Board of Mayor & Aldermen Meeting 7/5/2011

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Meeting was last night and I was there. Three people stood up to speak at the public hearing: Stan Glasgow, Mike Webb and Jerry Butler. They all said various stuff on the same theme: the petition to unincorporate.

Just think about how great it is that we are now able to sign up to speak right before the meeting. Previously you had to sign up a week in advance and it had to be about something that was on the agenda, and how did you know what was on the agenda before the workshop? I’m still trying to figure that out. I applaud our current board for ensuring our rights as citizens to voice our opinions.

Ya know, I feel like I’m flogging the dead horse here by talking about this petition over and over. I am having a hard time deciding whether my words have any effect whatsoever or not. It seems like this town has split into, are you a Senna fan or a Dennis fan and I do not like this one bit.

Why can’t we come together and be fans of this city?

Last night, the people who stood up to speak said that the petition to unincorporate was not to have the county take over but to have the city revert back to an old charter that instead of having a board of Mayor and Aldermen, the city would be run by commissioners, one commissioner for each department. Can you imagine what an impact that would have on our city?

Let’s imagine I’m the commissioner of the library and Steve Noe is the commissioner of Parks and Rec and Sherry is the commissioner of public works and Sarah is the commissioner of the police department, etc. How do you decide who gets what money? Sarah would argue the most important thing is public safety. I would argue an educated public is of highest priority. Steve and Sherry would be slugging it out about giving the kids something to do vs. giving us decent roads to drive on.

I just don’t see how that could be any more efficient than what we have already. Additionally, I wonder why this was never brought up to the media in all the times they have talked to the media. I have not heard a thing about this old charter until last night and believe me, I have been paying attention.

Also, think about this. What do these three men have to gain by getting our current board booted out and instating a commissioner-type government? One of the men mentioned that he had a piece of property that he didn’t know he owned. Let’s think about that. How much property do you have to own to be able to forget a piece?

Anyway, interesting meeting last night. There is a lot to think about here, about what we really want for our city. What La Vergne needs more than anything right now is to be able to take pride in our city and I think our current board is really working on that. The Picnic in the Park was a great step toward that, and I think the Old Timer’s Festival is going to absolutely bump that up several notches. I thank our Mayor and Aldermen who have really stepped up to the plate to get this for us. I’d especially like to thank Alderman Broeker as the Picnic in the Park was really kind of his “baby” and he put an immense amount of work into it.

It all came together thanks to the hard work of a lot of people, and they cannot be forgotten either. The city workers and various board members donated a lot of their time and effort for free to help pull this off. I think it was an amazing start in the right direction, the direction our city wants to go.

UPDATE: You can watch the board meeting for yourself on Thursday the 7th at 7 PM or Friday the 8th at 7 PM on City Channel 3.

Enough pontificating from me, what’s on your mind, La Vergne?

53 comments for “Board of Mayor & Aldermen Meeting 7/5/2011

  1. mark
    July 6, 2011 at 10:42 am

    well it seems to me that Dennis Waldron might be the head good ole boy trying to do this. isnt his term up soon? they just cant handle change which will be the best for the city.

  2. T.
    July 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Lemme guess.. Butler of Butler homes? so he can build more homes that are quickly turning into foreclosure party zones?? Yeah.. nice work there.

  3. Sarah N
    July 6, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Well, if I get to be the Police Commissioner, then I might just sign that petition ; )

    Seriously, though, I need two new tires today, and guess where I won’t be shopping? It seems like the average La Vergne resident will be getting a raw deal if the city un-incorporates, just so a few wealthy land owners can save some money on their taxes. I’m not saying theses guys haven’t worked hard for what they have, but a lot of us are tired of being the red headed stepchild of the county.

    • Adam Frazier
      July 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

      I would love to know who runs what business so I know where not to shop as well lol. Feel me in…

      • Elizabeth
        July 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm

        I too would like to know who owns what businesses….

