Tuesday, June 05, 2007

And the Winner Is…

The initial notes from the YLC sponsored forum at up at Metroblogging. Here's my opinion of who I think came out on top of this debate.

This is the only forum I'll show up to, so today was pretty much the candidates' change to impress me. Going in, based on what I've read and researched, I was willing to toss my support in one of two directions: Karl Dean or David Briley.

Fortunately for those of us in attendance, there would be a little humor present, courtesy of longshots Kenneth Eaton and Cheryl Tisdale. So I decided what the heck; I'll open my mind and give any of these 7 folks a shot at my vote. They all would have a chance until they were eliminated, one by one:

1st Elimination: Cheryl Tisdale – I wanted to pull for her, but she didn't have enough ammo to take this one. I'm all for getting anyone involved in politics. I'm all for newcomers to the political sphere. But c'mon , Cheryl, you at least need to have something to say. I appreciate that you're an attendance officer at a school and that you don't like the way politics are done and you want to change them. But, you have to have something to say. When you're asked, "As mayor, what would you do to help with job growth?" you have to say something other than, "I think job growth is up to the individual. Everybody has to do their part at their job and do a good job." Also, Cheryl promised not to bring Nashville into the 21st century, but the 26th century. I appreciate the forward thinking, but planning like that is a little bit out of my range.

2nd Elimination: Bob Clement – Did you know that Bob used to be a Congressman? If not, he'll work that into every answer. I'm glad he's played the game on a national scale, but I don't care about that. Also, the name of the group you were speaking to was the YLC, not the DLC. I'm no Karl Rove, but I think you should know the name of the host organization if you're going to thank them from the mic. And, no one cares about your office of volunteerism. That's exactly the kind of bureaucratic fluff a Washington man would bring to Nashville.

3rd Elimination: Kenneth Eaton – I really thought ole Kenny could surprise us, but alas, he went down in flames. In his own words, he's a businessman who wants to run the city like a business. While I understand what you're saying, both Enron and Whole Foods are/were businesses. Please clarify which kind of business you'll run. And, I don't appreciate your 'no panhandling' zone. Good luck with that one.

4th EliminationBuck Dozier – Buck, you know how to say the right things. I appreciate your native-Nashvillian status, but that does not a mayor make. You've done quite a few things and your resume is long, but we need more dreams than memories in our next mayor. You had a chance today to really lay out where you'd like things to go, but you didn't offer anything new. Sorry.

3rd EliminationHoward Gentry – So close, Howard! You know a lot, and I believe you're a good man. But I don't think you have the ideas to step in there and bring the appropriate change to Music City. Like Buck, you're not laying out a vision for us. Everyone wants better schools and lower crime. But that's not what wins my vote. Tell me about how in 8 years I'll be walking with my kid downtown to see a baseball game in the shadow of new, green development while the small business I started is thriving and my kid's public school is tops and I have as many choices where to dine and play as any other city. Captivate and inspire me; don't placate me.

And the Winner Is – So it came down to the big two: Dean and Briley. In the back of my mind, Karl Dean always seemed more mayoral. Briley seemed cool, but young. But, it was Briley's vision that won me over.

Dean has great ideas for improving schools, growing businesses, and making Nashville a great place to live. He'd be a great mayor. But, Briley sees something. He sees something that is possible within the next 8 years. He sees a green city and he knows why our environmental awareness needs to improve. He makes me want to do my part to be a great citizen of this great city. And that's what it takes to get my vote.

Comments (13)

Thanks for the details. I have had such a good feeling about Briley based on almost everything I've read, with only a few exceptions. Good to hear your point of view.

Woodrow W.

5:47 PM

Sam - Seems to me that you, of all people, would be supportive of an office of volunteerism, anything to get the word out and coordinate opportunities to help our city and neighbors is a good thing. CoolPeopleCare is a very creative idea with a great mission but how will having a volunteer office in metro be "fluff"? Clement is the only candidate encouraging people to give back to the city of Nashville and providing them with a one stop place to find out how to do so, much like yourself. Are you afraid this might hurt your for-profit business that has a similar mission?

