La Vergne Doubles Tax Rates, A Summary Of Last Night

Last night was a night of high emotions and plenty of drama. A whole lot more people got up to speak against taxes than got up to speak for taxes. I think that is interesting because even when I talked with a lot of people who are totally unconnected with any of the elected officials, the majority were for the tax increase. But it’s hard to feel passionate for a tax increase. The people who were there last night that supported the tax increase were not as much passionate about taxes, they were passionate about our elected officials who supported the tax increase. A gentleman who was there last night said, “I see the lines drawn mainly between Mosley supporters and Waldron supporters, but I am a supporter of the city of La Vergne.”

I can really get down with that sentiment because before I supported Mayor Mosley, and Aldermen Farmer and Broeker, I was a supporter of La Vergne. I’d like to think I can support all of those equally.

There were some major arguments on the board last night. There were 2 things that struck me the most last night. The first thing was the Mayor listing all the things that had been bought on the city credit card when Ronnie Erwin was mayor. We, the taxpayers, were paying for him to have lunch over at Wilstan’s nearly every day, and he was leaving 100% tips. I’m a pretty generous tipper, coming from a restaurant family as I do, however when I’m paying with someone else’s money, I leave the standard 20%. And the car washes. We paid for Ronnie Erwin to have a shiny car. Gah, that makes me mad.

The other thing is this. Dennis Waldron said, “I’ve been looking at this budget for 2 weeks.” Later, Tom Broeker got after him about that, saying he had spent 2 and a half months looking at this budget diligently. And that, my friends, is the difference between the new people we have in this administration, and the people who have sat on this board either previously, or they’re still here. I really do not think that due diligence was given to our city’s inner workings in the past. I think it has been a very long time since we have had a team of officials who were willing and able to really put the time and effort in that we as citizens deserve.

It is easy for me to support the tax increase- not because I can afford it, because as I have said before, I am really struggling financially- but because I really believe in our elected officials. When this last election came up, I thought, I am going to trot down and really get to know these people. I did just that. The people who really took the time to talk to me, are the people I supported.

I guess that is what has me a little upset about this whole thing- they didn’t talk to me because I’m special. They would be glad to talk to anyone who would care to call, email, text, whatever you’re comfortable with.

I had so much more that I wanted to say, but I had a couple of disturbing (personal, not related to the city) phone calls right in the middle of writing this, and my train of thought is now totally derailed. I will have to come back later and post more, I think.

I do remember the one question I wanted to ask. So many people came up last night and said that they know we need more police, they know this city needs to be fixed, but they didn’t want to (or could not afford to) pay for the increase. My question is this: What do you think we could do for this city that would not cost the city money? What are you willing to put in to help this city change and move forward?

10 comments for “La Vergne Doubles Tax Rates, A Summary Of Last Night

  1. Gunner M.
    June 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    LaVergne has a smaller tax base. Your new tax rate might only bring in what our $.75 tax rate does in Smyrna. To make the need for less taxes you need to bring in new businesses, increase the value of your city. Smyrna is planning a new interchange that will create a new business hub and increase land values. The investing that your mayor is speaking of might have returns in the future, but for now you will have to bite the bullet and bare the pain.

  2. aunt yoya
    June 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    We are not well off either and some weeks just barely scraping by but if the Water Dept could take donations added to the bill for residents who need help paying their bill I would gladly add $1-$5 to mine! It would be a great help if all the neighborhoods would start their own watch program to help deter crime and ease the load for our short staffed officers. I would love to see a program set up where citizens could volunteer their time,mowers,and weed-eaters to help mow the lawns of the elderly or just someone in general who can’t (Not won’t) on a regular basis. I would also love to see a program established for volunteers to help clean up around the city (streets,ditches,lake front) for more than just once a year. I will gladly give my time for all of the above.

    • Ivy
      June 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      I would too, except for the mowing part, since I can’t due to my allergies. 🙂

    • Debbie Heughan
      June 8, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      To Aunt Yoyo….You have the mind of a brilliant creative thinker.. What you are suggesting is the whole concept of the way a family would co-operate with one another during tough times, helping each other along down the road of life. This would work well for a city such as ours that is is trouble. I can only guess that the negative nelly’s would not be on board though.. they would be waiting for us to come help them & then when we are done, they would brag about how they got these idiots to do work for them for free, instead of being grateful. Well, I would like to be among the positive force of helpers in this town, because it is the right thing to do. I have heard that ‘Either you are part of the solution or you are part of the problem”. I will always choose to be part of the solution & will be happy about it. I am so grateful that Senna, Tom, & Chris, & sometimes Sherry, have the future of La Vergne in their hearts.

  3. aunt yoya
    June 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Just a quick thought on the resources available to the seniors for utilities and taxes~is it possible to have some of those documents delivered to the Senior Center and possibly have some people available to help them with any questions they may have regarding contacting them. I know sometimes elderly people(like my mom) get frustrated and confused when trying to get help with these type of things. Perhaps set aside a specific day and time to meet with them at the Senior Center and get the ball rolling on getting these folks some help!

    • Sarah N.
      June 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Maybe they need some tax professionals to volunteer there. Unfortunately, I am clueless about these things myself. I do mow a mean lawn, though 🙂

    • Sherry
      June 9, 2011 at 12:55 am

      That’s a wonderful idea. So many older folks do better in a face-to-face setting than over the phone, and they could bring someone with them to ask questions, fill out paperwork, etc., if necessary.

  4. June 9, 2011 at 4:15 am

    by god i think you guys have stumbled onto something. we have plenty of lawncare companies in town and plenty of people that have lawn mowers. if we could help by mowing one lawn for someone who has to pay for this service and free that money up so they can pay the increase if they need this than it’s a great thing. question how do we find out who really needs it?

    • Angie
      June 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      What about a city wide yard sale? Kind of like the one in Watertown? I know people come from all over the state to go to that sale each spring and fall.

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