  4. July 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I have an idea…why don’t some of you support some of the businesses on Waldron Rd. that have been crushed by the “road construction” Keep it local and keep the only entrace into LaVergne from I-24 thriving. It’ll be a black eye for LaVergne if business on Waldron Rd. have to shut down before this construction is finished.
    Thanks for your business.

    • Sherry
      July 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      Do you work for Susie G. by chance? I won’t identify you to the other bloggers. 🙂

      • tony vanatta
        July 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

        mayor mosley is on them to get done.

  5. G. Laura
    July 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    @Adam:
    Jerry Butler is one of them
    Mike Webb I believe of First Chance Auto
    Stan Glasgow-Lavergne Mini Storage

    Those were the main 3 that spoke last night & tried to tell city employees that they would not be losing their jobs. It all goes to Mtas says & they say they would. It’s a joke to try to dupe people in signing this stupid petition.

    • Ivy
      July 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      This is correct information for those who were wanting to know.

    • auntyoya
      July 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      I overheard those same three business owners outside after the citizens comments say “it will be easy to get those 5200 signatures now” and I’m assuming its because Stan commented on camera that basically the fact sheet put out by the city was wrong and he had been getting calls and complaints that he was misinforming the public and he had “found” another charter that had been in place before our current charter and therefore we will just revert to that one and no one would lose jobs– we’d just get rid of the current Board. I do believe everyone has the right to protest things they don’t agree with but for heaven’s sake tell the truth when you are trying to get people to side with you and not for one damn minute am I buying that they want this unincorporation for the poor people who can barely feed their families when Stan pulls up in a brand new Escalade truck. These taxes don’t affect these men they all simply have beef with the city for one reason or another. We know Stan didn’t get his zoning request and it is no secret that Mike Webb recently got a hefty ticket so guessing that’s why he’s changed his tune to fully support the unincorporation.I am already pissed that my Jerry Butler house is falling down around me as I type but this makes me want to rip it apart shingle by shingle and dump it in his damn yard! The public has got to get themselves fully informed of all the repercussions of signing and passing this petition. If you don’t trust the city’s information feel free to contact MTAS or the county and ask questions because as it stands now You will be paying a hell of a lot more than just a tax increase and water and sewer rate increase! Believe only half of what you see and even less of what you hear! Get out there and get informed!

    • auntyoya
      July 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      Merchandise Liquidators has the petition hanging in their store and say they didn’t start it and aren’t sure if they signing it but if it’s hanging in your store then you are supporting it in my opinion and you will not get one red cent from ME!

      • Elizabeth
        July 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm

        I go in there about once a year near Christmas but won’t be going anymore….

        • Sarah N
          July 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm

          Yup, I was thinking of dropping in to see if they had any patio furniture. Guess I won’t be dropping in there ever again.

  6. michaelinLV
    July 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Even in disagreeing with these guys, I have to commend them for coming and standing before the board and stating their reasons for pushing this petition. I’m not sure I understand this philosophy of the old charter, I’ll have to watch the replay on channel 3 and see if I can make sense of it all.

    I’m not sure I agree with the idea that taking pride in our city is the path to prosperity. To use a football analogy, when I was in High School, our marching band won many competitions and our dance team was one of the tops in the nation. So how did the football team do? They were 1-9 or 2-10 for each of my 4 years. We had school pride, for sure. But that didn’t give our DB’s more speed, our linemen more size, or our QB more accuracy.

    There are some real issues in this city that cannot be solved with fireworks and a parade. There are some solultions that are underway (the widening of Waldron Road will be a big step up for the city), but there are still some issues that I don’t know how to resolve. The city still has a gang reputation, is that being addressed? How do you address it? Parts of Lake Forest Estates look like a third world country with gravel in lieu of yards, weeds taller than cars, awful looking garage conversions (which BTW I thought was a codes violation?) and moldy vinyl siding. Do you decide to buy in LFE just because we have fireworks and a parade?

    There was a proposal discussed on here several months ago regarding an overlay district for our “main” street that would have required brick fronts and more landscaping. What is the status of that?

