LaVergne: Best of, Worst of 2012

Oh LaVergne. You’ve had some spectacular moments this year, but you’ve had some pretty dismal ones as well.  Here is our view of the best of LaVergne and the worst of LaVergne in 2012.

BEST

HS kids helpHigh School Students Rescue Boy
We have to give our most outstanding persons of the year credit to Cynthia and Humberto Ornelas for being incredibly Good Samaritans. They saw a little boy in distress – he was lost after slipping out of a daycare carpool van – and they brought him to safety. This after many other people passed him by, they stopped. Cynthia and Humberto are our biggest heroes this year and we thank them for noticing and taking action!

We’ll Have Seconds, Please
This was the second year for both the July 4th Celebration and the Christmas Parade, hosted by the city. We want to give high praise to the city (and Alderman Tom Broeker) for creating events that allow residents to celebrate these holidays in their own city.  We also want to thank the businesses and organizations that participate, making it all possible. Special kudos to B&B Family Fireworks for their free fireworks display at the end of the Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony, as well as the LHS Choraliers and Band for their performances. Actually these students made us proud ALL YEAR long.

Snowflake Lights
For years, the old lights of tin soldiers, half a Santa, and candles have decorated Murfreesboro Road at Christmas. When the lights were purchased, they were used from Gatlinburg so were about 40 years old in all. Last year, there were no lights because they cost thousands of dollars to repair every year. This year the city took advantage of what they saved last year, what they would have paid this year to again repair the old lights, and what they’d pay next year to finally bring us brand new snowflake lights. Very nice, LaVergne.

Alderman Debate
The League of Women Voters remembered to come back to our city to host the non-biased, neutral debate. The debate itself was very eye-opening in that it appeared there were two very clear winners.  One won his reelection and the other alderman candidate who made such a spectacular showing during the debate did not win. The only part of the debate we really did NOT like was that the candidates had to make their final statements as part of their last answer. That was unfair to the people seeking office. In the future we would encourage the League of Women Voters to allow the candidates to answer their last question and then go around the table once more for their final closing statement.

Mobile Health Unit
Kudos the the Mobile Health Unit of the Middle Tennessee Medical Center for adding LaVergne to its rotation list. They stopped by the LaVergne Senior Center and provided health screening for everyone at no charge and then came back to LaVergne Middle School the next month offering free flu shots. Thanks to the city for inviting the health unit to LaVergne and thanks to them for accepting the invitation!

Places to Walk
Another huge “way to go” goes to the city for completing the sidewalk projects that had been “on the books” for up to 15 years. Paid for mostly by grant funding, it was inexcusable that the safety of our children sat lingering like a nasty illness for years and years. Thank you LaVergne for finally building the sidewalks on Fergus Road and Chaney Road. Keep them coming if you can!

Places to Drive
Chaney Road was a horrible street to drive on prior to the new pavement. While the timing wasn’t spectacular as the road was paved during the school year, we get that the process to re-do a road requires quite a lot of planning and inspections. We’re especially glad that the nasty intersection full of potholes and bumps at Old Nashville Highway and Chaney has been repaired. Kudos to the city for paving Fergus and Sanford Road, as well.

parade 2012Beautiful Baby Show
Hooray for LaVergne giving parents of children under five years old a place to be adorable! The baby show was a lot of fun and seemed to be the second best-attended event of Old Timers Festival – with the first one being the parade!  And that parade picture taken by the city. Amazing!

CodeRED
If you haven’t already signed up for the cost-effective CodeRED system, why not? It’s free for LaVergne residents and doesn’t cost a lot for the city to provide it. You can CLICK HERE to sign up today for the high-speed notification system alerting people about severe weather and other emergency events.

Brave Decision
Our thanks to city leaders, including Mayor Senna Mosley, Fire Chief James Gafford, Assistant Chief Robert Kimbrough, Emergency Services Manager Ricky McCormick for making the bold and brave decision to cancel individual fireworks in the middle of the terrible drought. Public feedback was 50:50 (half loved, half hated), but in the end it didn’t matter. What mattered was that you potentially saved life and property by your willingness to make that tough decision. Also our thanks to the Board for keeping their promise to allow fireworks during the weekend of Old Timers Festival so people who had already made their purchases could lawfully shoot fireworks.

Generosity of Community
Perhaps the biggest thanks goes to our actual community. The people who live here are among the most generous in the state. From providing food baskets to needy families (food fight), hosting a fabulous job fair (Grace Church), providing toys for children, walking with people who “carry the load”, honoring our veterans,  remember the events of September 11, 2011, volunteering to rescue people from wrecked vehicles, being there for our first-responders on long calls, and much much more … you are the BEST!

Worst

Don’t Mix Business With Presidential Politics
It was highly disappointing to see a local business post on their sign out front their hatred of President Obama the day after the election in November.  Like him or not, he is our president so for a business to publicly chastise those who voted for him does nothing more than keep those voters away from the store. And that really hurts our intent to keep our shopping dollars local.

Social Media at Its Worst
There were two particular social media pages this year that seemed to be at war with each other, both on Facebook. One page made numerous unfounded accusations and did little more than constantly stir the pot. Commenters and administrators seemed to simply flourish on negativity and they freely shared their opinions no matter if they were true or false. Another page focused on contradicting the accusations of the other page – the snopes of LaVergne if you will – but they did it in a way that used bad language and made personal attacks.  Both pages hurt their own credibility and, in fact, have probably caused harm to our city.

We’re Not Speaking to You Wal Mart
And it’s largely because you won’t speak to us.  Come on already.  It’s not like you even have any competition here. Time to get your head out of the sand and stop pandering to other cities that already have one (or four!) stores. Can’t you see from the parade picture that we have a LOT of people here that would shop with you? Get your butt to LaVergne already so we can finally spend our money in our own town.  And you, too, Dairy Queen.  We want you both.

Soccer Moms
My goodness we’ve witnessed a slew of poor sportsmanship this year.  When your team shirts have “The Bullies” splayed all over them and your children are playing ball in a city where we have tragically lost children specifically because of bullying, well that’s highly inappropriate and very offensive.  Then to top it off, there was another competition where parents who should know better very publicly attacked and denounced others for simply doing their jobs.  Disappointed parents should ask themselves before they speak:  “Would I say these things if my child won?” and “What am I teaching my child when I act like this?” Remember it is your response to winning and losing that makes you a winner or a loser. The apology you owe should be just as public as the smear campaign you launched.

Honorable Mention (Meh)

You’re Fired, I Quit!
Oh Donald Trump you have nothing on us.  The revolving door at city hall has continued.  Why is it so hard for people to do their jobs and do them 1) ethically, 2) morally, and 3) legally?  Hisses to the former city workers who can’t figure out that work is work and not a free ride on tax payer dollars. Applause to the city for continuing to hold employees accountable and expecting them to actually work.

Old Timers Festival
You could have been so much more. After a spectacular 2011 festival with dozens and dozens of crafters, sponsors, and food vendors, we were left with a fraction of what it was before. What happened? Did no one do follow-up phone calls or letters? How did we end up with only six food vendors – so few that they ran out of food? Although the parade and baby show were definitely high points, we hope the city takes a long, hard look at what happened to the rest of it and fix it for 2013.  Again, it could be so much more!

Library Building Turns 10
Congratulations to the LaVergne Public Library for celebrating its 10th year in the new building. It remains one of the most beautiful buildings in town and we thank staff for taking such good care of it! But why are the numbers down? People need to remember that there are tons of services (from computers to learning second language) offered at the library – all for free! Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!

What do you think, LaVergne? Do you have a best or worst of LaVergne suggestion?

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