The City’s Gonna Run Out Of Money, No Joke

I considered writing up the board of Mayor and Aldermen Workshop and Meeting, but I’ll be honest- I’ve been exhausted and anything I wrote up could have possibly been full or errors and half-truths, and my promise to all of you readers is that I will shoot you straight even when the news is bad, even if it is not popular.

And this is not good news. I watched the conversation about this in the workshop and then I went up to City Hall and I talked to Phillis Rogers, the city’s AMAZING Finance Director about it myself. Phillis tells me that the months between October and January are always fairly tight months for the city. Taxes start coming in around the end of January, first of February (someone correct me if I’m wrong there- Phillis told me the exact dates and I forgot).

So, barring a miracle, the city will likely run out of operating funds around mid-November. No, it’s not because of filling vacant positions. No, it’s not because of “capital improvements” and it’s NOT because of the Old Timer’s Festival, tornado sirens (vote tabled at the last meeting, so they’re not spending any money on that), or ballfield lights (no longer even in the budget).

Phillis explains:

Each year between October and January the cash flow for General Fund gets really tight.  This year it will be worse due to the fact that we’ve moved some debt service from other funds because those funds are not receiving enough revenue to support paying bond payments.  I just received an invoice for one of the upcoming bond payments due and payable on October 1st for approximately $600,000. Our cash balance today is $1.6m.  I anticipate that balance to be around $1.2m by the time we pay the $600,000.  After paying bond payment we’ll be at approximately $600,000 and still have two to three months to go until Tax revenues come in.  I am 99% sure that we will not have enough cash to operate with by late November early December.

In case you’re wondering what bond payments are, they are basically a loan that the city gets. It issues bonds, and pays them back according to a schedule. An example of what Phillis is talking about up there on the moving debt service from other funds, would be that way back in the day when developers were king in this town, the city depended on housing permit money to pay these specific bonds.

Well, fast forward to today and nobody’s building anywhere, much less La Vergne, and lo and behold, those funds have to come from somewhere else.

Now, before the panic hits that city employees aren’t going to get paid and the crap’s going to hit the fan and ohhhhhh noooo! Don’t worry. Phillis, who I have already said is amazing- has a solution. It’s called a TAN or a Tax Anticipation Note. It’s a way for cities and other governments to help out in a cash flow crisis. It is a short term loan that must be paid back before the end of the fiscal year. Phillis says this is the first time since she has been with the city (a surprisingly long time, Phillis projects a very youthful demeanor) that they have had to do this, and she states that she believes that since the taxes were raised, it should be the last.

Now, this sounds scarily like the cash advance loans, you know, write a check for $230, get $200 and then they cash the check on payday? Scary expensive rates? Apparently not so for governments, the short-termness of the loan, the fact that they bid it out, and the ability to draw on it as needed instead of just taking a big hunk of money, makes the interest rates not scary-expensive.

But still. I wish that had not been something that had to be done. Besides the debt service issues, there have been a whole lot of unbudgeted for expenses, cars going kablooey and needing expensive repairs, water lines going kablooey, sewer lines, well, you get the picture. That stuff is expensive.

Well, it is what it is. But there’s the accurate, straight story from me to you.

UPDATE- I talked with Alderman Broeker who wanted to clarify a couple of things:

The city nearly ran out of money last year on a couple of occasions. I do not remember the exact dates, but Phillis could probably tell you. It has nothing to do with anything in this budget. We receive our money quite inconsistently as you stated despite having to pay our bills on a consistent basis. It’s not about tightening the belt or high priced items.

Secondly, I am still undecided about moving the assistant public works director position forward, but given the money we stand to lose from taxes not collected from the Waldron Road project not being finished, and this person could oversee completion of this project and could possibly help to expedite its completion. I’d say it has real potential to pay for itself rather quickly. We have also moved several positions and their salaries in which it will more than make up for this person’s salary and benefits.

