There are a few things I wanted to say. And I am going to try to stop posting about taxes unless something comes up. (Until Tuesday, anyway, heh)
First, for the people genuinely worried about how they are going to pay their bills with all these new increases: I understand your fear. I really, truly do. My family is dirt poor right now. I don’t have a job and we are living on a very small amount of money. It’s scary, with the way everything is so expensive right now. One of my family members offered to pay for one of my children to go to a day camp for something my child is extremely talented in. I had to turn the offer down because I can’t afford the gas to take her to this day camp in Murfreesboro every day, and it broke my heart. An extra $27 a month for the water increase plus the tax increase will make a definite difference in our budget. It will hurt.
I am only opening up on all this because I wanted to share how I am coping. I step out on faith every day of my life. I believe with my whole heart that God is taking care of me, and I believe God is taking care of all of you as well, despite what you may or may not believe about a God. God is not a slot machine, where you pay in with prayer or tithe, and a lucky few win. God is not your fairy godmother who comes and takes all your problems away and you live happily ever after. No, I believe this: God will give you what you need.
I believe God gives you the hardships in your life as a gift. The gift is the opportunity to learn something. The gift is an opportunity for you to be strong, to be your own hero. It is not punishment, it is not a test. It is a gift to you, to allow you to grow. Even the most inexplicable tragedies may be something you need for later on in your life, usually, I think, as a way for you to truly empathize with someone who may be in need.
Look, I’m not here to sermonize at you, I’d just like you to consider these things, and ask yourself how you can step out on faith today.
On a more practical note, either today or tomorrow I will post a list of resources that can help those who need it. Pray toward heaven and row toward shore, as it is.
The other thing I wanted to talk about is a few of the rumors and outright lies that are being told about various things going on in our city. Normally, I have a strict rule for myself about reading the comment sections in the DNJ. That is, do NOT read the comments. The vast majority of those comments are ridiculous- either stupid, lies, grossly misinformed, or what have you.
Last night I stupidly broke my own rule and read the comments. Most of them are too outlandish to even bother with a comment, but I do have to say a couple of things.
1. The city’s PR director position already existed, with a slightly different title. This is not an all-new position created by Senna so she could hire Kathy. There already was a publicist, she was let go for valid reasons. They advertised the position with some slightly changed focus of the job based on what the city needed. Kathy applied and went through the hiring process the same way as everyone else. There were other people who applied. Kathy was the most qualified, which is why she was hired.
Now, for full disclosure, Kathy Tyson IS my best friend, and I would defend her down to my last breath because of that. However, I don’t have to spin a thing when I tell you that she has already done enormous good for the city. The city now has a Facebook page, and Twitter. She is working on revamping the city’s website to make it more user friendly. She is getting the word out about the positive things that are going on in this city and she is enabling our city’s government to go to a new level of transparency. And honestly, was there ever a city in this county that needed good PR more than La Vergne? She is doing a damn fine job and I applaud her for all that she does for our city.
2. Our city workers, in general, are soldiering through a time of great change in our city. There have been shakeups throughout all of the city departments and everybody has been asked to pitch in and do their part, and they have. I especially would like to give shout-outs to our city planner Grant Green and city codes director Kyle Brown. They are making an amazing effort to clean this town up and bring much-needed retail to this city. If it wasn’t for their hard work and the hard work of those who work for them, our city would be a pile of poo. Thank you to all of you.
3. The comments I see that irk me the most are the ones that day La Vergne is not worth cleaning up, is not fixable. And you know what? I’m going to jump OFF the “the previous administration caused this shit” bandwagon, because you know what? This is the fault of every single one of us. Well, everyone who is a long-time resident here. People who have been here less than, say, 2 years get a pass. We should have been demanding answers YEARS ago. We should have joined forces with people who were asking the tough questions, like Senna. We should have been down at city hall demanding transparency, we should have been demanding more police and fire YEARS ago. We should have demanded a vote on raising the taxes a long dang time ago so there wouldn’t be such a sticker shock now.
But we didn’t. We were like, “ho-ho, I live in the armpit of Rutherford County, I can’t wait to move somewhere good.” I am VERY guilty of that, and I know I am not the only one. La Vergne is worth fixing, is worth saving. Think about all the nice things there are about La Vergne. And not to toot our own horn here, but this forum is bringing citizens together, making this a community where we know each other, care about each other. It’s not just what Kathy and I have done here, it takes all our commenters and our facebook friends and everyone here, to make this a community. If it wasn’t for all of you, this would just be singing into the wind.
Get out there and help us make this even more of a community. Tell your friends about us. Tell your neighbors. The more people we have here, the more we can share ideas and help each other, and work things out. This city IS worth it. All of you are worth it. Let’s make the effort.