Sunday, June 21, 2015

The June 19th NashForward Millennial Mayoral Debate at Belmont University

If you missed this debate last Thursday at the Belmont University's McAfee Concert Hall you didn't miss much. However, if you want to watch the debate, here it is:

The Tennesseean has written something about the debate every day since Thursday, sometimes two or three things a day, but they have essentially wasted a lot of ink. There is just not that much to say about the debate. It was pretty boring and did not provide much insight as to who would be the best person to be Nashville's next mayor.

In one piece, The Tennessean said the seven candidates played, "to what they believe are their strengths." I would agree with that.  In an "unscientific poll" of 7,000 people who voted in an online poll, this is who that 7,000 people said won: Freeman  27%, Charles Robert Bone 25 %, Megan Barry 17 %, Jeremy Kane 13 %, Linda Eskind Rebrovick 8 %, David Fox 6 %, and Howard Gentry 4 %.  This tells you more about who chose to spend resources getting their supporters to vote in the poll rather what a cross section of what people really think.

In another piece in the Tennessean, Five takeaways from Thursday's Debate, The Tennesseean offered these points; (1) After more than 40 forums, the candidates have answered your questions, (2) Candidates are playing it safe, (3) Freeman is still the target, (4) Freeman might be his own worst enemy, and (5) No one won Thursday. That about sums it up.

My takeaway from this is that Bill Freeman may be replacing Megan Barry as my least favorite candidate. I am especially tuned off by Freeman's position that our schools are doing just great and we need to simply accentuate the positive. Howard Gentry dropped a point in my favorability rating, when asked what he would do to ensure that economic growth does not hurt current residents by  saying he would create an Office of Equity to ensure all that development helps the current community. In my view we do not need to be stiffing growth and we do not need another bureaucracy. Fox answered the same question by saying he would look at freezing taxes of current residents so growth does not force people out of their homes. I like that answer.

In response to the question about affordable housing, David Fox again distinguished himself by indirectly saying he did not support housing price control by saying, "I'm a 'carrot' guy; not a 'stick' guy," and saying he would support incentives for those who build affordable housing. I liked that answer better than any of the others.

In response to the question, who would you vote for among the candidates if you were not running, other of the candidates did not answer the question but David Fox said Jeremy Kane, Jeremy Kane said Howard Gentry, Howard Gentry said David Fox, and Bill Freeman said Linda Reborvik.

Some weeks ago, I reached a conclusion that David Fox was my preferred candidate. There is not a close second choice. This debate reinforced that decision that Fox is my number one choice. In this debate, however, if I had to rank the candidates, a second place choice would be either Rebrovic, Kane, or Gentry followed by Bone and my least favorite would probably be a tie between Barry and Freeman.

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