One more thing to keep in mind, the “5 year plan” is just that, a plan or a blueprint. Nothing more, nothing less. Things are not always as black and white as one might think. You always have to adapt to situations and reevaluate as necessary.

48 comments for “The City’s Gonna Run Out Of Money, No Joke

  1. Freida
    September 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks for this information. I will admit that I was very leery of the proposal when I heard it last night at the meeting. There wasn’t enough information for me to feel truly comfortable with the idea of the city borrowing money, especially as I hear them talking about over $600000 on weather sirens and creating an expensive new position. Now, I understand that none of those items are in this amount etc, but still to be talking about this large outlay of funds, then to tell us that they need to borrow $2 million…had me scratching my head, especially as I didn’t know what this Tax Anticipated Note was or entailed. I’m still not 100% comfortable with the idea, but am more willing to have it considered with this information. I’m still thinking, if things are this tight, it might not be time to be thinking of expensive outlays on items that may or may not be needed. Most businesses don’t go about hiring new people when they are having deep money issues either. So…I’m a bit more comfortable about the TAN now, but still have some reservations about some of the items that the board is proposing/supporting/seeking.

    • Ivy
      September 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      The Public Works Assistant Director postition isn’t as expensive as it might look on paper, as that figure includes benefits. The Public Works Department is, as far as I can see, the most overworked department in the entire city. I truly feel that position is needed.

      I’m personally against the sirens, the more I read about them and the more things keep changing with every meeting. I’ll be honest, I liked the idea at first but when things keep getting added in and things keep changing, I’m uncomfortable with that.

      Not that I make any decisions in the city, but there’s my opinion.

      • Sarah N
        September 8, 2011 at 1:29 am

        I’ve been feeling kinda hinky about the siren system also. I’ve been wanting to pick some brains about why they went with the most expensive bid in the first place, but I’ve been crazy busy lately trying to scratch together a living. I’m glad they’re going to give it more consideration.

      • Gary Baggett
        September 8, 2011 at 10:48 am

        Hi Ivy,
        I’m not really privy to much of the information on the siren system that is planned and it seems like many are starting to have doubts about it. What is it that you and others are seeing with this that is turning you more against it? I personally don’t have much of an opinion on it and I could take it or leave it. If you and/or others can provide some insight on what you’re seeing and hearing then maybe we can all get a bit more info on whether this will be a good thing or a waste of money.
        Thanks so much!
        Gary

  2. September 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    This is the norm for every government, corporation and individual that has spent more than they can afford. The ~60 year experiment of debt is slowly bringing us all to our knees.

  3. michaelinLV
    September 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I personally am so glad to hear the sirens are dead for now (and hopefully for good) and have never been a fan of that expenditure.

    Gary, there are several reasons people oppose the sirens. The most accepted reason around here is that the city doesn’t have the money for this “luxury” item. But the main issue for me is they are a waste of money. For one, you can’t point to any instance where a life was saved because of these. Davidson county has Tornado sirens but Davidson county residents have still died in tornados. But the main thing is that over time, people ignore them. They often times go off when thereis no cloud in the sky, and I can tell you there is one of these sirens about 200 yards from my office building, I don’t ever hear it!

    The reality is if you don’t have enough common sense to go inside when you hear or see a storm approaching, you’re not going to go inside because a siren is going off. Let’s use the money for something valuable!

  4. Freida
    September 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    As for the sirens, in addition to the price tag, I can’t see how they actually provide much in the way of service. As has been pointed out, quite accurately, there are just too many other ways that people can and do receive input on upcoming bad weather. If I am not mistaken, someone at the meeting kinda made an under the radar comment that the sirens do more than just notify of bad weather. If this is the case, I think it needs to be included in the information, especially if the sirens are still to be considered for purchase. If the city were rolling in money and they wanted to propose this expenditure, perhaps I could support it. As it is, with all the talk of budgetary crisis and the need for raising property taxes etc, I am opposed to anything that is not urgently needed.