    This city has at least one major benefit going for us – location. If La Vergne were just bare dirt today, you would have people clamoring for it. We have immediate access to I-24 and are roughly the same distance to downtown Nashville, Franklin, and Murfreesboro. We aren’t in Williamson County so home values can be more reasonable, and we’re not in Metro so our schools are better. All of the barriers in La Vergne are self-erected. I understand the tax and utility increases are designed to tackle some of these barriers, but the scope of these hikes have created new barriers.

    • Rich Long
      July 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      Michael I agree with you 100% but right now the city is: A) divided and B) are starting to believe what people are telling them about this “town is a dump”. The issues that you bring up are very true and valid and need work. I’m all about landscaping in the median of Mufreeboro road and I have talked to others that feel the same but the city also has a morale problem and that needs to be addressed too. The more “fun” things there are the happier the general population is and the more they feel that this is THIER community and WORK TOGETHER to make it what it should be. Ya I know that a parade and otd are not the silver bullets to these problems but over time it will matter.

      • Ivy
        July 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm

        Rich, I was going to come on and say basically the exact same thing you said. Well said.

    • Cee Dee
      July 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

      Michael: gangs — hopefully more police will help that situation. When you only have 4 or 5 officers on the streets in La Vergne at any given time, it’s hard to hit all the “trouble” spots in a city of 33,000 or so! LFE — CODES. In my opinion this development has been off limits for the city’s codes dept. I have been told many times by others that the employees have been told not to bother “certain people” and those certain people were allowed to do what they wanted to do & how they wanted to do it! I personally was told by a former city planner that they were told by a certain person (when they informed him that he couldn’t build something the way he wanted) that HE OWNED this town & could do what he wanted to do!!!! And he did for a long time. There’s a new Mayor in town now & she believes that all should be held accountable & subjected to the same rules. I understand those who are used to getting their way are the ones most upset about not having folks who “look the other way” today. They are also some of those pushing the hardest for that dumb petition. By finally enforcing codes for EVERYONE will clean up a lot of the mess in LFE. Issue those citations & tickets — another source of revenue for the city! All cannot be accomplished at once, but at least some folks are taking the initative and are trying.

      • Sherry
        July 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

        Hallelujah . . . I could not have worded it any better. Not to bash the current Codes department, but let’s just say that in the past, certain developers and builders were allowed to do whatever the heck they wanted. I won’t name them, because Ivy will delete my comment. 🙂 However, if you’ve lived here for any length of time, you know exactly who I’m talking about.

        • Cee Dee
          July 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm

          🙂

    • Cee Dee
      July 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

      BTW, Michael — Because your high school had a competition winning band and dance team is just as good a reason to be PROUD of the school as having a winning football team — sports isn’t everything to everyone. The kids in the band & on the dance team worked very hard to win those competitions & it’s a very good reason to take pride in your school. It’s called working towards the goals they set & attaining those goals. Some can do that & others can’t. I believe we have a “team” in place to reach the goals set.

      • Kitti
        July 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm

        Thank you – I really appreciate you pointing out that an award winning band and dance corp is something to be REALLY PROUD OF! Band members and dancers work really hard, learn a lot, and make TERRIFIC team members!

  7. Joanne
    July 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I see the homes all abandoned or for sale more and more they pay the city every time one is built. What happened to that money, it did not go to improving the city streets, some of the streets are horable.You cannot double taxes when times are so hard just to put up stuff we do not need. You cannot even clean the streets of the trash. I have picked up my street for 11 years when I asked for help what I got nothing!If you would read an accounting book you would know that raising taxes a little at a time would save the City a lot of PAIN.

  8. July 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Oh, don’t get me started on Jerry Butler! The other day I noticed a bit of siding was loose on my house, and when I went to pop it back into place I noticed there was bare plywood underneath where there should be insulating foam board. I found rotting wood that had been left in my crawlspace by the builders that could easily have attracted termites. And why was I in the crawlspace? because it has flooded for the nteenth time due to the asinine design of the entrance. And those aren’t all the problems with my home, the list goes on and on!

