Ricky Shelton, Mayor of the City of Cookeville, has extensive experience in the public service arena; as he served two consecutive terms as a Cookeville City Councilman from 2002-2010 before being elected Mayor in 2014. Shelton serves on numerous boards and commissions in his capacity as Mayor, including Cookeville Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Upper Cumberland Development District, the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport Authority, the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, Putnam County 911 Board, the Upper Cumberland Family Justice Center Board, as well as Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board Executive Committee.

While he is committed to leadership, one of his main goals is Economic Development, including economic growth, job creation and infrastructure. Since taking office in August, 2500 new jobs have been announced and will come on line in the next 18 months. Community and quality of life are both priorities to Ricky Shelton. He is passionate about Cookeville and the many things that contribute to quality of life for residents, such as public safety, education, parks, healthcare, outreach and historical efforts. Fulfilling a campaign promise, Mayor Shelton began and organized two new community festivals that have quickly become the premier events in Cookeville. Red White & BOOM Fourth of July Celebration and Christmas in the Park/Downtown Ice were enjoyed by thousands of people!

Mayor Shelton, a Cookeville native and lifelong resident, attended Cookeville High School and graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 1985 with a degree in Business/ Marketing.  Shelton joined AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in 2007 and currently works as a Diabetes Sales Specialist with the company throughout Middle and East Tennessee.

Mayor Shelton is an avid sports enthusiast, and shows his support for local programs, including Cookeville High School, the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, as well his dedication to the University of Tennessee Volunteers. 

Our Family


Ricky Shelton and wife Shannon take great pride in Cookeville and are energetically engaged in their community. Ricky and Shannon are parents to six children, SaraBeth, Logan, Ben, Reagan and twins, Sofia and Mia. For relaxation, the Shelton’s enjoy their pool, vacationing at the beach and shooting/ target practice.

My Record of Leadership


Important Stats 2014 to 2018

  • Tremendous Teamwork w Co Ex Porter, TTU, Chamber, Highlands, State Partners
  • New jobs - over 3300 announced since 2014
  • Unemployment rate down from 6.2% to 2.9%
  • Sales Tax Revenue up 17.2% from $11mil to $13mil
  • Cash Reserves up 66% from $9.9mil to $16.4mil
  • Total Budget down 2.1% from $47mil to $45.9mil
  • Total employees up 6% from 486 to 515
  • New sidewalks constructed 6.8 miles plus additional 3.66 miles planned and funded
  • Roads paved 18.69 miles
  • Building Permits issued 530 SF and 582 MF totaling $107mil
  • Regional Capital Investment of new and existing projects totals $220. Mil past 3 years



  • New Academy Sports (750 jobs)
  • Highlands Business Park Opens
  • Expansion of TTI Floorcare/Oreck (211 jobs)
  • Expansion Dacco-Transtar (175 jobs)
  • New Ficosa (950 jobs)
  • Updated IDB to prepare for new Industrail and retail expansion.  
  • Expansion ATC Automation announced $10.1 million (110 high tech high paying jobs.)
  • New Digital Dream Forge (80 jobs)
  • New SAIC (300 high tech jobs)
  • New Shoppes at Eagle Point. (600 jobs)
  • Retail Strategies contract
  • Alcohol code updated to allow microbreweries
  • Food Truck ordinance
  • TSSAA BlueCross Bowl secured 4 yr renewal
  • Rezoned for Habitat West End Development
  • New Colorrobbia $5 million (30 jobs)



  • Founded /Organize Red White & BOOM - #1 Community event
  • Founded /Organize SlideCKVL
  • Founded /Organize Christmas in the Park Tree Lighting
  • Founded /Organize Christmas Celebration Service
  • Founded /Organize Downtown ICE
  • Founded /Organize Polar Play Zone
  • Purchased additional land (1.1 acres) adjoining Dogwood Park
  • Rail Trail 4.23 mile path from Cookeville to Algood.
  • Park master land use plan for Cane Creek and Park View
  • Heart of the City Playground Dogwood Park
  • Skate Park under construction at old Park View Pool - $800,000/$400,000 grant
  • Mountain Bike Trail built at Cane Creek Park
  • Southern Backroads Regional HOG Rally
  • Dog Park opens at the Animal Shelter
  • Organized Preds in the Park Events
  • New Downtown Murals
  • Spokes Art Project
  • Hired Urban Forester
  • Founded BetterCookeville



  • 5th interchange
  • TN Avenue
  • Stevens St realignment
  • Beautification to the exits/entrances from I-40
  • Resolution to State to widen Willow Ave
  • TDOT Transportation Study
  • TDOT New Sidewalks Grant Project – 3.1 miles- E Spring ST, Interstate Dr, Jefferson Ave
  • TDOT widen Jefferson Ave
  • TDOT traffic signals I40/111
  • Downtown Parking Study
  • Electric System $5 mil reheb
  • TDOT County wide transportation needs committee



  • 26 camera network installed in Dogwood Park
  • Bridge Bill for Police/Fire
  • Purchased body cameras for all Police officers
  • Needs assessment for new Police Dept
  • Purchased land for Police HQ
  • 911 Board County wide communications system
  • 1st Police Dept in US to carry AED, Narcan and Epi Pens



  • Utilize Social Media to keep citizens updated/informed
  • Mike Davidson new City Manager
  • Approved budgets w no tax increase..10 lowest in TN
  • Updated Mayor photo wall on City hall to include ALL former Mayors back to 1903
  • Represented Cookeville at CocaCola 600 as honorary race director
  • Relocated Cityscape downtown
  • 1mgw Solar Farm
  • US Census – 8th fastest growing micropolitan in US
  • Accountability at UCHRA
  • Vice Chair UC Regional Airport
  • Vice Chair JECDB
  • CRMC Trustee
  • Began Key Institutional Leaders quarterly meetings



  • Continue implementing the recommendations of the traffic study we commissioned
  • Continue implementing the recommendations of the parking study we commissioned
  • Continue advocating TDOT for State road projects in Cookeville
  • Build the Water Park/Aquatic Center that we announced after touring 6 other facilities in TN. New Police HQ funding was 1st priority then bond issue can happen for this desired amenity.
  • Continue expanding Retail shopping options for our citizens
  • Long range Comprehensive transportation plan – intersections, roads, lights, paving, etc.
  • Know that as mayor I'm committed to diversity in the city of Cookeville. And I am always open to discuss ways to make our city more accommodating to all who live here.


 Cookeville Mayor

2002-2010 (2 terms- 8 years):

Cookeville City Council


  • Sponsored locating SunTrust Call Center -340 jobs
  • Sponsored locating Oreck mfg- 200 jobs
  • Sponsored the optioning of the 160 acres which is to become Highlands Business Park
  • Served on the Joint Economic and Community Development Board


  • Sponsored a landmark METH ordinance which was later adopted statewide
  • Sponsored on ordinance that blocked/prevented a proposed methadone clinic
  • Sponsored the completion of a new Police substation on S Jefferson
  • Voted against proposed traffic cameras at City intersections
  • Founding Board member of CrimeStoppers


  • Sponsored the expansion of Cookeville Regional Medical Center
  • Sponsored the purchase and expansion of Dogwood Park including commissioning the design of the interactive central water fountain.
  • Sponsored the building of the Soccer Complex
  • Sponsored the building of the Cane Creek Gymnasium
  • Sponsored the expansion of Cane Creek Sportsplex youth fields
  • Sponsored locating and expanding the Cookeville History Museum
  • Sponsored funding of Lighting on the interstate and all exits on I-40 and Hwy 111
  • Sponsored funding for citywide Automated Trash Collection