Oh logic how we miss you. It appears this Board of Mayor and Aldermen so desperately want to say they cut taxes that in one moment the mayor said, “We need more revenue,” and the next moment he says, “But we’re going to cut taxes by 2.5 cents.”
If you watch the YouTube video of the budget workshop on April 9, 2015 or if you watched the budget workshop live last night (April 13), you’ll see that the city really needs the approximately $170,000 revenue we are losing with that property tax cut. We still have sewer projects that need to be completed that city experts have been begging for for 10 years. We should have about 80 sworn police officers at this point and only have 52 (maybe 51). On one notorious facebook site where all the complainers hang out, they are wheezing on and on about how unsafe it is in one of our city parks. Guess what folks? One Plus One Equals Two. When you don’t have enough police to patrol streets, you probably also don’t have enough police to beef up patrols at the city parks. And their beloved board wants to cut funding even more!
UPDATE: We understand that in today’s home valuations, the 2.5 cent tax cut would cut $200,000 from the city budget, not $170,000.
170,000 200,000 per year. That’s about $15 per household in taxes you’ll save this year. Of course that amount could go up a little or down a little depending on the value of your home. If you have a $100,000 house, for example, you’ll save $6.25 every year. So if you have a $100,000 house your $6.25 savings from the tax cut would have allowed the city to hire almost FIVE new police officers. Those five police officers might just keep you a little bit safer.
But we need to raise revenues, so let’s cut revenues. Seriously. This is what our mayor is saying.
Want to know what else he wants to do? Because Smyrna allegedly cut all money to non-profit, philanthropic organizations, he wants LaVergne to do the same. If anyone reads this and lives in Smyrna, could you verify that your city no longer offers financial assistance to organizations like the Smyrna Food Bank and Meals on Wheels and Boys & Girls Club? Because our mayor and probably the majority of board members (read: Calvin Jones and Melisa Brown and probably Sherry Green) are planning on cutting ours in half this year and completely by next year.
This means that about 20 shut-ins, disabled folks, and senior citizens from LaVergne will no longer get a daily meal from Meals on Wheels. This means that the Child Advocacy Center that works with children from our community who have been sexually assaulted or abused will not have funding from our city to help those children. This means that the poorest of our poor will have a harder time getting food from the food bank when they’re hungry because there just won’t be enough to go around. This means that our children who are part of Club Knockout will no longer have a place to go for their boxing program. Which means they’ll probably be hanging out at the park making it even more dangerous because they have nothing else to do!
See how that circular thinking works? Two Plus Two Equals Four.
And yet the Board is adding $25,000 back into the budget to finance an organization that does nothing for the city. The Rescue Squad does hold a monthly country ham breakfast where all the politicians gather. But that’s about it. They no longer do extrication because the city has a full-time, fully trained fire department that does this. They are giving money back to these people in a quid pro quo move (they campaigned heavily for them). But the Board of Mayor and Aldermen want to cut funding for the Chamber of Commerce’s economic development initiatives. And funding for RTA which provides the bus service through town for people trying to get to jobs or college in Nashville and Murfreesboro. And funding for Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency (the little bus that takes poor people to appointments, etc.). And funding for the Smyrna LaVergne Assistance Coalition that helps people with utilities that have been shut off. And funding for CASA of Rutherford County that makes sure children’s voices in court are heard. And funding for the Greater Nashville Regional Council that funds a big chunk of our senior center.
Remember when we talked about some of the things that would get cut if Dennis Waldron won the mayoral race? Here it is.
Culture funding costs $136,244 every year. That is money that goes to Meals on Wheels, the Smyrna-LaVergne Food Bank, and more. Wait. The alderman said he supports relief for seniors. Because Meals on Wheels serves seniors and disabled, we can’t cut that completely. Instead we will cut the culture fund in half to $68,122. There goes the boxing program for troubled youth, there goes rehab support for our fire and police personnel for long emergency scenes in bitter cold or searing heat. There goes Read to Succeed funding for LaVergne.
Well citizens. This is the time to make your voices heard. Call your elected officials and let them know if you want the 2.5 cent reduction in your taxes – averaging about 78 cents a month. Is it worth it? Here’s how you can reach them:
Dennis Waldron (615) 397-7027 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sherry Green (615) 793-6982 or email@example.com (but she doesn’t do email)
Tom Broeker (615) 207-8030 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Melisa Brown (615) 653-0787 or email@example.com
Calvin Jones (615) 653-8075 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Let them know what you think about the 2.5 cents tax reduction (for or against) AND let them know what you think of the defeat of the Farmers Market because apparently it’s not yet dead even though they killed it at the last meeting. (At least that’s what the mayor told Channel 2 news.)
And speaking of the Farmers Market proposal. The mayor said he didn’t think it was fair for flea market people or people who want to have yard sales that a Farmers Market would be allowed. Wonder why?
Because, apparently, the mayor Dennis Waldron is very much into flea markets. He had this booth set up last week.
He leads the charge to defeat our citizens from getting fresh produce through a Farmers Market because “it wasn’t fair to flea market and yard sale vendors.” And there he is. Selling his own items at a flea market. In his mayor’s shirt.
If you call the mayor, let him know how you feel about him representing our city (which he is doing by wearing his mayor shirt) while selling products at a flea market. He is making sure no one else can compete with his junk.
One final note regarding the sprinkler ordinance that is again on the table. The mayor recently said in front of a group of employees that he would cut funding to the Engineering, Planning and Codes Departments if that measure does not go through because they wouldn’t be needed anymore. He is threatening employees with their jobs if the board doesn’t get their way. How’s that for leadership?
They. Don’t. Care. About. You, LaVergne."We Need More Revenue So Let's Cut Revenue",