Ken Sanders

7:07 PM

I believe you sell Dozier short. He is realistic and knows the new mayor will have an absolute disaster budget to re-do after election. Ideas, dreams?...yes they can excite the politically naive. However, realistically you must admit anything new must be funded. Unless you want lots of new taxes, you'd better consider an experienced leader who can navigate the stormy waters.

I too am 100% on board with Briley. As a young voter, I want a mayor who can continue our urban renaissance, ensure affordable housing, make strides in improving our environment, and a mayor who can improve our rotting school system. Those are the things that are most important to me and David Briley, I think, is the candidate most likely to deliver.

Thanks for everyone's thoughts on this. Again, I was impressed with most of the candidates and cast my support with the one I feel best about.

Good thoughts here, Sam. I'm with you through the third elimination, and your perceptions and mine are pretty similar based on the forums I've seen (which did not include today's). I'm likely voting for Briley or Dean, but I'm not sure which yet.

I like both of them, so I find myself wishing that Briley had stuck with the vice-mayoral ticket so they both could be in office this fall.


3:47 PM

I am with Buck Dozier because he is a moral man with a long history of helping this community.


Read more about him if you don't know.


5:11 PM

I wasn't even there, but I have seen other mayoral forums and you basically hit it on the head! We need to make sure people are aware and informed of the best candidates. I'll definitely be forwarding your blog on to friends. I chuckled a few times! thanks


5:19 PM

More mayoral? Karl Dean? Have you ever shaken hands with the guy? He seems less personally engaging and comfortable with himself than even Purcell. In my opinion, he is very awkward in person and that does not strike me as mayoral.


5:27 PM

What do you mean when you say Buck Dozier is a "moral man"? Don't you recall - "Dozier resigned as fire chief after clashing with Purcell’s administration in 2000 over an audit of the Fire Department, which found excessive overtime and promotions. " The Tennessean

Just because someone is old and white and likes to have his picture taken throwing a football and pretending he is part of "The Greatest Generation" doesn't make him a "moral man."

And I certainly hope you don't mean to imply the other candidates aren't, except maybe Gentry who apprently got run out of his last job over some irregularities and Clement who has gotten deep in the muck on fundraising. I'm not aware of Dean's Metro Legal department being audited or Briley ever doing anything that smelled funny.

Lay off the lame platitudes and homage to old white guys as being somehow moral. That's as tired as W being truly patriotic while sending kids into a meat grinder.

Awesome post. I have noticed at two forums that Briley, Dean and Gentry are much more intelligent than the others. Gentry doesn't seem to have a chance, though. After those 3, there is a significant brain-power drop-off. Clement may be the front-runner because of name recognition, but it's painful to listen to him talk. I actually feel sorry for him. He can't do anything but repeat his memorized lines. It must not be rocket science to hide among a sea of Congressmen in DC. But it does take brains to be the chief executive of a city on the move. Clement seems like such a nice man, but he just doesn't have it. I have also chosen to vote for Briley because he offers thoughtful SPECIFICS of what he'll do, not just general end-goals (reduce the high-school drop-out rate; reduce crime; support business; yada yada yada. . . ). Even Dean is guilty of ducking the specifics a little bit, though I still like him. If either Briley or Dean make the run-off, and the other doesn't, then I'll vote for the one who does. If they both do, then I think I'll stick with Briley.


10:52 AM

Sam hit it on the nose. I also attended the DLC...stike that, the YLC forum and left with the same conclusions.

As a matter of fact, I was so enthused to hear someone with vision that made good sense and would have a definitive positive impact on the city, that I immediately emailed David Briley to let him know I was in full support of his campaign.

I only had one concern. Although I also share a vision of a "Green" city and appreciate cadidate Briley's attempt to differentiate himself with an environmental message, I don't think that I am in the majority. It's probably difficult to deliver the green message. Without understanding what it means for a city to be green, people will be divided into two camps. One side will automatically believe that environmental efforts equal roadblocks to new business. The other side will think, neato...green is good. Point being that unless the public puts in the effort to understand the issue, it will be up to candidate Briley to inform and educate.

It's my greatest hope that enough of the voting public agree and help elect David Briley mayoral office.

Thank you for the Cliff notes.