Tonight’s Town Hall Meeting

If I had liveblogged it you might have gotten a picture of how crazy it was tonight, but I didn’t. There was so much emotion running around that room, it was palpable. It is obvious that we all feel passionately about what is going on. Let me run a few things down here.

One of the biggest complaints appears to be that the city pays 100% of employees’ health insurance and also a Christmas bonus, also known as longevity pay. This might be the biggest argument that I feel extremely passionate about myself. No, I am not employed by the city. My employer does make us pay a portion of our health insurance. My family pays $550 a month for health insurance through my husband’s employer. I have worked jobs where we got a Christmas bonus, I have worked jobs where we didn’t.

And here’s the thing. All these people stood up there tonight and said people are having a hard time feeding themselves (a sentiment that believe it or not, I GET. Before I got this job we were struggling, really struggling. We had to eat a lot at my mom’s house or have a lot of mac and cheese and pb&js. I could gladly never eat another peanut butter sandwich again. Seriously.) yet they wanted the city to cut benefits for the city employees. And do away with their bonuses.

Tell me this, if you are so empathetic to people who an extra $10-15 per month on the taxes and an extra, I don’t know, $15-25 per month on water, if you care so much about these people, why would you want to hurt the city employees by taking away their bonuses or making them pay in for their health insurance? Do they not count? Are they not as important as these people who are supposedly losing their houses because of the tax and water increase?

Look, I’ll be completely honest with you, I have a lot of friends who are city workers. I suppose you gathered that already, but here’s the thing. In any case, I always support employee’s rights. But these people who work for the city are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. They aren’t making fortunes here, working for the city. They’re just regular working class people who work hard at their jobs and are decent people. And they are UNDERPAID!! The good benefits do a bit to make up for that, that is why I oppose doing away with their benefits. How can you keep good people if there is no real incentive to work there?

So yes, that issue fires me up like no other. I can understand people questioning the tornado sirens. I can see people questioning why the fire department is run by an outside company instead of by the city. I can understand a LOT of the things people are voicing. But for God’s sake, if you are so worried about money why in the HELL would you want to take money away from one of your fellow members of the working class????????

There was a guy who stood up and mentioned that this city has never been big on planning. I was with him until he questioned over and over and over what was the plan now. Seriously, dude? The packet they handed out has the whole 5 year + plan on there. I will try to scan and upload the whole packet tomorrow for all of you to see it.

I was very proud of Alderman Broeker who was far more patient than I ever could have been. If a person came to the meeting with an open mind and really listened, they learned a lot about what is going on with this city and why a gradual increase was not feasible. I thought Mayor Mosley explained things beautifully and she cut right through certain people’s bullshit. Good for the both of you. Alderman Waldron gave me the biggest laugh I had of the night with “Can you repeat the question?” Thanks, Waldron. Vice Mayor Farmer and Alderman Green didn’t seem to have much to say, unfortunately.

And to the people who mentioned how they keep getting “attacked” on my website. Disagreeing is not attacking. Debating vigorously is not attacking. I have moderated message boards and blog sites since 1999 and believe me, I know a personal attack when I see it. I pull the comments when I see them, on BOTH sides of the argument. If you make a statement on the internet, be prepared to defend it, unless you hang out in places where people only agree with you.

The fact is, you can talk shit about my website and how terrible me and all my commenters are and even mention to people what a mean person I am. I don’t care. I’ll keep writing this website and I will continue to bring you the news and events as I find out about them, and you can read it or not. I wrote for this website when we had 10 readers and I write for it still when we have thousands. And if you all decide to stop reading tomorrow, it won’t break me. The people I care about reading me, will read me.

I really wish there could be some common ground that we could all meet up on and try to work things out, but as long as people continue to act the victim and continue to be unreasonable, I don’t see how it can happen. But being able to come together is what I pray for this city every day. Every day.

87 comments for “Tonight’s Town Hall Meeting

  1. July 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Great meeting where the gradual tax increase debate was put down by Alderman Broeker. I wished Alderman Waldron would have answered my question though.

    • auntyoya
      July 22, 2011 at 12:06 am

      He must have lost that paper!! LOL!

    • michaelinLV
      July 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      “the gradual tax increase debate was put down by Alderman Broeker.”

      So what did he say?

  2. tony vanatta
    July 22, 2011 at 12:05 am

    WHAT WHHHAT WHHHAT THE QUESTION ,,,,,

  3. auntyoya
    July 22, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Amen! Couldn’t have written it any better! I don’t know if there is a solution to this madness but these town hall meetings are definitely a start if the attendees would only come with open minds and really really hear the facts! Tearing this city down and dividing the citizens isn’t going to help the property values and chances of businesses moving here. I applaud those with the courage to stand up for their beliefs but you have to be able to back those beliefs up when questioned and if you are not fully informed then all the ranting is for nil and you come off looking like a tool. Kudos to our Mayor and Tom Broeker for trying to bring the facts to the public regardless if they choose to accept them or not.

    • michaelinLV
      July 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      “Tearing this city down and dividing the citizens…”

      Side 1 says side 2 is tearing up the city and dividing the citizens.

      Side 2 says side 1 is tearing up the city and dividing the citizens.

      The fact is sides are divided. Look at the last election. Senna Mosley won, but it wasn’t by a huge amount. What was it, 52/48 Mosley?

  4. Mary Afifi
    July 22, 2011 at 12:33 am

    I wanna move to your town just so I can get into a monkey slap fight with a few of the whiney crybabies who make it their mission in life to bitch about everything.

    • Ivy
      July 22, 2011 at 12:34 am

      Idk, Mary, we just doubled our taxes. Mine went from $142 a year to $284. Appalling.

      • Mary Afifi
        July 22, 2011 at 12:39 am

        That’s like 3 martinis in Southern California. Talk about appalling… Y’all need some perspective. 😉

        • Ivy
          July 22, 2011 at 12:40 am

          I figured you’d dig that, lol.