  9. Elizabeth
    July 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Ivy, back to the board meetings….when you post the meeting comments can you also list the date & time that it will be on Channel 3. I am having problems knowing when to view the meeting on Channel 3. Thanks

    • Ivy
      July 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Excellent idea, Elizabeth, I will update the post to reflect this information.

  10. Angie
    July 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Will it be available online during those times? I have satellite so no channel 3
    🙁

    • Ivy
      July 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      Yep, it’s streaming online at the city’s web page, simply click the icon for channel 3.

  11. July 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I honestly believe this city is very divided in those that look forward to what the city can be and those that like what it is now. I’m not happy to say that but this is how I feel. I think for the city to come together it would take a disaster similar to the flooding that happened in Nashville. Too many people only care about themselves and their situation. Yes what happens in our individual lives is very important but so is what happens in our city.
    This city is going through a growing change between a city that worked with a good ole boy system to a true government without those buddy system. Stan Glasgow is a prime example. His mini storage is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Who approved such a thing was crazy. Should Stan have a voice at the city table? Absolutely. Should he have the only voice? No. He should have the same access as anyone else. No perks nor hold backs.
    I will say that I do disagree with Stan and that many of his facts about taxes both county and city are 100%. I don’t know where he gets them from but he is 100% wrong.
    As far as Mike Webb and Jerry Butler, I will boycott their businesses as well as the thrift store that supports the dissolving of the city charter.
    I would love to see a united city that is moving forward together but I just dont see it happening soon. Their is too much dis-information being spread around. I’m hoping that by November of next year more of the correct information will be in the ears of the people.

    michaelinLV – might I suggest that if you see homes with overgrown grass, etc call codes. Get them out there because they will take action on it.

    • July 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      One of the problems with that is that the current code states that the grass must be 12″ UNIFORM height, so a lot of the time, even though a property looks terrible, they can’t do anything about it. Hopefully the city will be able to tighten up some of these codes when things have settled down a bit.

  12. Nikki
    July 7, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    It seems to me like the main problem is that although people in LaVergne agree that the city needs improvements, there is no agreement on what would improve the city or how to make those things happen. Some people think the taxes were needed to pay for this and that, while others think we should have adjusted spending plans to absorb what they felt were necessary expenses and wait for the rest.

    LaVergne’s good points, as Michael listed above, are most of the reasons I live here (and some are reasons I don’t live in LFE). November will be telling about how voters feel in this city and how we should proceed. I don’t thinking disolving the city charter is the solution, but I have to give props for those who started the petition for coming up with a potential solution. They obvsiouly didn’t like the tax increases, as many don’t, and that was their way to fix the problem. This is just one of many ways to address the issues we face as a community.

    The question is, what can we all agree on? If November is the solution, who is running and with what specific goals in mind?

    • July 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Nikki – while I agree they came with a solution I do not believe they chose a productive one. I don’t remember seeing any of these men at the public meetings? Other than Dennis Waldron who they have worked with for the petition what aldermen or other elected officials did they work with during the budget planning at the beginning of the year? Its easy to come out after the fact and say its done wrong, but its a whole different story when you’re in it from the beginning.

      • michaelinLV
        July 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm

        Jason, I don’t think it’s fair to say that if you’re not at the budget meetings, you don’t get a say in the outcome. Our form of government is a republic, meaning we elect people to represent us. We have an expectation we can trust these people, meaning we trust them to make decisions without me having to attend every city meeting.

        In turn, I don’t see all of them at every single beer board meeting but just because they aren’t there doesn’t mean they don’t care.

    • Sarah N.
      July 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      No one is up for reelection this November. Mayor Mosley, Vice Mayor Farmer, and Alderman Broeker were only just elected this past November. Waldron is the next one to come up for reelection in 2012. The majority of the current board along with other members of the city government have spent months coming up with a five year plan to move the city forward.

