Born in Nashville and raised in Shelbyville, John has served as an At-Large Member of Metro Council since 2015. John is married to Laura Fitzgerald Cooper, a former Constitutional law professor and they have three teenage sons and four dogs.
In Council, he has focused on issues around Metro’s use of public resources — both tax dollars and public property — and he has worked to bring greater financial accountability and transparency to how those public resources are managed. He spearheaded the successful drive to save Ft. Negley Park from private commercial development, and he worked to raise public awareness about the financial impact of the Mayor’s $9 billion transit plan, rejected by taxpayers last year. John led the move in Council to strengthen the role of the Public Auditor, and his initiative created the Metro Blue Ribbon Commission, to identify where tax dollars can be used or saved more effectively. He has sponsored a Metro Charter amendment that would require Metro Departments to report performance details, so that Council and the public can measure progress on budgeted priorities.
John has served on numerous Metro Council committees, including the Independent Audit Committee, Public Works, Parks and Libraries, and Budget and Finance, which he chaired from 2016-2017. He serves on the Greenways Commission and the Leadership Council for Nashville’s After-Zone Alliance, which supports after-school learning in public schools.
John brings to public service more than 30 years of business and financial experience in the banking, real estate and retail business. A Vanderbilt MBA, he has developed more than one million square feet of commercial real estate, primarily in Williamson County. He is the founder and managing partner of the Heritage at Brentwood, a large continuing-care senior living community located off Concord Road. Through his real estate projects, he created and donated two signature public parks in Brentwood: the Tower Park and the Margaret Hayes Powell Park. John also founded Happy ReTales, a volunteer-directed pet products retail store, where all profits go to animal rescue. Managed by a dedicated group of staff and volunteers, Happy ReTales has provided over $500,000 to local animal charities. John and his family attend Christ Church Cathedral.