        • Kitti
          July 22, 2011 at 8:12 am

          hee hee hee! well, that puts it in perspective. 😀

  5. Kaytee Parker
    July 22, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Very well written, Ivy. You “almost” make me want to move there. But I’d rather move back to Charleston. LOL Keep up the good work. To Hell with everyone else! LOL

  6. July 22, 2011 at 7:34 am

    I just spoke to one of my co-workers who lives in La Vergne; she said her water bill doubled just last month, and her property taxes are likely to double as well. She is furious!, but said that she would not vote to dissolve La Vergne, because the police, fire and recreations departments would disappear.

    But she did state equivocally that the bastiches who did this did so too quickly, and were a bunch of greedy (bleeps) that will deserve getting voted out of office soonest. Whoever they are.

    So, that’s one who is mad as hell, but willing to keep La Vergne intact.

    (Smyrna might just absorb you if you explode apart. Likely we’ve a couple extra Ridleys or Victorys floating around here that we can spare as a satellite mayor… )

    • Rich Long
      July 22, 2011 at 8:25 am

      See that’s the part i don’t get. I really wouldn’t want a tax increase EVERY year for four years.. By the time it’s all said and done you will be paying that rate anyway. Are you likely to have more money next year? Not really. Especially those on fixed income.. Increase it and get it over with and move on. We are still on par with most of the county +/- a little bit. If we suddenly have a tax rate that was disproportionate then I’d be the first to complain!

      • michaelinLV
        July 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm

        From what I have been told, our water/sewer bill is dispraportinately higher than the rest of the county.

        • Charley Abdon
          July 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

          In La Vergne, I used 6100 gallons last month and my bill was $110.00. I went down to Smryna Water and asked them what 6100 gallons in their city would cost me. Even with their new, higher rates that went into effect July 1…my bill would have been about $48.00! Now why is that?

          • Rich Long
            July 22, 2011 at 1:19 pm

            To my understanding after watching video of the board meetings it was either raise the water rates or the State would take over and raise them. I remember this specifically because there was a period of silence and then Chris Farmer said “well we really don’t have a choice” It would take me a little bit to find it in the minutes but if you want I will.

          • Elizabeth
            July 22, 2011 at 8:07 pm

            Charley, let me respond to your water bill. I don’t know why it was that high. Compared to my bill “service period 5/9/11 to 6/13/11” my consumption was 3400 gal and my bill was a total of $48.99 before 7/20/11. (you must realize that your sewer amt will be higher than the water amt due to the fact that the sewer is handled by Metro. We do not have a sewer plant here in La Vergne so we have to go along with whatever Metro charges….and it is always higher. Also you may want to take your bill to the water dept and asked them to go over it with you. Also, are you sure that wasn’t 2 months’ bills? just asking…

    • July 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

      Water rates only went up 50% if you average the water and sewer increases. If her bill doubled, then she used a lot more water this last billing period than the one before. It’s summertime. Go figure.

      As to the greedy (bleeps), they are gaining nothing financially from any of these increases. The water rates were recommended by the MTAS after a rate study they did, and the budget was workshopped by the board (well, most of them) and department heads for months. They didn’t just pull a number out of their collective heineys. Greed has nothing to do with this.

      • Cee Dee
        July 22, 2011 at 10:08 am

        That raises a good question — why did Dennis Waldron NOT attend the 5-year planning sessions? If he has other ways of making up for the deficit in the city, why would he not show up and give those ideas? Shows a complete lack of concern for the citizens & the city in my opinion. He did not lend his voice to the discussions. And really the only thing he said last night was that he had been on that board since 2004 or 2006 (whichever). He also sat on the planning commission for a lot of years — APPROVING certain building projects that have helped cause our current foreclosure problems & zoning problems today. Thank goodness the CODES dept is currently doing their job in making everyone do things the way they are supposed to. No more of being told to “stay away” from certain areas and people. Think that’s the reason certain business owners, builders & developers are so upset now . . . are they now being treated like you & me — something they are certainly not used to, in my opinion!

  7. July 22, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I have to say, I wasn’t at the meeting because of childcare issues, but the “Are you going to hit me?” soundbite on the news was embarrassing. I’m not sure if she even visits the blog anymore, but you need to think before you say things, Debbie, because that is a SERIOUS accusation. (I won’t even go into how she completely 180’d on the issue and now wishes she lived with her abusive ex rather than lived here. Do you realize how royally messed up that is? That you lose your credibility as a SANE person by saying things like that?)

    Anyway, I can’t comment on the meeting other than what I saw on TV. I truly hope that the people that oppose the tax hike don’t make a scene at OTD, because I’m taking my family and I don’t want to deal with that nonsense on a day that I look forward to every year.

    • Nikki
      July 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

      I was sitting on the main aisle a couple of rows back from the group of box 100 volunteers. The man in a box 100 shirt that sat right next to the mic was in her face screaming and waving his hands. She should have felt threatened by him. Debbie might have been a smidge dramatic with her comments with regard to feeling threatened by him, but they were not out of line.

      My entire issue with this meeting is that I was under the impression that we were all going to have a talk about how to work together to solve the city’s problems and that citizens could ask questions and receive honest, frank answers and that is not the meeting I attended. Few questions were frankly answered. Mayor Mosely made it clear from the beginning that the budget and tax increases were not subject to be changed, so what was the point of the meeting? For me, it was a frustrating waste of time.

      • July 22, 2011 at 9:58 am

        Debbie dramatic? The hell you say? lol

        I was embarrassed that it was on TV. It should have never come to that. It’s not what this city should represent.

        And I agree that it was a waste of time, but I do think [some of] the board had good intentions. I don’t think they were there to have their minds changed, but rather to explain to people why they were doing it. They feel they have the best interest of the city and wanted to give these people their explanations. It was not received. Not at all.

