Transparency Begins at City Hall

I attended the Board of Mayor and Aldermen workshop last night – along with Deborah B. – and some of the items discussed are definitely worth flagging at this time.  One issue was that the City *must* consider increasing the sewage rates because Nashville has more than doubled what city residents are now paying.  As a result, the city is eating the additional fees – to our detriment as residents because … well because the city has no money to do this.

Mayor Senna Mosley said (and even though this is in quotes, I’m really paraphrasing), “If you need to buy a loaf of bread but the price of wheat has gone up, the cost of the bread also goes up through no fault of the grocer.  But you still have to pay for the bread.”  The point is that the city has no control over what Nashville charges and it has reached the point where it can no longer afford to carry the costs for residents.  The price has gone up from $.47 to $1.27 p/X number of gallons.

Mayor Mosley proposes that as the fees are increased, the public be informed of the details through a number of avenues: Channel 3, online, and more.  In addition, at one point the Mayor suggested that the city budget be made easily available for residents.  Both Deborah and I want to chime in that this is a good move.  People are more knowledgeable than given credit… we do know what “line item” means and how to read budgets.  So kudos to the city if they do take this step in making government operations more transparent.

The next meeting is scheduled on December 7th at 7:00 p.m.  If you want to make a day of it, come to the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony beginning at 5:00 p.m., take a dinner break, then come back for the meeting.

Are there other ways you think the city can be more transparent for residents?

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13 Responses

  1. The city should have an official Facebook page, which would be a very efficient way of disseminating information. I’m sure most residents spend a lot more time on Facebook than watching Channel 3. Though, sometimes I do turn it on when I get a hankering to hear some rad 80’s tunes.

    Also, they could offer an RSS feed from the website.

    • A Facebook page would be great, especially since you only get Channel 3 if you subscribe to Comcast. I didn’t know that until we switched over to satellite!

  2. I talked to Matt last night and he said they are setting up an RSS feed. When it’s up, we’ll link to it on this site so everyone can see all the announcements.

  3. Seems like I heard that an official facebook page was in the works. I don’t know when it will launch though.

  4. La Vergne’s EG (education/government) TV Channel in available on Comcast Channel 3, AT&T Channel 99, and on the City’s website at http://channel3.lavergnetn.gov via video stream. Additionally, we plan to launch a social networking page and as Kathy said, an RSS feed during the first part of 2011.

    • Thanks for the info, Matt. I never thought to check the City’s website for a video stream. We switched to Direct TV early this year, and I was not happy that we lost Channel 3!

  5. off the subject but I am hearing that Tuesday nights meeting is going to be interesting….anyone know if this rumor is true?

  6. I’ve heard that the Mayor isn’t on city sewer even though she has lived at the same address all these years so I guess it won’t make any difference to her water bill.

    • I am on a septic system also (a result of living in an older neighborhood in LaVergne). On septic, we buy monthly supplies to keep our system functioning. We are responsible for replacing the entire tank, etc. should it go bad – at an expense ranging from $4,000 to $6,000. In my opinion, just as we have to bear the expense of managing our own waste management system, so should people using the public sewer.

      I just don’t think it’s right for the city to bear the cost of the system … the proposal is to break even, not to profit from the increase.

      On a side note… if I could hook up to public sewer without it costing me a couple thousand, I would. Removing the worry of a septic system failure would sure be nice. I would love to be able to have a garbage disposal, to not worry about flushing certain things down, and to not freak if grease gets poured into the sink (thank you teenagers).

      • “I just don’t think it’s right for the city to bear the cost of the system … the proposal is to break even, not to profit from the increase.”

        I totally agree with this, because ultimately it’s the taxpayers who bear the cost, and why should all have to pay for a system that some use? The people who use it should pay, and I am one of those people.

      • so happy all i have to do is pick up phone,,hello water works,,its broke come and fixs it,,

    • you must not know are mayor .and im sewer,cause of flooding,my sewer pump has went out 3 times in 9 years,,city replaced it,,hummmmm 1,200.oo a pop.mayor mosley is not a taker,,she is a giver,she knows hard times,and she wouldn’t take money out of are pocket unless.she had done looked under every rock not too,

  7. In fairness, the city isn’t losing all that money everytme someone flushes the toilet.

    The city charges a sewage rate based on the amount of water you use. So if all of your water goes down the toilet, your sewage use is probably accurate. But if you use water to do things like drink, cook, water lawns/plants, fill pools, etc., then you are still paying for sewage.

    If La Vergne has to increase the sewage rate, I can see why, but maybe consider giving us break in the summer (like mos communities) on the sewage, for those of us who water plants!

    And could we not get a better deal on sewer by partnering with Smyrna instead of Nashville?

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