    The same applies to the Asst Public Director spot. I don’t see the actual need. If the department is that overworked, more prudent expenditure seems to be in the “boots on the ground” area. I think most departments could argue that they are overworked, but I still feel that this is not the time to be creating new posts with a base potential expenditure of $62,000/year. I say it that way because, I know only too well that if that is the base cost, it will increase with overtime and other additions…always happens. Public works has managed to function without this position for many years, and through periods of much faster and higher growth than is currently the case. I’m just not sold on the need at this time.

  5. Liberty
    September 11, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Alright LaVergne I gotta bone to pick with you. There is no justifiable reason for 3 LP officers to be sitting at the Trigermart on Fergus. 1 I would understand to deter someone robbing the joint, but 3…I am fine with the city raising taxes and my water, but really…I’m sure I could find something for the boys in blue to be doing if they are that bored. There is one huge neighborhood that could sure use more patroling. Stop wasting my tax dollars so these people can chit chat…It’s not right

    • Ivy
      September 11, 2011 at 12:05 am

      Usually you see that around the time of shift change, and the officers you see are either about to go on the clock or just got off the clock.

    • the_voice_of_reason
      September 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Really and I’m sure if i came by wherever it is that you work I would never find anyone taking a break for a cup of coffee

    • EARL WILSON
      September 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      THE REASON OFFICERS ARE AT TIGER MARKETIS THE CITY DOES NOT HAVE THEIR OWN GAS PUMPS. SO THE OFFICER MUST USE TIGERMARKET, MAPCO OR PILOT IN THE CITY. IF YOU NOTICE OFFICERS ARE THERE MORE FREQUENTLY AROUND 6 AM 2 PM AND 10 PM OR SHIFT CHANGES. ALSO WOULD YOU RATHER THE OFFICERS GO TO A STORE FOR A BATHROOM BREAK OR DRINK AND BE OUT IN THE COMMUNITY OR GO TO CITY HALL FOR A BREAK AND BE REMOVED FROM THE COMMUNITY?

  6. Liberty
    September 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I doubt these guys are on a shift change at 11pm. Not to mention I see them there at all hours of the night and they sit there for an hour. Shift change should happen at the station, not at the gas station. And this happens on a nightly basis. It keeps up I might have to pull a whistle blower. I’m sick of it!

    • Ivy
      September 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      One of the actual officers would have to respond because I’m not 100% sure, but I’m like 85% sure that shift change is at 11 PM. Also keep in mind that night shift is usually pretty slow, not much happening.

    • Ben
      September 14, 2011 at 7:57 am

      If your mad about that, you should go hang out at the fire department. Not a lot going on there unless there is an emergency or a call. That is their job. What else is a cop going to do when there isn’t an issue?

      • Sherry
        September 14, 2011 at 9:57 am

        It would be nice if they just did some routine patrols when there’s nothing else going on. I couldn’t tell you the last time we saw an officer in our neighborhood.

        • Liberty
          September 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm

          Exactly…and don’t get me started on the fire department Ben

          • willis
            September 16, 2011 at 7:02 am

            Liberty please I beg you tell us how you feel about the fire dept. For the love of god tell us how you feel about the ambulances. Tell me what yours or anyone else’s life is worth. I see everyone complain about what they do. Do any of you know the hour they work or time they spend away from their families?? Missed birthdays, holidays. No one like these people till its you who needs them then you want them now. Stop judging and be an adult and stop and ask an officer what they are all doing there. You may get a rational answer such as they are actually off duty and just visiting. Maybe they are on break….they so get breaks you know. And on the sirens if they save 1 life does it matter how much they cost? I can not put a price tag on any child’s life.

            • Charlie J
              September 16, 2011 at 10:49 am

              Next time the police dept offers a Citizens Police Academy, please take the time to enroll in the program. Once you gain some perspective on what they do and and I encourage you to take part when they offer ride a longs during the program. It’s an a program that gives great insight of what and how their jobs work.