        • Cee Dee
          July 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

          Having the packets for everyone to look at should have answered a lot of questions — it was in b&w — they city has to have money to operate efficiently. We all want clean, safe, good pressured water. We all want more retail as well as commercial to come into our city. Do folks not realize that at some point taxes can be lowered once we get in the “black” again? The yelling and finger pointing did nothing by make people look bad. The 15 mins. of fame on TV last night was very embarrassing for the city. To rant & rave on & on when others had actual questions (which is what the meeting was intended for) was all about grand standing in my opinion & should not have been allowed to continue. It was not intended to “bash” the board (who works very hard for each citizen — regardless of whether they voted for them or not) or the city employees who deserve more than what they are paid to help keep the city running. What gall it takes to suggest taking away from those who work for you!

          • DJ
            July 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm

            A lot of private employers have done it recently. Many hard working employees at companies in this city and elsewhere, have not gotten increases in the past few years. Many have seen their Health insurance go up considerably without a payrise to counter it. A lot of people have been laid off as their copmany struggles to keep afloat. Why are those people any different from City employees.

            I am not picking on city employees, they do a great job, but they do not deserve special status. When other employers go through hard times, so do their employees, why shoudl the city be any different? Yes they are taxpayers too, but only about 200 people out of the whole city of 32000.

    • Charley Abdon
      July 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

      I cannot believe that you would say something so personal regarding “Debbie” and her ex. Regardless of yours or her position on the city…how utterly foul of you!

      • July 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

        SHE said it! Not I!

      • July 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

        I guess I should be clearer. She said that exact thing on Facebook. If she did not want those thoughts to be made public then she should not have typed them out on a public forum and pressed enter. I am only repeating what I read.

      • Elizabeth
        July 22, 2011 at 8:15 pm

        Charley, Debbie brought up the subject that she felt threatened and might take her son back to Mt. Juliet to be with the abusive ex….I for one didn’t know that she has that kind of problems…I’ve been there many, many years ago with an abusive husband….broke away and never looked back. But SHE BROUGHT THE SUBJECT UP….just saying

        • Charley
          July 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm

          I stand corrected. I didn’t realise that she brought it up and not you. Please accept my apology.

      • July 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm

        “My Ant Debbie is trying to move back to Mount Julet with her mean old boyfriend. His is really mean to her somedays but she is not scared of him after thrusday.”

        WTF?!?!

  8. July 22, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I’m heartbroken because it seems that there is just no respect anymore. No empathy. It’s ironic because most of the people in that room were the generation that keeps preaching that the younger (my) generation has no morals anymore. “What is happening to the world these days”, they’d say. Am I naive to think that things can be discussed without screaming like a crazy-person? As, say, adults?

  9. Brandy
    July 22, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I want to know if the city thought about their residents who are on a fixed income? The tax hike and water hike hurt them the most! I mean my parents are in a fixed income and their water bill was $70+ last month and they used less water than the month before! WTF!!! Will my brother and I have to pay the taxes for them next year because they can’t afford it, just so they can keep their house? I just want to know what’s going to happen to them!

    • Brandy
      July 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

      Someone please tell me what is going to happen to them? Everyone has to see all points of view even from a personal level!

    • Rich Long
      July 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      Brandy, I am in the same boat.. Both my parents are disabled and on social security. Mom is blind and Dad’s back is messed up and he is missing tissue in his right leg. They have had to move from a house to an apartment and ration thier medicine do to all the cost of living increases like taxes medicare and other raises. The seniors are hurting I agree but here is the catch.. They live in Antioch. Senors accross the US are facing this and it’s not just a local problem. Have you looked into county tax relief? I know down at city hall there is an information packet there to help as well as the commision on aging. At least you have options, My family in Davidson county does not and I will continue supplementing their income as I have been for the last 10 years.

      • Elizabeth
        July 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

        There is some relief for us senior citizens. I spoke with a lady a few months ago at the RUTHERFORD CO TAX RELIEF office (898-7705) in Murfreesboro. She said when I get my COUNTY taxes to call that number and they will tell you what to bring in to possible get a county TAX FREEZE and possible TAX RELIEF. That’s what I’m going to do around October, 2011. It doesn’t hurt anything to ask. I had mine frozen a few years ago. Give it a try.

        • Brandy
          July 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm

          My parents are not seniors yet they are in their early to mid 50s and are now taking care of my niece they are also disabled my mom has severe back problems and my dad has heart disease among other things… the county and state have done nothing but disappoint me and my family! I think what they will have to do is just rent an apartment. I’m only 23 and have lived here in LaVergne for about 22 years. I just think its funny how the city decided to do the hike all at one time instead of starting is 5 or so years ago…If they did that then everything wouldn’t be such an issue and the city could possibly already be out debt…

          • Rich Long
            July 23, 2011 at 2:23 am

            I agree completly Good Luck.

          • July 23, 2011 at 7:03 am

            Brandy,I hate to tell you this, but as a former city employee, we had a mayor that didnt do a good job. 2 in a row. One owns a tire shop. He was forced out of office because of wrong doing. It’s sad about your parents. But The city of LaVergne has an out of date sewer system. Metro controls that because LaVergne cant have its own. Federal Law. If the city didnt increase the water sewer rates, the state would have come in and did it. We would all be up crap creek then and no meeting would change it. Because of inflation city expenses continué to raise up. The population has gone up from 18k to 32k in just 7 years. It will take more money to run the city and provide basic services. If its not done, the city could go bankrupt. The state comes in and takes over. Our former mayor and some past board members used money to pay bills for the city that should not have been used. The tax payers should have been spending more years ago, and all of the rainy day money would not have been depleted. Past leaders sold land to Smyrna years ago and so Sam Ridley has more retail than LaVergne. If we had more retail, we could have lower property taxes like Smyrna. Dont take my word for it. Check the history about this city and past leaders. Lavergne has a history of making bad money choices for the good ole boys.