  13. tony vanatta
    July 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    lets not forget the boners that run the trash route they are with them .joe and sara boner

    • js
      July 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      I am with the boners as well. I believe that as towns people we should be able to put a stop to Senna’s unnecessary spending. She has spent our reserve fund that Ronnie helped set up to make sure we had money on hold for emergencies or unforeseen costs so that we wouldn’t have to pay through the nose for Senna’s spending habits. Every time she finds some money she always finds something to spend it on instead of putting it towards the water department’s lawsuit that caused our water bills to double. There was no reason for our property taxes to raise other than Senna feels like putting the little man out on the street so she can spend more money that doesn’t need to be spent. I will gladly sign the petition to get rid of Senna and her posse. I would love for LaVergne to save a ton of money by not having to pay her salary. Does anyone else pay attention to what Senna wants to raise HER salary to? It is now $15,000 per year and she wants to raise it to $50,000 a year. Who will be paying that? Us the tax payers will. I will not pay her salary any more.

      • Rich Long
        July 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

        Wow..uhh where did you hear about this raise? Wasn’t at any of the meetings? Your the first and only one I have heard that from.

        Water bill had to be raised.. watch channel 3 the guy from the state said the city had too or else.. Really old news there.

        So your ok with paying the $1,700 when we unicorperate? hmm ok.

  14. michaelinLV
    July 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Do we have the ability to download the M/A meetings? I would like to view it again. The rest of this post is based on the assumption that I correctly understood what was said since I cannot rewind the internet view –

    First off, nothing aggrevates me more than “experts” who don’t know what they’re talking about. Who the heck is Dana Deems? Either he is a liar or he is ignorant, and I’m not sure which is better.

    He repeated the myth that there has been no property tax increase in 20 years. That is wrong. On July 3rd 2007, La Vergne raised property taxes. Check this out – http://pubrec.lavergnetn.gov/Weblink8/0/doc/12210/Page1.aspx

    Here is my question for the citizens – how high of a property tax are you willing to accept? According to Mr. Deems, growth does not pay for itself. I believe Mr. Broeker estimates the city will max out around 55,000. That is a 70% increase on our current population. That means our assessed tax rate would need to increase to about $1.70, correct? So if growth will not pay for itself, why would the city approve any future residential development? Why not cap residential properties at the current rate and rezone all undeveloped residential property for commercial, agricultural, or industrial use?

    For what it’s worth, I disagree with Mr. Deems on this. I believe growth is desirable because it reduces the cost for everyone. The more people who are here, the more taxes are paid without a dollar-to-dollar increase in costs. Veterans Park is the same size today as it was 10 years ago. Maybe you have more people using it, but does it cost twice as much to maintain a baseball field if it used 2 times per day instead of 1 time per day? No. I understand the need to raise property taxes to offset past poor decisions (though I still disagree on the scope), but if this increase is being pitched that we need a higher tax rate because we have more people to serve, I think the citizens of this city need to decide if we want to add more people.

    • Bubbaloo
      July 7, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      The link is to minutes from a public hearing. The measure was never voted on, therefore taxes were not raised.

      • michaelinLV
        July 8, 2011 at 9:04 am

        Taxes were raised. Property values went up due to the reassesment that year. If there was to be no property tax increase, the rate would have had to be lower than the $.50 from the previous year. Setting the rate at $.50 was a tax increase.

        • Rich Long
          July 11, 2011 at 8:18 am

          I’m confused and not trying to be snarky but if property values went up wouldn’t the tax on said property increase? The tax rate is $.50 per $100 of the value of the house as I understand it (And I could be wrong). So if your house goes up in value your taxes would go up. Am I missing something?

        • Rich Long
          July 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

          And why is it sooo bad that taxes are being brought up to a rate on par with the rest of the county? Again, if we were higher than the tax rate of most communitiees in the county then I’d think about unincorperating too but fact of the matter is we are on par with everyone and lower than some. I don’t understand why that gets everyone so angry.