              I’m in the mood for some entertainment like Willis is, lets here your thoughts on the FD…

            • DJ
              September 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm

              Willis, how many people have died in storms in La Vergne over the past 10 years? None that I am aware of. Also sirens do not guarantee people will be saved. If the tornado is bad enough, the sirens will not save you. You ask “does it matter how much they cost?” Yes it does matter, the city has to pay the bill some how and they are broke. The city money comes from us. If you are prepared to pay for it regardless, why don’t you offer to pay the $600000 its going to cost?

              • blah blah
                September 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm

                So do we have to wait for someone to die before we are willing to get sirens? How will you feel if someone does die from a tornado? I guess you won’t care because it saved the city $60,000 per year (Less than 1 cent of the property tax) for a system that might have saved that person’s life.

                There is never a guarantee, but it could help. Not everyone has smartphones that will warn you of the weather. Not everyone carries their phones when they are outside. This system is meant mostly for people who might be outside. People don’t always pay attention to the weather when they are outside or don’t realize how bad the weather might be. I guess they deserve to die because of stupidity.

                Sirens have saved lives. I think there is another aspect of this system that people are not thinking about. This system can be used for all sorts of events – including storms and haz-mat spills. If a train derailed and spilled hazardous chemicals, a warning system can inform people near the scene to evacuate the area. Time would be essential.

                What if the Co-op has a spill or explosion – there are lots of bad chemicals over there. What if the chemical place over off of Waldron Road exploded (can’t think of it’s name) – lots of bad chemicals there. What if the fireworks distributor blew up – that could be bad as well.

                There are lots of issues that this could help warn the citizens about and I think it is a good idea. You can’t put a value on human life. It would be worth the cost in the long run.

                • michaelinLV
                  September 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm

                  “So do we have to wait for someone to die before we are willing to get sirens?”

                  Blah blah, it’s not that simple. If there was ample proof that these devices saved lives, that would be one thing. But there’s not. Over time people tune them out and they often are set off incorrectly.

                  Let’s try this – If you have cable, you know that weather alerts are posted on all channels if there is a tornado warning. So since people might be inside during severe weather and not within earshot of a siren (I know, who’d have thought people would go inside during a storm!!?!), and would possibly have the TV on, shouldn’t we just buy cable TV for everyone? I mean, at $40 a month for 7,000 homes, that would only cost $280,000 per year and would be more effective than sirens!!

                  I’m not suggesting this, it’s a waste of taxpayers money. But if you are saying we should “spare no expense” to potentially save a single life, why not just have the city buy cable for everyone??

                • DJ
                  September 17, 2011 at 12:43 am

                  Maybe we could use the sirens when aliens attack La Vergne. I mean it could happen right? What cost can you put on saving lives?

  7. Charlie J
    September 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Briefing is usually at 10 if I recall correctly, the city vehicles get gas at Tigermart, so seeing them there is about right.

  8. Thomas
    September 14, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I just checked out the Old Timers’ Day website and it is very informative. The link is here: http://oldtimersfestival.wordpress.com/

  9. September 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    It would be nice if Waldron Rd was what Sam Ridley is to Smyrna. I believe this generate some sales revenue. Also glad to see the sirens off the table. I personally believe they are waste of money. According to FEMA and TEMA weather radios are best source for tracking tornado activity.

    • Ben
      September 15, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Agreed.

  10. michaelinLV
    September 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    So you guys ran Liberty off to the other page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Concerned-Citizens-of-La-Vergne/186539618068850?sk=wall

    I’ll respond to her thoughts here. As far as the police at Tigermart, I do believe that is shift-change time and if that is where the city is contracted to fill up the tanks for LPD, I have no problem with the fact they are there at that time.