            • Cee Dee
              July 25, 2011 at 11:39 am

              MarineCopVet:
              Thanks for pointing all this out — finally (AGAIN):)

  10. michaelinLV
    July 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Ok, let me start by saying I did not attend the meeting last night. I thought about it, but didn’t want to leave my wife to do bedtime with the kids by herself. But from the time it was announced, I didn’t plan on going because personally my opinion is, if you wanted to have a townhall meeting, why didn’t you do this in February or March? Doing this after the fact you’ve voted on all these increases, it is noting but patronizing in my opinion.

    I agree, the city did not look good in the few minutes we were on channel 4. Debbie is yelling at the mayor and someone else, and the mayor is yelling back. It was embarrasing.

    From what I understand, the “Concerned Citizens of La Vergne” are not opposed to the city paying 100% (or close to it) of the employees health insurance. Some of them believe the city is paying 100% of their helath insurance AND their dependents. Can anyone confirm or deny this? I do not think we should pay the health insurance for the dependents of employees.

    I also know there is a lot of stink about box 100 getting $100,000 grant from the city. Is this true? I don’t know whether box 100 is a valuable service or not (do any other cities have this type of service?).

    The question I am still waiting to have answered is, where did all the money go? When building was booming and tax revenues were growing with new residents, why were no police officers hired? I understand there has been a major water subsidy the past few years, but the boom started in 2001, 10 years ago.

    Was there any discussion of cutting out the un-neccessary expenses? The tornado siren, the electronic ball field control, any of that?

    • workshere
      July 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      The City does not pay our insurance at 100%. We are under a PPO meaning if we go to a doctor in network it is a 90/10 split. If the doctor is out of network it is a 80/20 split. We have a deductible we have to meet also. We have medical bills just like everyone else.

      • DJ
        July 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

        But do you pay a monthly premium for your insurance? Most people at other compnaies who have a PPO, have to pay out of their pay check each month for that privledge, then co-pay as well. And does it cover your dependants? The LaVergne City website says yes.

      • michaelinLV
        July 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm

        What about your premiums? Do you have money deducted from your check to cover the cost of insurance for your dependents, if any?

        • workshere
          July 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm

          No we do not have a premium deducted from our pay. And yes our dependants are covered. I am not opposed to paying for a portion of the premium. I am actually surprised we have not had to already.

        • Cityemployeenomore!
          July 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm

          I used to be a city employee until earlier this year. City employees do NOT pay a monthly premium! The insurance is a 90/10 plan, but there are not any monthly premiums. That covers employees and dependents. The Christmas bonus or longevity bonus that everyone is talking about is $50/year that you have worked there and just the last year or two they put a cap on that I think around $1000 maybe, don’t quote me on the dollar amount. The City of LaVergne workers are the lowest paid in the Middle TN area and they get treated that way by supervisors. They decided at the beginning of the year to take away OT but it seems that some people were exempt from that, just because. I know an employee that will get to work at 6:30 am and stay until at least 5 pm and take 30 minutes for lunch. The schedule is 8-4:30, the extra hours, which she gets paid for, are uncalled for. Leaving City Hall was the best thing I have ever done. I am not a resident of LaVergne, but I do still work in the area. All I can say is good luck to you guys I hope it goes in your favor.

          • Cityemployeenomore!
            July 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

            I just need to make one more comment…you got me started now!! I don’t care what was being said by the residents at last nights meeting, the Mayor SHOULD be a professional in her position and should NOT have yelled at that lady. All over what? What they showed on the news last night was her screaming “you didn’t have any problem asking the city for help when your house burnt down did you?” They do not want the city employees to yell at the residents when they have a problem with taxes or their water bill, but I guess that all goes out the window when the Mayor is confronted with it. Way to show your true side. I am sure all the Senna supporters will have something to say, which is fine, but come on, that was uncalled for!!

    • Rich Long
      July 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      As far as Box 100 yes other communities have this type of program. Nashville has Box 55 and I know of one in Springfield, TN. Rutherford County has asked Box 100 on numerous occasions to respond county wide. The members agreed (and voted) that, since most of our members are from La Vergne and La Vergne is our biggest donor, we wouldn’t respond outside the city unless the mayor (and the mayor was Ronnie at the time) approved. There was nothing that said we had to do this but our membership felt it was the right thing to do.

  11. July 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Box 100 is a joke. The last time I saw these clowns,city employees were removing a tree from the road and they were eating a pizza.

    • Rich Long
      July 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      Really, Ok well you are entitled to that opinion. I will say that during the flood we ran the distribution center and provided volunteers to people who were in the affected areas to help clean. Somehow I don’t think those folks found it funny. We are constantly helping the city with public events by providing manpower. They didn’t laugh. We provided a warm, dry, safe place out of the media for a family of a murder victim. Funny they didn’t laugh then either. But hey everyones sense of humor is different. Please ask all the local resturants who make donations to us in the middle of the night if they think we are a joke. You might learn something.

  12. July 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I agree with Ms. Heughan, the Mayor does have a conflict of interest and the Mayor should of never brought up her recieving a ticket. That is private and how in the hell did Mayor Mosley know about her getting a ticket in the first place? I swear, LaVergne will never change. Every time i hear or read about this place I die with laughter. When I saw this meeting on the news, I thought It was a Jerry Springer past episode.

    • Rich Long
      July 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      How is it a conflict? She is not in a leadership position with in Box and has refused the opportunity to do so since i have been a member. She has no say in how money is spent in the organization and has no access to our bank accounts. Not sure what the issue is.

      • July 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

        Why don’t you post your bank account then little Richie. What has box 100 ever done for me and mine? Not a damn thing. Get off the City’s tit and raise money for yourself just like students at LaVergne highschool Washing cars. Your organization is no better than theirs. I read in the City posted minutes that money will be tight and the City will have to cut back on sending money to charities but, how much money did box 100 recieve from the city? This is the type of crap people are furious with.

        • Rich Long
          July 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm

          A lot less than La Vergne rescue and others and for the record the city donated a LOT less than normal this year.. I don’t believe I called you names and I would appreciate the same.

