Saturday Mash-up

June 4, 2011
By

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.

20 Responses to Saturday Mash-up

  1. Liberty
    June 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I loved the comment I read about how the raise in taxes was so that the Mayor and other La Vergne reps could get a nice fat raise…lol seriously…The Mayor makes far less than my own husband!!! I love the La Vergne facebook page! When I found out that they had zumba classes for $1 I told a bunch of my friends that like zumba and waste their money at the Y in Smyrna to go to it. I’m hoping that I can start going myself as soon as our money situtation gets straightened out from my hubby losing his job and starting his new one with the school board

  2. Sherry
    June 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I’m a long-time resident (since 1989) and definitely guilty as charged. :(

    • Ivy
      June 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      Don’t worry, Sherry, I still wuv you. :)

  3. Ilivehere2
    June 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    So very well said, Ivy. Thank you. I have lived here all my life & only got really interested during the building of LFE because of all the things that were being done wrong. It helped a little when the State started taking notice, but there were still those in office who put up barriers to keep everything that needed to be done done! Those are now gone & our city is trying to correct or at least limit the same thing happening again — thank you Senna for not backing down & not giving in!

    • Ilivehere2
      June 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      Ooops — should have said, “. . . . those in office who put up barriers to keep everthing that needed to be done from being done correctly!” Happy fingers . . .

  4. L
    June 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you for this post, I truly appreciate it and understand the things you wrote about. I have lived in LaVergne for 40 yrs and shame on me have never really been involved in the politics of our town. A job loss especially at my age makes you see things much differently, one of those 99ers (no benefits left) and at the age of too old for most to be willing to hire and not old enough to draw early social security. And I like you know that I am blessed by God, I still have a roof over my head and have not gone hungry yet. I also know about best friends, if somebody says or does something to my BF, they might as well have done it to me because I too will have her back. As far as the mayor and aldermen, I have nothing against any of them and have nothing bad to say about them (I voted for most, even though not really knowing much about any of them) and have had no problem with them. My post have been only to try to make people understand that it’s not just a matter of being only $12 a month hike on property tax or $27 a month hike on water and sewer and I have no doubt that it is necessary and long over due, just needs to be understood by some that can get up there and state that it is not going to hurt them to pay more that there are many citizens in LaVergne that it could mean a meal on the table. I have found that many people that kept jobs through this recession can’t seem to really understand what unemployed and fixed income people are going through, it’s like you heard a lot of those people say go out and get a job, point out the 13.9 million that the government claims is the unemployment rate (and for those that don’t know, us 99ers are not even counted anymore in the unemployment rate) they say they understand but unless you are in the position you really don’t! I think it will be great to give people information on ways to get help if needed and all I ask of people is to have a little compassion for those people that will be hurt the most and at the meetings if they boo a little so be it, they are scared. And a little more about me I seem to always fight for the underdogs, it’s just my nature. Maybe we can all get to know each other a little better at the meetings.

  5. Liberty
    June 4, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Okay so I thought I read on the Lavergne facebook page about tax freezing for seniors, Iknow I did because I commented on it! Can someone give me the info to pass along to my grandparents?

    • Ivy
      June 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      I am working on a big post with all kinds of resources and that link will definitely be included. Look for it tomorrow or possibly Monday depending on my schedule. :)

  6. Grant Green
    June 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you so much for the kind words, Ivy. I hate to admit, I didn’t recognize you the other night at the meeting. You need to stop and say hey to introduce yourself sometime!

    We have an awesome group of people in our building, which makes any workplace better. All the different departments there (Codes, Stormwater, Engineering, and me) work together well. The city itself does have a lot of good employees – sometimes the level of staffing doesn’t reflect that. There are a lot of people who work harder to make up for it.

    The people I work with everyday certainly want the best for La Vergne, and know good things can happen with enough resources to do the improvements many of the citizens have wanted for years. At some point, the improvement/decline ratio catches up with cities. Affecting this ratio are watershed moments in local history, such as Waldron Road being pushed forward due to partial stimulus funding. Nothing ever seems to be easy, though. It is great working for a city whose leaders, citizen boards, and citizens want to fight to help make it a nice place to live, work, and even drive through. I think everyone involved, especially me, is also glad to always get help from above.

    Thanks again, Ivy – and Kathy!
    Grant

  7. Cricket123
    June 4, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Was Gwen Anthony and all of her protesters there last Thursday? Nobody has mentioned that.

    • aunt yoya
      June 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Nope but I hear they will be there on Tuesday.

    • Ivy
      June 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      Not that I know of. I didn’t see here there, or any actual protesting.

      • Ivy
        June 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm

        Protesting, like with signs and all. There were plenty of folks that were against the taxes, naturally.

  8. aunt yoya
    June 4, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I really appreciate you Ivy and Kathy for keeping our community informed of everything going on and helping to squash the rumors,lies, and other misinformation. The other night I heard several people say “I can well afford the raises but I worry about the ones who can’t” so how awesome would it be if LaVergne could set up a place on the water bill where citizens could add an additional dollar amount to go towards helping others who can’t afford the water increases. NES has a similar program for electricity. We can’t well afford it but I would have no problem donating a dollar or five every month to ensure a family or elderly person doesn’t have to do without. I love this city and I love the people(well most of the people)and good or bad we all gotta stick together and make Our city the Best it can be for Everyone!

    • Ivy
      June 4, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      What an excellent idea. I really, really love this.

    • June 5, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      Ditto. That’s a great thought!

    • Angie
      June 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Great idea! I had to rely on the power of God and genorisity of strangers to pay my NES bill when my kids were small and will never forget it. I would definitely donate a dollar or more toward my water bill. Even if we could round up the change…instead of $52.13 pay $53.00 every penny could help. (I do that on my bills now makes it easier to subtract-lol).

      • Chip
        June 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

        or even make it where you can round your bill off to the next dollar amount. That’s how I usually pay Tips to servers and it’s easier to do the math when reconciling the checkbook.

  9. June 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Oh, come on. La Vergne is not all that bad. There’s very nice lake access and a nice campground (but the road down there needs a bit of fixing).

    Hello from Smyrna! (where our cops WILL give you a ticket for exceeding the speed limits, probably faster than will cops from La Vergne!).

    Best,

    • Ivy
      June 20, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      Oh, hi, Serr8d! Long time no see! I missed you. ;)

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