A New Chapter

On February 2nd of this year, we celebrate the fifth anniversary of This is LaVergne.com.  My first post was called Welcome to LaVergne and I simply pulled information about how the city got its name,

The history of the City goes back to the 1700’s when the ancestors of some of La Vergne’s current residents settled in the area to begin their new life. The man the city was named after, Francois Leonard Gregorie de Roulhac de lavergne, eventually moved to Tennessee from France.

Relatively new to LaVergne, I wanted to get to know people.  I looked around and was inspired by This is Smyrna… “Genius!” I thought.  What a great way to get involved AND to do something I loved – writing.  Even then, I thought our little site here could become an important source of news since there was no newspaper or other media dedicated solely to the city.  Even in my little bitty home town of 3,000 people in Kentucky, there was a weekly paper … not so in LaVergne.

And so we began.

We’ve had some ups and downs in these last five years.  It’s pretty clear this is not a drama-free zone, but that’s the nature of what happens when people are given the opportunity to exercise their first amendment right to free speech.  Unless commenters tiptoed into the dangerous territory of causing Ivy and me possible liability issues, readers have had free reign to speak their minds.

Many people have gained our trust.  I hope I earned yours in return because I applied for and today accepted the position of Public Relations Director with the City of LaVergne.  Here are my qualifications for the position.

  • B.S. in the communications field
  • 15 years at The Council of State Governments
    • 2 years as Research Associate publishing The Book of the States and supplementary directories
    • 13 years as Communications Manager for the National Association of State Treasurers
    • 10 years as lead staff of the College Savings Plans Network (where we lobbied and gained federal tax exemption on earnings for State 529 plans) and the State Debt Management Network
      • lead staff in talking with national media about 529 plans
      • conference planning of up to 12 events per year
      • oversight of all written and electronic communications
    • 1 year as Communications Specialist with the University of Kentucky in the Tobacco Research & Development Center
    • And all kinds of other stuff that I’ll be glad to share with you if you ask, including real estate, newsletters, speech writer, web design, brochure design, award-winning writer, editor, publisher, and more.

What will this mean for TiLaV?  First, we are very fortunate to have people in the city who recognize This is LaVergne can be used as an important communications tool for our town and its residents.  This is LaVergne lives on.  My friend and colleague Ivy is taking over as the lead administrator of the site.  Our other writers will continue their interesting and informative posts, as well.

Like the house guest who won’t leave or the bad song stuck in your head, I’ll still be hanging out here.  However, my role will be different.  Effective January 31st, my posts will be news from the city as the Public Relations Director. If there are other things I want to write about and they do not conflict with my new position, I’ll speak up.  (For example, I will continue to post lame pictures of birds and flowers… hahahaha…)

Ultimately, residents found a voice through This is LaVergne and we’d love more writers to volunteer to keep that voice loud and clear.

Meanwhile, I thank you for your support these last five years, LaVergne.

Open Thread: What Do You Want for Christmas?

Steve wants us to stop kicking the dead mule, so let’s try to talk about something new! What do you want for Christmas? What should Steve get for Christmas? Discuss!

(o:€

Open Thread: Holiday Craft Fair

Proof that I'm not a hoarder.

No, there isn’t one that I know of here in LaVergne.  I write this hoping there actually IS ONE that someone can tell me about!  I have the bug to go to a craft fair!  Wouldn’t it be a marvelous idea for the city to hold one either at the Multipurpose Building or the Civic Auditorium in early December?  I make beaded ornaments that are nice, but want to learn how to make jewelry.  HEY!  Maybe offer a class on making jewelry?!

I think I’ll mosey down to the Mayor and Aldermen workshop tonight at City Hall.  The meeting starts at 5:00 p.m.  Who else is coming?

What’s on your mind, LaVergnians?  LaVergnites?  LaVergnians definitely.

Open Thread Friday: What’s on Your Mind?

Glorious fall colors!  High school wonkiness. Politicking. Voting. Price of gas keeps going up.  Cupcakes.  Laundry.  Deer legs and dogs. Chilean miner rescue.  6:00 a.m. alarm. And where in the world is that pee smell coming from.  Now you know what’s on my mind. What’s on yours?

The Official This Is La Vergne Endorsement Post

First, I would like to thank the 12ish people who came to the meeting tonight. Your input was extremely valuable and we appreciate all of you. Let’s talk a bit about the process we used to come up with an endorsement. We listed each candidate and discussed pros and cons of each person. We listed all we could think of, including some silly ones like one person’s con: “Doesn’t give away Twinkies.” There was also a lot of discussing of fonts that each candidate used for their signs. It was revealed that I am a font snob.

After we had discussed each candidate in every category, we then voted by a show of hands as to who the site should endorse. For the mayoral candidates, each person was allowed one vote. For the alderman candidates, each person was allowed three votes, since it was decided the site would like to endorse three candidates.

So, let’s get to the endorsing.