          • Rich Long
            July 22, 2011 at 4:46 pm

            I did forget to address your other point.. Box is a 501c3 so our annual report is available through the state.. That’s the bank account

    • July 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      She knew about it because Debbie posted about about 500 times on Facebook. It’s actually THE very reason she decided to speak out against the mayor.

    • July 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      I understand the Mayor was made aware of the ticket that Debbie got from Debbie herself — she called the Mayor to complain about it when she got it & when on a rampage about getting it. That’s when she started throwing daggers at the board — she was upset.

      • debbie
        July 29, 2011 at 12:20 am

        Corinne, Please get your facts straight..The mayor’s husband, Ronnie called me when he heard I was mad about getting the ticket, he wanted me to talk to Senna about it, I didn’t want to, we hung up & then the mayor called me.. check their phone records.. I was mad at the cop that gave me the ticket on my way to the emissions testing in Smyrna.. when certain people gave me a hard time for having to pay a $100 ticket, I started looking at the budget to see where all that ticket revenue went..One thing lead to another & I started seeing a lot of items in the budget that this city or it’s residents do not need or have to have right now.. Over 1/2 million for 10 sirens, come on, Smyrna doesn’t even have 1… As far as daggers, I just stated that I had change my mind on the taxes & our dear mayor threw out personal daggers at me, a citizen.. She is a public figure, an elected official & she acted unprofessional when she got personal with someone that doesn’t agree with her. None of the other board members made any personal attacks on me, now did they, just our mayor.. she made quiet the impression as an elected official that is supposed to represent the citizens.. I didn’t make her act that way, it was her choice.

  13. Sherry
    July 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Yes, she griped openly all over Facebook about her ticket. She was originally in favor of the tax increase (not that she liked it, but she understood and supported it), but she gets the ticket, does a complete 180 and now is against the increase. Whatever – she’s entitled to her opinion. However, I do think it’s amusing that she’s “unfriending” anybody who supports the tax increase.

    • July 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      Debie is smokin hot! That’s all I have to say.

    • debbie
      July 29, 2011 at 12:27 am

      Sherry, I had to unfriend all 20 of those that support the tax increase, because some of them had started posting vulgar & highly offensive statements on my site..I can not monitor my wall 24/7 to delete these things. So I found it easier to just unfriend these people since I didn’t know them anyway.. I didn’t want to take a chance on some of my family, children, & friends having to endure the cussing & vulgar statements of few had decided to post.. Most of the people I am close to would not find it amusing.

      • July 29, 2011 at 7:15 am

        I really resent that. I never posted any “vulgar & highly offensive statements”. Yes I disagree with you majorly on this issue and it seems thats why i was unfriended.. so be it..

  14. michaelinLV
    July 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    ok, so is “cityemployeenomore” right? Is La Vergne paying 100% of insurance premiums for city employees and dependents?

    For my wife and 2 boys, my company pays my portion of insurance, but I have to pay the $550 cost for my families portion. So that’s effectively $550 a month benefit to the city employees, or $6600 per year. For 200 city employees that is $1.32 million. Is this correct?

    Does anyone else work for a company that provides full health insurance to you as an employee and your family?

  15. Kathy T.
    July 23, 2011 at 1:34 am

    The handout from last night is now on the city webpage at http://www.lavergnetn.gov. If you scroll down on the front page there are three boxes about midway… the one in the middle is the PDF. It does include letters from the state, a tax history, the 5- to 10-year plan, and more info. I hope other city workers can comment about a 20-year plan, but it seems like we talked about an overlay plan last year on this site that does address growth in the next 20 years. I’ll have to investigate that.

    Michael, we do not pay insurance out of our paychecks but still pay a lot out-of-pocket (this is a fact that my bank account is painfully familiar with). As I understand it, the insurance is one of the benefits since salaries are low. For example, our police starting salary is $13.78 (?) and Smyrna’s is $19 p/hour (‘ish). So the insurance paid is considered part of the compensation package.

    Also, I get the regular federal holidays most businesses offer, plus 5 days of vacation this year. I’m on call 24/7 so as salaried employee do not get overtime… believe me I work A LOT of what would be overtime. It’s something I won’t complain about because I knew what I signed up for when I accepted the job (after being interviewed by a panel comprised of the HR Director, the Assistant City Administrator/City Recorder and the Library Director in one of the most difficult interviews I’ve ever had, by the way).

    I’m not sharing this information to set myself up for an attack about what a poor job the PR Director is doing as is being stated online in the DNJ, Tennessean, and by comments elsewhere. I do want to clarify that my position is NOT a new one with the city. When the former publicist stepped down, they moved the position to City Hall. My job is working with the media on behalf of city officials, providing news releases about activities, events, etc., some event planning (I am working on Old Timers Festival at this time – an event that should MAKE money this year), working with economic development (the committee hadn’t met in at least two years, but now meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 2:30 p.m.), am redesigning the city web page, and so much more.

    One thing that really caught my attention were statements made that if “we have to suffer, so do they” regarding city employees. I actually DO live in the city and DO pay higher for my water and DO pay higher for my taxes. Thanks to the outsourcing of jobs overseas, we are a family of five living on one income too. We are struggling, but will find a way to make it work.

    In the last six months I’ve worked for the city, I have discovered that Missy speaks for just about everyone when she said at the Town Hall Meeting, “I don’t work for the city. I work for the people who live here.” My colleagues have become my heroes, especially given the things that are said and done to employees by the public. I’m not talking about meetings where people are exercising their right to free speech, but happenings every single day. Finger gestures, yelling, abusive language. Every. Single. Day.

    People are not shy about sharing their anger, that’s for sure. Yet we ARE here for residents. I greatly admire my co-workers for their dedication in the face of scorn. And I thank the many others who do take the time to say thank you. I am proud to be a part of the team.

