Champagne and caviar! Â A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage! Â Ponies for everyone! Â A colony on the moon!Â Campaign promises can be serious, hilarious, and just plain ridiculous. Letâ€™s take a look at some of the promises being made in the upcoming city elections.
Here are the promises we have found, the promises being told (to numerous witnesses), and where nothing is being said.
Melisa Brown promises that if she is elected, it will be her goal to help La Vergne move forward while limiting the spending to what La Vergne residents can afford. She would repair things instead of replacing them. She has posted a sign asking people if they are â€œbeing soaked by high water bills.â€ Â After being asked numerous times how she plans to fix the high water bills, she has never answered that question. She did tell a citizen at the FOP Forum that she is not interested in talking about solutions, she only wants to â€œhearâ€ about concerns. Â She did ask her supporters to not vandalize other candidatesâ€™ election signs on her facebook page â€“ something we asked of all candidates.
Our Answer:Â We firmly believe that all candidates share her top goal of moving the city forward while spending only what we can afford. We also believe that after years of absolute neglect by city officials, we reached terminal velocity on having to fix things or suffer a complete shut-down. We are incredibly curious how she plans to lower water bills as she is implying when the state still has the city on probation from being in the negative net asset category for three years because of the prior leadershipâ€™s refusal to increase the bills incrementally. But kudos to her for asking people to not vandalize signs. Mayor Mosleyâ€™s â€œFrankensignâ€ appreciates that support. Â Could be viable if she offers actual ideas and solutions instead of just saying what people want to hear.
Photo credit: Reelect Chris Farmer Facebook page.
Jason Cole promises to make well informed decisions based on research and will take the time to do the research. He also wants to bring emergency services up to full staff.
Our Answer: Â Making informed decisions is the first thing that all candidates should do, but many times it doesn’t seem that way. There are rarely questions asked at workshops so we hope the existing officials do talk to city directors and the administrator about the issues. The second one is a great goal, but you have to have funding to do this. Obviously taxpayers donâ€™t want to pay a penny more than they already do â€“ and actually want to pay less than they do now – so it will be a tough promise to keep unless there are more sales tax dollars that come in. Jason also supports strong economic development initiatives which could allow for more sales tax dollars. Jason did his homework prior to the FOP Forum on emergency services, so it is obvious he is already keeping up his end of the bargain on doing research. Very viable candidate.
Photo credit: Jason Cole for alderman Facebook page.
David Driggers flat out wants citizens to rule with no regard to existing codes and ordinances. Â At least thatâ€™s all we could ascertain from his rambling statements at the FOP Forum. The only other thing we know about him is that he is facing felony charges of sexual assault. He said â€œsomeâ€ of the charges have been dismissed, but what about the rest of the charges? Â He said in the DNJ article of September 2 that the current administration is acting like a â€œruling class with the way it treats longtime residents.â€
Our Answer: So longtime residents should be treated differently than everyone else? With extensive codes complaints and violations, along with a long history with the police, he is definitely not a viable candidate in any way, shape or form.
Photo credit: Screen capture from Daily News Journal.
Chris Farmer is outspoken, bold, sometimes aggravating, but extremely well informed about emergency services. He initially ran on getting emergency sirens throughout the city. Well by gosh if we didnâ€™t witness the pitchforks and torches and the citizen revolt against keeping people safe. Â In the end, that wonderful initiative was killed because the bottom-line price went up. We point that out because it is clear that Vice Mayor Farmer has no problems making difficult decisions and leading the charge on unpopular but necessary changes.Â He had the courage to take on the defunding of the Rescue Squad in this last budget cycle. While we love the fact that the Rescue organization has a rich history with the city, as people talk budget cuts and unnecessary expenses, you have to acknowledge that paying nearly $50,000 every year to a group to perform a function that full-time staff are already trained to do is a huge waste of money.
Our Answer:Â We are not fans of his famous slouch during board meetings, but he does not pull punches when he has an opinion. You always know exactly where you stand with him because he doesnâ€™t mince words, fawn over people to get votes, or candy-coat his point of view.Â If he thinks it, he means it. If he means it, he says it. He is a no-BS-zone candidate who brings four years of experience to the table as far as budgets, city needs, emergency services, long-term plans.Â Very viable candidate.
Photo credit: Reelect Chris Farmer Facebook page.
Sherry Green is one of the sweetest persons who has ever been elected to any position â€“ weâ€™d venture to guess â€“ anywhere in the U.S.Â Sherry is all about loving the people she serves. She is an active supporter of the senior community, and a member and chairman of our own Senior Center.Â Other than showering people with love, there has not been an issue she has singularly embraced or spoke on. Her platform seems to be that she wants to do whatâ€™s best for the people of the city, even when decisions are hard.
Our Answer:Â How can you not adore this woman? Anytime someone makes their decisions based on love, you know they have your best interest at heart. Very viable candidate.
Photo credit: La Vergne City Hall facebook page.
Calvin Jones has a campaign slogan, â€œA Fresh New Voice for the People.â€ We donâ€™t know a lot about him except what we saw during the FOP Forum on emergency services. He said police need to be more community-friendly, going throughout neighborhoods shaking hands with people. He also wants to see every house have a green house number posted so emergency responders can find them more easily and doesnâ€™t believe that would cost too much money.
Photo credit: Mr. Jones’ facebook page under public view.