Mayor:

We spent quite some time discussing the three candidates for mayor. Each person has some great qualities about them. But there can be only one winner, and that winner was….

Senna Mosley

Some of the things that were mentioned about Senna were some of the really great things she did during the flood for the people of La Vergne. Many people who were there had a Senna-worked-tirelessly-during-the-flood story. Personally, at Old Timer’s Day I had a couple of different people tell me that Senna had been really good about checking up on them both during the flood and afterward.

Another thing people are very impressed with is that Senna is very accessible. She answers her cell phone and talks to the people who call. If she doesn’t answer when you call, she calls back very quickly. She answers questions on the site and is good about returning email.

She has great knowledge of the inner workings of the city, and does research things so she can form her own opinion. She is excited to lead the city in a new direction, and appears to be inexhaustible. Everyone who is friends with her states she is a really good friend.

So, kudos, Senna! You have a lot of very enthusiastic supporters.

I don’t want to leave the other two candidates out in the cold. Many positive things were said about both Ronnie Erwin and Mike Slinker. Everyone agreed that Ronnie is very likable. He’s a good guy. We’d like to have him on our bowling team, or we’d like to hang out with him and drink iced tea. But the general opinion was that Ronnie’s had 4 years as mayor of La Vergne, and not all that much has changed. Mike Slinker, well, people say he is very likable, and he has a good public image. There were some very major concerns about Mike’s campaign financial disclosure, however. It claims he has less than a thousand dollars into this election (both real money spent, like on signs and publications and “in kind”- including things like, the donated limo he used in the OTD parade) and therefore doesn’t have to provide an itemized campaign disclosure form. Those numbers seem a little off to many of the people who were at the meeting tonight.

Alderman:

Like I said ^ up there, we decided to endorse three people, and each person had three votes. Again, we spent quite some time discussing the candidates, and the three winners were:

Tom Broeker
Chris Farmer
Earl Wilson

(That’s in alphabetical order.)

Tom had some great supporters there, and there were other people there who didn’t know him personally, but liked his answers to the TiLV questionnaire and liked what they had heard about him otherwise. Some of the things people liked was that he presents a very professional image- something La Vergne could certainly use. He has management experience through the ball league and also through- crap, I didn’t write down the exacts, but he’s some kind of…union rep? (Tom, comment and let me know what, exactly, and I’ll fix this bit.) People who know him well said he is an absolute rock in a crisis situation. It was also thought he would be a great advocate for parks and rec.

Now, Chris, we found to be extremely well-informed, especially about public safety issues and our ISO rating. It is clear that he is willing to put in the time to really research an issue before making a decision. We think he is very approachable and intelligent. We also like the fact that, since he is a paramedic, he has the flexibility to be able to make a quick decision and is compassionate toward people. People also really liked his answers to our questionnaire. Really, the overwhelming theme tonight from the people who came out- not Kathy or me- that the questionnaire was pivotal in influencing people’s votes.

One person who really, really stood out on the questionnaire answers was Earl Wilson. People really felt like his answers were well thought out. Someone said they especially liked his answers because he used the common vernacular (heh, that’s my words. I think their words were “he was plain-spoken”). People really like it that he’s running because of his sons, to make this a city they’d like to stay in. And everyone that met Earl thought he was extremely likable. It was mentioned that he appears to be a very good listener.

We liked the other Alderman candidates, we did. One candidate I’d like to mention is Kandy Pierce, we liked her quite a bit. Kathy and I think that with a stronger mayor and stronger Board of Aldermen, she would really be able to do amazing things on the Beer Board. We hope, if she doesn’t happen to win for Alderman, that she would run again.

Again, we thank everyone for coming out tonight. We’d like to thank the Noodle House for providing tasty food and great service.

TiLaV Meet-Up Coming-Up

All readers and writers are invited to speak up tomorrow as we put our heads together to discuss who this site will formally endorse.  We are meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Noodle House on Murfreesboro Road in LaV (they have free wi-fi).  Ivy and another regular reader (Deborah) will be there to lead the discussion… I will be there, but probably late due to another unavoidable commitment.

We are asking the candidates to NOT attend this meeting.  Sorry, but we want everyone to feel comfortable voicing why or why not an endorsement should be given.  Of course, it’s a public restaurant so you have every right to come in…  so if you were planning on eating there already, that’s fine.  We’ll just point and whisper diplomatically talk about another office until your business is complete.

I have received a copy of one financial disclosure form already, but am going to try to get copies of all of them by tomorrow.  If any candidate wants to submit a copy of their copy (stamped by the election commission, please) I would sincerely appreciate not having to come up with the bucks on my own since I’m fairly broke right now.  If you want to submit your campaign financial disclosure form, please let me know by noon Tuesday (Oct 12) and drop it off at my office no later than 3:00 p.m. tomorrow (or call me). I work at Bob Parks Realty on Sam Ridley Parkway (next to Suntrust).

Finally, if any candidate seeking local office has anything to say before the endorsement, do so now or forever hold your peace!