    • July 23, 2011 at 9:44 am

      I cannot believe that’s all the police get paid. It’s DISGUSTING, actually. In South Jersey (where my husband’s family is from and has many police friends) they have to not only have to get a degree before they become an officer, but 2nd year salary is about $65,000+pension and health benefits. And their job is not any more dangerous than La Vergne (south Jersey is the country compared to north lol) I’ll make sure to keep that in mind next time I see one or, ahem, get pulled over for expired tags LOL

  16. michaelinLV
    July 23, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Let me just make it clear from my end, there is no benefit in attacking city employees personally. I’m sure like in most companies, 90% of them do a great job, and the better employees we have the more efficient the city will be, therefore costing less to run overall. I get that. I have seen people blasting you Kathy about your job being “created,” but I hope most reasonable people can look and see Angie Mayes left, and you came in.

    I am looking at this like a shareholder of a company, which all residents effectively are shareholders in this city. I would ask, would we be better off raising wages to Smyrna levels but then cutting benefits? Or is the current model effective? Do we have a high turnover rate because our salaries are low and people don’t give enough credit to the “cadillac” benefit plan offered by the city (Obama’s term, not mine). Health insurance costs rise an average of 10% – 15% a year, but most peoples wages don’t rise at that rate. I’m just saying this is something that should be reviewed.

    Used to it was common to say that government workers made less money but had better benefits. But today the average ffederal employee earns about $75k per year, whereas the averge provate sector earns about $41k. I understand that is federal and not city, but the point is that because of the economy, salaries between public and private sectors are not as dispraportinate as they were 10 years ago, and while the private sector has cut back on health and 401k, public sectors have not. The question is why?

    • Unome2
      July 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      You all as shareholders are letting your company tank. I just saw a La Vergne wants Retail and Restaurants webpage, which has 38 people that like it. That stuff brings in sales tax revenue, which decreases the need for property tax. The Concerned Citizens page has 219 people. Apparently they’re not too friggin concerned, otherwise they would want something to help ease the burden. Says a lot about a town.

      • July 25, 2011 at 10:20 am

        Not trying to harp about our own situation on Waldron Rd., but my owner spoke at the meeting about the relative quagmire that has become the road construction on Waldron Rd. You want to know about how much the city is losing in retail taxes and the like? In just one year, the City of La Vergne has lost $60,000 from just my store because of the lack of business brought on by the incessant traffic and inept planning and execution of the Waldron Rd. expansion.
        It’s quite simple to fix, just fix from Bridgestone to I-24 and open up these lanes so that the retail businesses can start thriving again. From Bridgestone to Murfreesboro Rd. has been two lanes forever and it didn’t hurt anything. But from Bridgestone to I-24, it is a necessity to have four lanes so traffic can flow when people are coming into work or going home. Also, nobody wants to come off the interstate at Waldron Rd. because of the congestion. They are quite content to shop in Nashville or Smyrna rather than deal with the labyrinth of orange barrels that have defined Waldron Rd. since last July. I have asked the city to step in and put pressure on LoJac and TDOT to redo their plan to help open up the road for our businesses. My owner did the same thing last Thursday night. Maybe it’s time that many of you should voice your opinion about what is being done and ask the city’s council to help alleviate the stagnant progress of LoJac and TDOT.
        If just our store can lose $60,000 or more in tax revenue because of the construction…imagine what we are losing with McDonalds, Hardees, Krystal, the gas stations, the hotels, everything on Waldron Rd. operating at 30-50% down from last year.

        • EARL
          July 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm

          OR DID YOUR BUSINESS LOSE ITS SHARE OF BUSINESS BECAUSE THREE LIQUOR STORES HAVE OPENED IN SMYRNA WITHIN THE LAST THWELVE MONTHS?

          • July 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm

            That is also one part of it…but what do you think drove people to start going to those Smyrna liquor stores? That’s right…avoiding Waldron Rd.

    • Turbo
      July 25, 2011 at 10:19 am

      Michael – just a note – you need to update your facts. The whole “average federal employee earns about $75k per year, whereas the averge pr[i]vate sector earns about $41k” argument is based on a BLS report that was discredited last year because it included wage data on private sector jobs for which there is NO corresponding federal salary correlative (food service industry, for example). This “lump sum” approach makes for a nice easy number for right-wing outfits like FauxNews or the Heritage Foundation to use in trumpeting stories about overpaid federal employees, but the number itself is meaningless; its bundled approach means you’re comparing the salaries of government attorneys, for example, with those of waitresses.

      Shortly after the BLS report’s initial release, OPM did a review of the report; unlike the BLS report, however, OPM’s review compared federal and private wage/salary information on a job class-by-job class basis. The OPM report revealed when similar job classes are compared, federal workers earn on average 22% *less* than their private sector counterparts. Not surprising, considering cost of living adjustments over the past decade have been “diet COLAs” or none at all.

  17. upsetxcitizen
    July 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    i to was unable to attend the meeting last thursday, but needless to say my phone was blowing up with text messages from several different people. from watching it on television it looked like tom and senna were the only two trying to get the people to understand what their 5 yr plan was and why they did what they did. of course i would not expect anything less out of dennis, he will never be behind the mayor on anything. as far as sherry, she comes across as the sweet inoccent granny type, but have been told by several people that the only reason that she ran again was so she could have the insurance benefits, dont see anyone attacking her for this. and as far as chris who is suppose to be the vice mayor, sat there and never said a word to back up the others, so i ask where does your loalty lie now? it is hard on all of us to have to deal with taxes and higher water/sewer rates, but in years past we have always been able to come up with the money for what we needed, and i am sure that we will again when the time comes

  18. Cee Dee
    July 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Interesting post I saw today under the This Is La Vergne DYI Editor:

    Debbie Heughan on June 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm
    30 iRate This

    I agree, Senna has the best interest of the citizens & the city in mind when she votes.. She is taking a lot of hits from people that don’t know all the facts or that choose not to. There is a lot of wrong info going around about what she did or didn’t do during the previous administration. I can tell you she was always the one that was always questioning the past administration & standing up to them as the made terrible choices for the city.. But with her one vote against their 4 votes, she always stood alone, but at least she stood up.. So for those that want to be judgmental of our new mayor, please do your research of hard facts before you speak, because there are a lot of false rumors going around. Lots of twisted facts, & half-truths, but La Vergne has always been known for that.. Lets get past it & be grownups & help make this a city we are not ashamed of…

    Now fearing that the police are out to get her & for her safety?? Really! My opinion — sounds like someone waiting to file some sort of “harassment” lawsuit against the city or someone. Why would policemen be trying to catch her doing something–they are short staffed as is & we certainly have much more important things to deal with than watching & waiting to catch her doing something illegal. Maybe she should take her own advice (above) and research the facts before going off. My advise would be to pay the ticket and make sure to renew on time next year.