    I do understand Liberty’s position which, should be the same as all of ours – We spend money to fund LPD so we have the right (and IMO the responsibility) to question what our tax dollars are doing. If would be like if you gave your child a credit card to use for buying gas and when reviewing the bill you saw a $20 charge to Malco-Roxy. You ask the kid, “why did you go spend $20 at the movies, and the kid responds, “is $20 that big of a deal?” Well no $20 isn’t the end of the world for most people, but the principle of the matter is it’s my money, and I want to know it is being used wiseley. Is LPD spending a little time at Tigermart a big deal? Probably not. But if they were there when they should have been patrolling that would be a different story.

    Not sure of her problem with LFD, but here’s something to think about – Is the Rutherford County ambulance service not funded with tax dollars? I believe it is, and if so, how is it that they can charge $200 for an ambulance to respond to your house and take you to the hospital? I mean, if you think yous ee a crime and you call the police, you don’t get a bill from LPD. Or a few years ago when I thought I had a car fire and called LFD, they didn’t send me a bill. Why is the ambulance service different?

    • Cricket123
      September 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      I’ll bite… Michael, do you have any idea of how many people call the Ambulance Service when they could’ve just as easily called a cab?!? There are many, many times that our ambulances are used as a glorified taxi service. And do you have any idea how much money it costs to even fire those ambulances up? RCEMS is a Class A service – meaning they have at least one paramedic per ambulance, instead of just 2 EMTs…most of the time the ambulance crew consists of 2 paramedics. I know that the majority of people do not understand the difference between EMTs and Paramedics, but there is a big difference… I could go on for hours, but I won’t.

      Just be grateful that there are people who have the calling and knowledge in responding to emergencies no matter which department of public safety they happen to be in.

      ~ Cricket123
      Retired EMT-P and former Operations Supervisor

      • michaelinLV
        September 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

        Awesome, you took the bait!

        – How much does it cost to fire up an ambulance? Oh I don’t know, is it more than the cost to fire up a fire truck??

        – And as far as cost, is it really “cost effective” to patrol? What if the police don’t find any crime, they’ve basically wasted money just cruising around, right?? At least ambulances are only running when they are going to/from a medical incident.

        – A glorified taxi service? Do ambulances take people places other than the hospital? Or are there a lot of people who want to go visit the hospitals for some reason I am unaware of (the good food?)?

        – Using your logic, shouldn’t the fire department charge if you call them to come put out a fire?

        I’m not criticizing EMT’s, paramedics, or fire fighters. I’m looking at this from the angle of how our tax dollars are spent. If we are subsidizing the ambulance service by charging when someone needs it, why doesn’t the fire department bill you if they put out a fire?

        • willis
          September 17, 2011 at 4:01 am

          How about this Michael……call your county commissioner and bitch and whine to them about your tax dollars. As the website says “THIS IS LAVERGNE”.Never saw any where that it said. THIS IS RUTHERFORD COUNTY page and we want to hear you complain about them now!!! Seriously people grow up! Nothing in life is just given to you the way you want it.

          And to answer some questions that were posed by you. One wrong statement was $200 for and ambulance. I would try $900 just to get there. And how do you spend the time evaluating who is a “true” tax payer and who is just passing here or living illegally?? Cause god know anyone who wasn’t picked up if they were not charged then people would complain.

          How many people to to the hospital for food…its apparent you don’t know anyone in EMS. It’s amazing to hear who all calls and why. Yes some go to het away from their house.

          I think the FD should charge you if they come out. I would love to see that changed. Let’s start a petition to get it changed. I say they start off at $2000 a truck that shows up. And in their down time they can call Michaelnlv or Debbie (ccl website) and ask the,m what they think they should be doing…..I personally say leave the alone and let them do their jobs. I don’t want them upset or too tired if I need them at any point.

          Why can’t anyone embrace the fact things are changing with or without us. we elected officials to so this, why don’t we let it play out and see.Then if you don’t like it run yourself!! Why didn’t I think of that?!?!?!

          Please don’t turn it into a CCL blog…

          • michaelinLV
            September 18, 2011 at 7:57 pm

            For one, I am not associated with the CCLV group. I read their page because I want to see everyone’s point of view. Are there some things that I agree with them on? Yes. Do I have some disagrements? You betcha.

