Region, and State to effectively solve problems in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.  Building and maintaining partnerships is critical to providing a broader range of opportunities and services while maintaining financial responsibility and the sensibility expected of your elected City Commissioners.

Without the opportunity to partner with Williamson County, there may be a very expensive effort to deliver a private tennis club experience paid for entirely by Brentwood taxpayers, potentially creating a significant financial burden.

I urge you to share your thoughts on this matter.  Feel free to contact me at 615-917-1384 and  Contact information for all the commissioners can be found here.

If you are the kind of person who wants to have “all the data”, you can find details with links to the documents and meeting videos available in my newsletter found here.

Thank you for your engagement.


Nelson Andrews
Brentwood City Commissioner
1242 Monarch Way, Brentwood TN 37027

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