    • michaelinLV
      July 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      what is the “This Is La Vergne DYI Editor?”

      • Cee Dee
        July 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm

        On the This is La Vergne home page — left hand side, “Our DIY Editor Speaks Out”

    • debbie
      July 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      Cee Dee & any other poster that think they know me: Since you are so focused on trying to capture every word I have ever spoken, remember not to leave out the fact that before the “mayor” started screaming her ‘personal attacks’ at me in the town hall meeting, I had gone to the microphone to apologize for not reading the 60 pages of the budget before jumping blindly back on her band wagon to raise taxes.. I have not been around her or in contact with her since late 2007 when I moved away from this city..
      A lot of people change in that period of time, I certainly did, & it is my opinion that she changed as the person that I once ‘thought’ she was.. After trusting that she was only doing what she had to do, I spoke in favor of the taxes blindly, my fault, but how many people actually read that 60 page budget before all this uproar began? When I started looking through it, I was shocked to see a lot of items that did not need to be on there at this time & that is my opinion AFTER reading through the budget. Now check the phone records, I did NOT call her about a ticket or anything else.. her Husband called me out of the blue, he wanted me to call her about my questions about the budget ect, since he heard I was changing my mind.. Then minutes after I hung up from his call, she (the mayor) called me..She blasted me for changing my mind basically, I hung up on her..
      Now as for you thinking I am waiting to file some sort of lawsuit against the city or ‘someone’. I wouldn’t count that out if the slanderous comments & the email threats continue. I have only been back in this town about 3 months..ONLY my close friends know all my business, & most do not live here, so for anyone to try to be an expert at saying what I think or how I think is their mistake.. Now as for the ticket for the expired tags, yes they were expired for 12 days.. and because of some personal loss, I had not been driving the 1st part of the month. I was also short of enough money for groceries, gasoline,& emission testing & tags & had to wait for a friend to loan me the money so I could take care of these things..This is the 1st time in my life that I have been underemployed & earning less than $100. per week for a family of two. Most of you have not ever had to go through what I have & am going through, so I don’t expect you to understand. Most officers anywhere would give a person a warning due to the fact that I was heading to Smyrna that day to go to emissions..& there were no other violations. But this officer was hell bent on writing a ticket & I was mad. So if that is the reason I started looking at the budget, then maybe the officers need to give everyone a ticket before the next tax hike to motivate them too. And another thing, the mayor also shouted out to me at the town meeting that my house burnt down…This is not true.. the only fire I ever had was a minor grease fire in 2006.. A neighbor helped spray it out & the fire dept. came & Rickie McCormack had them put a fan in my house to clear the air. No damage, just a burnt pot & hood range.. & Box 100 never came to my aid, but the mayor & her husband were out & heard about it & they came by with some cleaner called “Greased Lightning” to help me wipe down my cabinets. In fact both Senna Mosley & her husband were still members of LaVergne Rescue Squad & had not joined box 100 at that time.. So, if any of you want to continue making me an issue & making untrue statements, I think you are a joke.. The Tax Hike, The Water hike, & the Sewer Hike are the real issues.. I am just 1 of many citizens that are free to voice their opinions on city matters & city officials. I however think you need to stop trying to make scapegoats out of people that disagree with your particular politics because your comments & the mayors comments have sent numerous citizens running in a much different direction than what you wanted.. AND if anyone has a question about me or for me, ask me, don’t try to read my mind because none of you really know me at all. Concerned Citizens of LaVergne is growing by leaps & bounds thanks to some of your comments. So thank you & if you want to slander me anymore, remember…I do need the money…Bless your heart 🙂

      • Cee Dee
        July 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

        No slander on my part. I just cut & pasted your own words from your post in June. I only gave my OPINION as to your current statements. Sorry you are having such a hard time financially as are so many others. I agree the economy is rough right now. But it is a time of unity, not division. I doubt any of the board members would disagree with that statement. It’s a shame people cannot come together and work together in this city. I am so in favor of a State or Federal audit of the city to find out where the general fund dollars went and so is the mayor. She has asked for this previously & I hope she gets it. It may make some folks uncomfortable, but we need to know where the money went — I plan to call the number posted and request it & I think all those who say they are concerned need to do the same.

  19. michaelinLV
    July 28, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Can anyone tell me what the difference is between Box 100 and La Vergne Rescue Squad (LRS)? Both are non-profits that assist fire and police. I always thought that LRS was a division of La Vergne Fire INC but they are listed as a non-rofit in the budget.

    • Charlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      Rescue’s primary responsibility is to provide vehicle extrication services in the city and county area’s of La Vergne and Rutherford county.
      Additional responsibility includes responding to and assisting when needed from the county and city in the event of water or ground search/recovery operations. In addition to being tasked via regional call out from the state Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads.

      Rescue was removed from the non-profit allocations during the June 6 Mayor and Alderman meeting. Now making them a contractual service now.

  20. michaelinLV
    July 28, 2011 at 8:48 am

    “profit,” not rofit!

    Also, I had read somehwhere that the townhall meeting would be aired on channel 3, but I don’t see it on the scherdule. Did I miss it?

