At 11 years old, Neal worked for Edwards Hatchery in the evenings when he got out of school. In 1977, he graduated from Lebanon High School. Later the same year, he attended Columbia State Community College and majored in business accounting. In 1979, he attended night classes at Nashville Medical College in Madison. In 1980, he attended Nashville Tech for emergency medical technician training.
At 32, Neal started preaching and has preached for more than 26 years. He is a professional singer and songwriter and chief executive officer of Youth Development Training for children for the past 18 years. He is presently the president of Market Street Church of Christ and organized community programs such as Thanksgiving Day meals, Easter egg hunts, community movie nights, community friends and family day and mentoring, tutoring and college prep for many students.
“I want to be a voice for the people,” Neal said. I plan to represent the people of District 20. We need representation of our tax dollars.”
Neal said one focus is in the area of education.
“I plan to question the cost of new schools being built,” He said. “There is a need for seat belts on school buses for the safety of children. I want to focus our attention on improving educational scores in our public schools.”
Neal said he also places great value on exploring better recreation and housing opportunities.
“My plan is to work very hard on providing better recreational activities for the youth in our District 20,” Neal said. “I grew up with a park, Market Street School, Wilson County High School, opening of a gym, Boys and Girls Club and elders in our community who took the time to invest in our children.
“I plan on finding resources to bring affordable housing and work on restoration of older homes owned by the elderly and lower income and single mothers who work and can’t find affordable housing.”
Neal said he also wants to be a good steward of tax dollars.
“We in District 20 pay our fair share of county taxes, yet, see little return of our county taxes brought back to District 20. I will speak long and loud on education, recreation, housing and quality of life.”
Neal challenged current Wilson County Commissioner Annette Stafford for the District 20 seat on the commission in the Aug. 2 Wilson County General Election. Early voting will be July 13-28.
“One of the most hurtful situations was when [Stafford] voted to move Lebanon High School, and she did not call a community meeting with the residents of District 20,” Neal said. “Former Wilson County Mayor Bob Dedman had plans to remodel the building and keep it at its current location. Kids from Head Homes, Inman Court and Upton Heights could walk to school. But none of this was taken into consideration prior to the move. She voted to raise our taxes and build a school in Watertown, and Watertown is not in District 20. Like one resident said, ‘Just look at the remodel of the current building.’ To sum it up, all we have is taxation without representation with our current commissioner.