Our Answer: Â His appearance does appear professional â€“ which would be good for the city.Â However we arenâ€™t convinced that he has done much research on the city. We already have a wonderful community liaison officer who is constantly at schools working with children, teachers and parents. She organizes neighborhood watch programs and has a team of other police that help with community events such as National Night Out. We have to wonder if this candidate is in-touch with our community events.Â Also, as far as the house numbers signs go, ours cost about $10. If you have about 11,500 houses in the city and no one has one, it would cost $115,000. Letâ€™s assume that a third of the people already have one, so that brings the cost down to $76,670. Â We just donâ€™t see spending what could be the salary of a new police officer to put house numbers out when our emergency responders already have GPS. Possibly viable if he does more homework and becomes more supportive of existing city workers.
- Increase the number of public safety personnel (more police, more fireâ€¦done)
- Create a better revenue source with more jobs and retail (Saks Fifth Ave., Feed the Children, Dollar General, Speedway, Holdrite, Walmart coming, Ajax Turner, need we go on?…done)
- Explore and implement ways to restore home values in La Vergne. (New playground in Lake Forest, greenway in Dove Creekâ€¦ done)
- I want our current ordinances followed and I want the new council to begin work on strengthening certain ordinances that will clean up how we present our city to future residents as well as future commercial development. (And this is why â€œoldâ€ La Vergne or longtime residents are not happy. They are being held to standardsâ€¦ done)
- I feel that we can overcome any major tax increases and citizens can live a very comfortable life in this Great city. Â (Sadly, this one did not come true. Upon taking office, the current administration learned just how badly the city was in the hole â€“ even to the point of not being able to make payroll. Secrets of the past administration bit hard here. Important to note that in her first month of office, as mayor, she had to sign a settlement check for $850,000 +/- for the city being found guilty of discriminating against former employees while under the watch of former Mayor Ronnie Erwin and City Administrator Mark Moshea.)
- Ethics will be put into our city government. We have a wonderful diverse environment in our city and I want everyone to be treated equally. (This has been done and people donâ€™t like it. They donâ€™t like having to follow rules, ordinances, and regulations. But is has been done.)
- I would love to see all workshops, meetings, and budget hearings etc. shown on channel 3 that are not currently shown. I want a professional atmosphere established within this city and the highest of standards set forth. (Done)
As far as her promises now, she is going to continue holding employees accountable for their job performance â€“ and doing their jobs legally, morally ethically. She also expects everyone to follow codes and ordinances â€“ no exceptions, no special favors.
Our Answer: Keep up the good work. “You have enemies? Good. That meansÂ you’ve stood upÂ for something, sometime in your life.” â€“ Winston Churchill. Remember, a person whoÂ neverÂ made a mistakeÂ neverÂ triedÂ anythingÂ new. Very viable candidate.
Photo credit: Her door hanger for the 2014 election.
Dennis Waldron has on most of his campaign signs, â€œKeep taxes low.â€Â Our question is does he intend to lower them?Â If he lowers them, some city services must be cut since the city is already at the bare bones.Â What will he cut?Â A city worker recently asked him that and his somewhat rambling reply was that he wasnâ€™t going to cut taxes, he was just not going to raise them. We say NO ONE is going to raise them because we now (finally!) have a balanced budget. Another suggestion he has made is to instruct directors to cut 5% from their budgets or their staff would not get raises. Again, when directors are already operating at bare-bone budgets, what will they cut? I suppose they can cut back on the chipper service or their staff wonâ€™t get raises. Or they can close the library an extra day a week or their staff wonâ€™t get raises. You see where this is going? He wonâ€™t be accountable to staff not getting raises. His directors would be. And they canâ€™t cut or citizens will suffer from fewer services. He has made numerous other promises around town:
- He intends to give some terminated employees their old jobs back and move trained employees to different crappier jobs.Â We ask why he would give people their jobs back who have been terminated for intimidation and hostile work environments, having sex on the job, coming to work high or drunk, lying, stealing, and more.
- Lower water bills. Again, how would he do this is we are on state probation? Do you think the comptrollerâ€™s office will just roll over and say, â€œYouâ€™re right. You should go ahead and operate with negative net assets.
- Make the fire department all volunteer. He says publicly that he wouldnâ€™t do that, yet he has told many people throughout town that this is his exact intention.
- Have the sheriffâ€™s office provide law enforcement for the city. What kind of response time do you think youâ€™d get then?
- He has said the entire codes department needs to go. This after his familyâ€™s property was cited multiple times for trash. And remember the dump operating illegally on his family property where the state had to step in? One wonders why he doesnâ€™t approve of the codes department doing their jobs.
- If he is elected, he will allow the church on Old Nashville Highway to open regardless whether itâ€™s legal or not.
- He was kidding, right?Â Get out of jail free may have been a joke, but it makes our city look like a bunch of rednecks.
We have talked with numerous folks who have his sign in their yard because of his history of intimidation and bullying. They were afraid to say no. And others have said they have his yard signs because he told them he was running for alderman.
Our Answer:Â Like another candidate, it sounds like he thinksÂ longtime residents should be treated differently than everyone elseâ€¦ With extensive codes complaints and violations, bullying, and telling people only what they want to hear to get a vote, he is definitely not a viable candidate in any way, shape or form.
Photo credit: This is La Vergne previous article.