    • debbie
      July 28, 2011 at 11:59 pm

      MichaelinLV, My guess is the city will not be airing the town meeting because it will show the whole unbiased mess, unless they edit it. But 2 of our kind news stations have complete taping at 2 different angles.. 🙂

  21. Ben
    July 29, 2011 at 7:50 am

    If our water is going up so high. Can we at least make it taste better? I mean our water is the crapiest water ever.

  22. Jessica
    August 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    The town hall meeting is airing right now on Channel 3 as we speak, however it has almost concluded. Now, let me get to the heart of my opinion in this entire mess.

    I am a 23 year old citizen of the city of LaVergne. I have lived here, in the same house even for all but one year of my life. I have voted in several elections. I am almost appalled at admitting this in public after watching the monkey crap fight that was the town hall meeting from the other day. This is where my issues lie:

    1.) HOW MANY TIMES CAN THE SAME QUESTION BE ASKED AND ANSWERED?!
    I could have made a drinking game about how many times the question was raised about the gradual increase. It CANNOT happen. I am 23 and am a waitress in a bar. How hard is that to understand? Who doesn’t understand that the city has footed the bill(s) for the last several years just so the citiizens (yes, YOU) wouldn’t have to – to try and make LaVergne a desirable city to still be in. The city is in such a state financially now, that the gradual increase IS NOT possible for us to be able to retain all our services that we need.

    2.) UNINCORPORATING THE CITY IS NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE HIKES.
    If the city were to lose its charter, the county would take over. Our police force would be the Rutherford County Sheriffs deputies who are already backed up and can’t really get to those under their jurisdiction as it is. Our increases would probably go up more. The county would not care, they just want their bills paid regardless what it means to you. Also, you cannot compare your water bill here in LaVergne to that of those in Smyrna because Smyrna has their own water department. Yes, we have our own (SUB-PAR) water treatment plant, but our sewer services are through Nashville. We do not have adequate enough funding at the moment to fix what really needs fixing. Revoking the charter will NOT solve this.

    3.) WHAT ABOUT WALDRON ROAD?
    Yes, I know it sucks. I live off Waldron Road, however it is NOT a city funding project. The state created and is prolonging this mess, the city has nothing to do with it. Yes, Waldron Road is a city road, but this was STATE mandated construction. Do I want to pull my hair out every time I try to go home? Yes. How many fewer trips have I made across the bridge? As few as possible. Am I blaming our city council? No, I am not. The same people responsible for this construction project are also doing work all over I-24 and I-65 – yell at them.

    4.) LET’S CUT CITY WORKERS’ PAY!
    How about not? I’m sorry, I’m a waitress in a bar because I can’t find anything else right now. And I’m not making much. Senna is making about the same as me, and I barely make 13,000 A YEAR. Even with working two jobs last year, I didn’t make more then 17,000. Now, the only thing they’re really getting is benefits. They’re having to deal with all this crock of crap attitude from uninformed people saying cut their salary when they’re not making anything! All they have are their benefits and have to deal with crap being slung at them from every direction. Am I in favor of the tax hikes? No, but they are needed. The city can no longer foot the bill like they have been for years. Suck it up and pay.

    5.) THOUGHTS ON MAJORITY OF THE MEETING
    After seeing how many people in out city behaved, I am appalled. If you don’t want a ticket, pay for your tags on time. I understand it’s hard, and we are still in the pit of a recession, doesn’t matter. I don’t make much more money than you, yet all my bills are paid. And my tags are current. Yes, I understand about being irritated about a ticket, who isn’t upset when they get a ticket? You knowingly drove knowing your tags are expired and admitting to knowing so. Why are you surprised about getting a ticket? It’s happened to me with a taillight malfunction that I had to order another part for even after I just fixed it – same when I was without a turn signal (not that people in LaVergne know how to USE a turn signal, but I digress). I accepted the fact, paid it, and went on with my life. I am almost ashamed to admit I am from this city anymore. You have Debbie’s crazy butt screaming “are you going to hit me?” because someone was clapping. I’ve come from an abusive relationship as well, and lady – grow a pair. I shouldn’t have lived after things that happened to me, but somebody applauding isn’t scary. Again, grow a pair, some ova, something – ANYTHING. The younger citizens, such as myself, are listening – we are paying attention. I didn’t attend the town meeting because of prior engagements, however I am glad now that I didn’t. I cannot withstand so much ignorance and blatant stupidity at one time, and I guarantee you – the multi-purpose building isn’t big enough to house all the idiocy that took place.

    My advice for the citizens? It’s happening. Retail will eventually come. Hikes will happen. People clap. You live, you deal, you get over it. Don’t like it? Then leave. But leave the city to those who actually care, listen, and respect everyone else rather than the idiots who can keep repeating the same things like parrots, and still not get the answers. Well, they can get the answers, the right ones – just not not the ones they want to hear. And that is all I can rant on for the moment – until next time folks 🙂

    • Cee Dee
      August 2, 2011 at 9:06 am

      Loud CLAP, CLAP!!!!

    • Kathy Tyson
      August 2, 2011 at 9:26 am

      The water treatment plant in the past has experienced some major problems. I was a resident, not an employee during the infamous pink water incident oh-so-many-many-many-years-ago. Since then the city has contracted with Severn Trent to provide water treatment services. The water quality went from being graded 33 (on a scale of 1-100) to 97 today. When water leaves the plant, it is really really good water. The operators test every single day at homes and businesses throughout the city and the water going out of the plant is tested every two hours.

      However, as the water travels through old pipes and various dead-end connections, the taste and odor may change, depending on the infrastructure leading to your house (although it is still 100% safe to drink). THIS is why city leaders and the public works department are looking at upgrading the infrastructure. The city has frequent line breaks, lines that are too small, etc. It’s a long process but in the end will result in better tasting water and a safer place to live (especially if you live on one of those streets with a 2-inch line).

      If you ever have any water quality questions, the city has an open door policy. Contact the public works department at 793-9891 or Severn Trent at 287-8691.

      Thanks for allowing me to chime in.

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