            Last time I checked, La Vergne was in Rutherford county, and all the schools in the city are run by Rutherford county. Is the county off topic on here, and if so, how does that make any sense?

            Seriously, you’re telling me that the Rutherford EMS get’s multiple calls per day from people who are not sick, who are just looking for a friend? I’m not calling you wrong, but I would like some evidence. And if that is true, couldn’t you charge for false calls like the police do? If you call the police they don’t bill you. But if you have a false alarm, don’t they bill you $50 or something like that?

            As for the fire service, I don’t necessarily disagree with your idea about charging for calls. My only point is why do we charge people when they call an ambulance, but not when the call for police or fire? I woudl think the reason is that you don’t want people to hesitate calling the police or fire if you think their needed, but you should think about whether that heart attack was so bad that you can’t drive yourself to stonecrest?

            As far as your opinion that we had an election so we should just let everyone alone for the next 4 years, I completely disagree with that. Electing officials doesn’t mean blind trust. During the election I never heard any discussion of the need to drastically increase taxes and water/sewer. I heard of the desire to increase police and fire, and knew there would be a cost. But we as citizens have a right (and in my opinion a responsibility) to question those costs. I’m not pushing an agenda of revoking the charter, we will decide in 2012 and 2014 whether we agree with the current direction of the city.

  11. Cricket123
    September 17, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Michael, it is apparent that no matter what the topic is you will always want to argue and/or debate it. Did you ever question why the laws of math never change?

    • michaelinLV
      September 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      umm.. yes. I want people to think, how terrible is that! As far as the laws of math, what are you talking about?

      • willis
        September 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm

        Michael it is quite apparent you are ignorant to the healthcare field and what goes on. I would argue this with you but until you call the county and possibly do a ride along you will never understand how many unnecessary calls a day that an ambulance runs. Second call LPD and ride with them one day and see what happens in 8 hours. Then take judgement on them once you have seen what they do or don’t do. What is it you do for a living Michael? I am sure everyone would love to know so we can make asses out of ourselves and ASSUME we know what exactly goes on there.

        • michaelinLV
          September 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

          I don’t know why I have drawn the ire of paramedics. Let me say it again:

          I AM NOT ATTACKING PARAMEDICS OR EMT’s! I APPRECIATE THE WORK YOU DO, I AM QUESTIONING TAX POLICY.

          Willis, you claim you are an expert on the number of un-neccessary calls that EMS takes everyday, so what about police and fire? How often are the police called for false alarms and how often is the fire department called to pull cats out of trees? If you call the police and you need them they don’t send you a bill. I would imagine if you call the police and don’t need them, you would go to jail (and of course would pay fines/bail/court costs,etc). Probably not the first time, but eventually.

          I’m not saying paramedics should operate a taxi service, I’m not saying the EMS should serve as a friendly visitor for old folks. Here is what I am saying:

          IF SOMEONE NEEDS THE POLICE AND THEY CALL, THE POLICE COME AND HELP, THERE IS NO BILL. IF SOMEONE NEEDS THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, THEY COME AND HELP, THERE IS NO BILL. SO WHY IS IT THAT WHEN SOMEONE IS HAVING A TRUE EMERGENCY AND NEEDS HELP, EMS WILL COME, BUT THEY SEND A BILL?

          I’m not a liberal, I’m not advocating free EMS for everyone, anytime they want a ride. I’m simply curious why our tax dollars are used for a service that also bills for useage? Think about it another way – our tax dollars are used to provide public schools. Would any of you find it strange if you showed up for school next August and were told tuition was going to be $1,000 for the semester? I mean, that’s cheaper than “private” school, but you would probably argue that tax dollars are being used to pay for education, no extra tuition should be charged. Right?

