The overriding issue in this election is to elect a District Councilman who will:
– help you – make Metro work for you!
That is my number one issue. Getting government to work for you. From zoning to traffic to storm water to taxes, and everything in between that properly falls under the Metro umbrella.
ECONOMY: As an individual councilman, I will encourage and support efforts by our business leaders, political leaders, and community leaders to maintain and improve education, to spur innovation and new businesses, to grow existing businesses, which will improve the quality of life in Nashville. Show me your plan and document your facts. Emotion and zeal are great, our economy rests on those who will do the work, do the planning, and execute the plan.
EDUCATION: We have a Elected School Board who is responsible to hire a school superintendent. The Superintendent is accountable to the School Board for the resources provided and the result obtained. We need to work with the school board to ensure they hold the proper levels of accountability within the school system and provide the necessary resources. We should set the expectations for our students (and their parents) to a high level to help prepare them for their future. We should encourage programs to best provide for all levels of academic achievement. There is no reason for our school system to fail in its mission to educate our students.
GOVERNMENT FINANCING: The same challenges that individuals have in their financial life, governments at all levels face the challenge of paying for everything they want. We have debt to pay for prior capital improvements and debt for “obligations” to be incurred in the future – such as retiree health and retirement. Before new debt is incurred, we must determine how we will pay off this debt in future years. And before we build new capital improvements, we must identify how we will pay for increased staffing, facility maintenance as well as paying off the debt on the new project. (Think of the new Jail and Police HQ just announced as examples. 30 years for a building to be unsafe and not worth maintaining is unacceptable). We all like nice shiny new things, so let’s just put a proper price tag on it, budget for operational costs, and prioritize what we can afford.
PUBLIC SAFETY: Along with education, one of the primary reasons for government to exist at all. We will encourage Fire/Police/Ambulance services to be maintained at suitable levels and support efforts by all public safety agencies to provide those necessary first-line services to protect all of us. As a former volunteer firefighter, who depended on relationships with police and ambulance professionals, I understand the needs for emergency services to be staffed and coordinated.
Re-ZONING: The largest part of a district councilman’s time (at least in this part of town) is involved in re-zoning issues. I will have all owners/developers wishing to re-zone property hold informational meetings to inform the neighbors of their intentions and specific plans. We will develop a plan to cost-effectively notify neighbors in the district. All sides should be heard and accounted for when re-zoning existing property for new uses not already allowed for. The Planning department should have some overall goals and plans, but never a veto over local citizens. As a homeowner, I have a financial investment in my community and expectations that if government will allow changes that impact my property – to be informed and given a chance to be involved in the process. Many developments in the 4th (and the old combined 31st) district were improperly designed, or the political process trumped logic in the layout (and sizing) of neighborhood roads. The density has to be better managed BEFORE it is built. I have attended far too many informational meetings, community meetings, and planning commission meetings. Citizen involvement is crucial so some plan that someone else created isn’t used as a crutch to change our neighborhood into something the current residents do not want or understand.
TRAFFIC and ROADS: The South-South-East portion of Davidson County has been growing for decades and both traffic and roads need to be addressed. Thru-traffic needs to be directed to major roads and discouraged as neighborhood cut-thrus. Main roads need to have the capacity to handle the traffic. Metro Police need to have the resources to monitor and enforce unsafe practices.
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