To the editor,

City council minutes from the previous meeting were posted in the Mayfield Messenger, Facebook, and the Messenger's online service. My organization, Mayfield Neighborhood Development, was mentioned to be developing housing in the city and the city was donating property to incentivize this effort. There's been both a ton of feedback related to the message, some good and some not so positive.

I've lived my entire 36 years in Graves County (less a few years in college). I've lived through the glory years of Mayfield and also what I feel like are some of our toughest times. Nearly my whole life I feel like there's been a ton of negativity related to our town and community. "Mayfield's going nowhere," "There's no future in Mayfield," "Mayfield has no leadership," etc. I'll be honest; there have been times that I've been negative too in the past.

Since a major career change brought me back to Mayfield professionally to build the Graves County Banking Center of Community Financial Services Bank (CFSB), I've had the opportunity to see the challenges and opportunities that our community faces much more intimately than I had in the past. Part of my duty, in my position with the bank, is to see that we're doing all we can to bolster our economy and community in any way possible. In recent times, GCED, the City of Mayfield, and (Graves County Judge-Executive) Jesse Perry's office have all worked together strongly to make great strides in building our community up. There is more economic momentum now that I can recall in my adult life. I'm proud to see all of our leaders working together better than I believe we've ever seen before. We're all rowing in the same direction!

Over the last dozen or so years, housing starts in the city limits are almost non-existent. I think there are a few reasons for this, but I'm more focused on what we can do than dwelling on won't work. After thorough research, dozens of hours of strategy, and a pretty fair sized bit of capital invested personally, I believe we've found a way to change the trend in housing within our community. I took my plan to Mayor (Kathy) O'Nan and her team to discuss what my ideas were, what I was bringing to the table, and what I needed from them to get it done. Almost instantly the support and excitement from the city was evident. Both sides were supportive of the other, and we are now many steps into putting this plan into action.

The City of Mayfield couldn't do any more for me than I've asked; they've been a true partner in this venture. I applaud the mayor's vision and support to improving housing. I'm also looking forward to working with other developers through CFSB to provide even greater scale to this opportunity than I can do alone.

Andrew Ellison