          Of course I’m afraid the teachers are going to attack me now…

          • willis
            September 22, 2011 at 6:51 am

            JUST FOR CLARIFICATION WHEN AN AMBULANCE COMES IF YOU DON’T GO THERE IS NO BILL. Also if fire and police got to charge you for BS. there would be no need for taxes to keep them going. Also if EVERYTHING is going to be paid for with tax dollars then I can promise you all taxes will go up. I am going to let you in on a hint. EMS gets treated worse than any emergency service…..that is why they are so vocal back to you. They get no recognition and nobody cares about them until they need them.

          • Charlie J
            September 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

            Just a guess here, but I’m guessing they couldn’t survive on a $5M budget that the county gives them a year.

            • willis
              September 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm

              Pretty sure they are one of the only departments that generate any revenue that goes back into the general fund at the county.

            • willis
              September 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

              Hey Charlie J aren’t you the same Charlie Jones who us on La Vergne Rescue Squad? And the same person who’s wife and “yourself” are avid concerned citizens fb followers and COMPLAINERS?? Feel free to answer that question for us. Then explain to us why the city needs the Rescue Squad. couldn’t the fire dept we already pay for do it?? If we had no one else would all of thw county taxes we pay for as pointed out by Michael not pay for rescue as it does in the rest of the county??

              • Charlie J
                September 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

                Last I looked I wasn’t partaking in that web page, but since you seem to know who I am and what I do, which is about half correct. What my wife does is her business, she knows my views on both sides of this debate.

                To my knowledge the fire dept can’t provide the service without a substantial increase in their budget and personnel.

              • Charlie J
                September 23, 2011 at 9:57 am

                But since you know who I am do me a favor and tell me who you are and more about “yourself”

              • Julie Jones
                September 23, 2011 at 10:40 am

                Michael are you a stalker? Just asking….I don’t see how what I do has any bearing on what my Husband thinks or feels, we are separate individuals, please don’t address me while responding to my husband.

                • Julie Jones
                  September 23, 2011 at 10:42 am

                  Sorry Willis

          • Cee Dee
            September 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

            Oh, Michael — do you have children in school? Do you know about the “fees” charged by certain classes, the field trip costs per student, the begging for additional supplies to send with your child for others . . . on & on. It should be a FREE EDUCATION for public schools, but you have made a bad analoge here — ask any parent with children in “public schools”!

            • michaelinLV
              September 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm

              I am not so far removed myself from public schools to know that there are costs for certain things. I was in the band, is there anything more expensive than band??

              With that said, the schools don’t “force” you to pay money, in fact they’ll even give you free meals if your parents cannot afford them. You may not be able to go on a field trip, but it’s not like you show up for algebra class and they tell you to leave until your tuition is paid.

            • Kitti
              October 7, 2011 at 8:32 am

              CeeDee you said a mouthful! Every event is just another fundraiser.

  12. Leanne
    September 23, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Two opinions –

    1) I know several paramedics and I always hear about these “unnecessary” or “granny totes” they respond to. It is your JOB to respond to every call whether or not in YOUR OPINION an ambulance was needed. You are paid to answer the call for help, NOT judge it. Period. I would hate to think if I was ever in need of ambulance services that I would be judged by the paramedics or EMT’s as to why I even called them. This comment is in no way directed at ALL paramedics or EMT’s as there are many great Paramedics and EMT’s out there. Yes, I also hear about how you feel that you are not getting recognition but in no way do any of us take the paramedics, EMT’s, fire and/or police for granted or dont appreciate everyone of you. Period.

    2) Have a community wide event in which the citizens of La Vergne can buy personal weather radios for their residences at a reduced cost. Sponsored by the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, La Vergne Police Department, La Vergne Fire Department and yes, even the paramedics and EMT’s of La Vergne and Rutherford County. Kroger in La Vergne did this and from what I heard it was a huge success. Let’s do it again. I will also volunteer my time if needed.

  13. Kitti
    October 7, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I don’t have cable, I don’t have a weather radio, but I DO have a cell phone. Pretty much everyone does. Maybe those could be used in some way – are there weather alert apps? are there lower grade versions for those who don’t have smartphones?

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