  15. Philip Gyalog
    July 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Smyrna’s tax rate is .76 and look at how better their city is run!
    Looks like we need new leaders!

    • Sarah N.
      July 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      We have new leaders. They had to raise the tax rates because the city was allowed to stagnate under the old leadership for so long. They actually managed to deplete the general fund while taking the city absolutely nowhere. At least we have some forward momentum now.

    • sportskidsmom
      July 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Smyrna had forward thinking leaders who did not allow building what the infrastructure could not support and endless junk yards and eye sores on the “main drag”. I support the leaders in LaVergne for attempting to undo the years of damage to this city and her image.

    • js
      July 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      Right on!!! The Smyrna city leaders know how to make a prosperous without hurting their citizens. Smyrna has grown their city the right way and their city leaders know how to keep up the progress. Now if we could get rid of Senna and her gang we may be able to accomplish that. When Ronnie was in office our town was booming. The Waldron Rd project finally started and he brought new businesses in to our city. Now that Seena is in office her and her cronies want to boycott some of our oldest and prominent businesses. How is that smart in any way, shape, or form? All they are doing is driving this small town straight into the ground.

      • js
        July 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm

        City was supposed to come after prosperous. Sorry. But Smyrna’s city leaders know how to bring new businesses in. What businesses has Senna brought in that have stayed?

  16. master drill sargent
    July 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    you guys are all freacking idots. yea your taxes go up, they should have over the years but they didnt because of the uneducated idots that were in office.you had people sit on that board that were there for the fame and glory it would bring them, they didnt give a shit about the citizens or any of the citys problems. none of you came out to any of the board meetings because i sat in on most of them, taxes go up, and all the cock roaches come crawling out of the wood work bitching. so where were you before all this happened, sitting back getting your pockets full of money and now you have to pay a little more out, how damn sad. and if you weren’t making money you just really didn’t give a shit about this town. people need to get past this and move on, the board has made the decision on taxes and it is final, nothing is going to change their minds on this. if they have a 5 yr plan then give them the chance to put it into motion and shut the f___ up. you have put up with erwin and waldron for this long at least give these ppl the chance to change things for the better. i mean hell they are only in for 4 yrs, they can’t do any worse than the previous ones. and when election time rolls around again, those of you complaining get up off your a____ and go out and support who you want in office

    • DJ
      July 17, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      Yeah, sure, we are the “freacking idots”?

  17. DJ
    July 17, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I for one, won’t “shut the f___ up.” There is a thing called the First Amendment that gives everyone the right to speak their mind in regards to our Governments and elected officials. There are a lot of people who feel aggrieved with the recent decisions of the Board and are doing something about it. I know people who are considering running next year and there is a group or two around town that is forming to promote candidates and agendas. Its called democracy and don’t doubt the power of it.

    And for the last time…taxes have gone up over the years…just not the tax rate. Taxes recieved by the city, have gone up year after year, look at the budget and financial statements.

    • Cee Dee
      July 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      The tax base has not gone up for years, but if the appraisal by Mr Boner (the county tax assessor) goes up, you would pay more taxes — example: if your appraisal in 2008 was $100,000 and went up to $120,000 in 2010 and you multiplied it by the 50 cents per $100, of course you would be paying more. But the City tax base is the same (still 50 cents) — only the appraisal by the tax assessor has changed making the amount you pay go up. Seems pretty simple math to me . . . you are paying more in taxes, but because of the COUNTY assessment, not the city — the city goes by the county assessment. That’s where the fight should be and there have been many reassessments from last year’s figures by Mr. Boner.

      • DJ
        July 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm

        The argument some are using is that the city’s revenue has not kept up with its growth. Yes I know the assessment is done by the county, but the city is receiving more money because of it. Therefore the argument that taxes have not gone up for 18 years is not correct. Also since there were new subdivisions over the last 10 years, that means there are new properties to tax. In other words the city revenue has increased substantially over the past 10 years.

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