I apologize for not writing more on this issue. I have been insanely busy and have been attending all these meetings but have not found time to write about them. Let me catch you up the easy way. Here’s the first redistricting committee meeting. It’s long and it might make you pull your hair out:
I can sum the whole meeting up with one word: stonewalling. There was a lot of it. It took repeated asking from Commissioners Allen and Phillips just to get the maps proposed by Commissioner Stevens up on the screen for people to look at them. After two hours of lots of drama and not much getting done, they decided to reconvene a week later after everyone had had a chance to look at the maps.
Recommended Reading: DNJ Article before this week’s meeting
So then there was last night’s meeting. You can watch it right here:
This one is, at least, shorter and a lot less frustrating, once you get past the first 20 or so minutes. Basically, they started up the stonewalling again but Commissioner Shafer really stepped up to the plate to fight for redistricting. He made a motion that they send the second map to the election commission and reconvene next Wednesday (again, lol. my family is getting really tired of all these meetings) to hear their findings. The vote itself was one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen, 5 voted for, 4 voted against and one passed. County Attorney Jim Cope had to go check Robert’s Rules of Order about how that worked out since Jimmy Evans from the Election Commission had originally passed, but after the vote was read, decided to change his vote to tie up the vote. It’s pretty neat, at least watch that part of the video.
Recommended Reading: DNJ Article about this week’s meeting
So we really need y’all to call or email the commissioners on this issue, particularly Commissioner Jeff Jordan to thank him for voting in favor of the second map and to ask him to help us continue the fight, Commissioner Joe Frank Jernigan who voted against but seems like a logical and reasonable man who will listen to logical, reasonable arguments and Commissioner Allen McAdoo who is concerned that this discriminates against the school board and the road board due to some members having to run against each other in the future. Additionally, be especially sure to email or call the Redistricting Committee Chairperson, Steve Sandlin. He was a no vote as well, however I believe with enough logical and fair reasonable arguments, he might be able to be persuaded to understand what it is we’re asking for.
One of the biggest misconceptions about this is that it is a La Vergne issue. Alderman Broeker said it best last night when he stated that this is an issue that affects the entire county. While incumbency is certainly an issue that is worth looking at, it should not be the only issue and, as he asked, which is more important, the 264,000 residents of this county or the few people who will have to run against each other in their next elections?
Yes, La Vergne has stepped up and has been speaking out about this issue. I think it is because we really have something special in La Vergne- we have our elected officials like Alderman Broeker who has led this fight, Mayor Mosley who has been there with us fighting, Commissioner Carol Cook who is a longtime resident as well as an elected official who remembers the fights we have always had to get better schools and representation for La Vergne on a county level. And I would like to thank Commissioner Shafer, Commissioner Allen, Commissioner Phillips and Commissioner Stevens who have all helped us in this effort.
But not only do we have the elected officials who are helping us to lead this, but we have citizens who are willing to take time away from their families and come out to these meetings so the various commissions and committees realize how important this issue is. I’ve heard it over and over, “La Vergne’s the ones who are complaining. It’s a La Vergne problem.” No, I think this is one of the GOOD things about this city. Whether I agree or disagree politically with other people who are willing to sit in meetings and speak out, doesn’t matter. Look at how many people we have who care about our city.
A long time ago, our city meetings were pretty much only filled with a very few people. Now lots of people come to them. Look at all of those people who come out to the events the city has been holding. When I was standing there watching the Veteran’s Day ceremony, or the fireworks at the Christmas parade, or any of the other things I have been proud to be a part of lately, I have thought- every time- “Now this is what community is all about.”
La Vergne, I am proud to be one of you.