Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Talks Vaccine Incentives, Response, and County Owned Hosptials

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Talks Vaccine Incentives, Response, and County Owned Hosptials

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to discuss Nashville’s continuing COVID vaccine incentives, Maury County Health Department’s community response, and county-owned hospital stats.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our good friend Andy Ogles, mayor of Maury County. Andy, a couple of local stories of note here at the tennesseetar.com. Nashville Mayor John Cooper has announced an incentive for flu and COVID vaccination. Did you see that one?

Ogles: No, I’m going to tennesseetar.com right now to try to catch up.

Leahy: Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced a new incentive for residents to get their COVID vaccine and flu shot. Cooper tweeted earlier this week that anyone needing their annual flu shot or COVID vaccination could meet, wait for it…NFL alumni today, December 14th from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Nissan Stadium. It’s not exactly like the free pizzas that they’ve given away in public schools in California to kids to get the vaccines without their parents’ approval. What do you think?

Ogles: I guess if you were going to get it anyway and it’s an opportunity to meet some of your NFL favorites, why not? But I mean, when you’re having to bribe people to take it, that should tell you something about the will and kind of the free market and the marketplace.

And we’ve gone past the level of absurd when there’s no data that you should be giving the vaccine to minor children. And yet there’s this push to vaccinate five and six-year-olds. They’ve got a 99.99 percent survival rate.

And now with the Omicron variant out there, which is very transmissible. But all indications are the symptoms are mild. This thing is breaking and hopefully will continue to dilute itself. And yet we’re pushing the vaccine. Unfortunately, I hate to be conspiracy-minded, but it follows the money at this point.

Leahy: This vaccine incentive at Nissan Stadium from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. today, those attending will be able to meet retired NFL members and receive a holiday photo with the Titans mascot and team cheerleaders and be entered into a free raffle of NFL alumni signed footballs along with food and giveaway. NFL members attending include Chris Sanders, Neil O’Donnell, Al Smith. Two thousand one Titans are calling.

Ogles: There you go.

Leahy: These are long retired guys. (Chuckles)

Ogles: Again, whatever. I think we’re all over COVID. You look at anecdotally the Christmas tree lighting there in Franklin had a huge crowd of I think it was 12 or 13 thousand. It should be noted that the Christmas tree lighting in Maury County had over 20,000. Ours was bigger than Franklin, but that bastion of freedom. I think people are ready to move on and get back to life. And I think what I’ve been preaching for a long time is COVID is here. It may become an annual event and we’ve got to learn to adapt and live with it and to keep life moving forward.

Leahy: Mayor Cooper loves incentives for people to get vaccinated. Earlier in the year, they partnered with American Airlines to refer to win. They had a program there. It explained that anyone receiving a COVID booster shot could write down the name of whoever recommended they get the booster shot and then be entered to win a set of American Airlines plane tickets.

You’ll have to wear mask, though of course, if you go on that airline. Once you won that there were over 300 destinations the winner could choose from. Yeah. Okay. The contest ran from November 8th to the 22nd. But the winners were never announced.

Ogles: (Laughter) Wah, wah, wah.

Leahy: They had another refer to win raffle which promised Nashville residents with prizes such as Predator season tickets, multiple different gift cards, and one-year memberships at local Nashville attractions.

There are right now today, as we speak in Davidson County, 1,595 active cases. There have been 1,226 deaths and a total of 123,000 recovered cases reported.

Leahy: Now, Andy, have you been tracking this new Omicron variant?

Ogles: Omicron. That’s right.

Leahy: You know which letter proceeds it? Xi. They skipped that over. I wonder why?

Ogles: Well, because it’s the China virus, and they didn’t want to state the obvious.

Leahy: Can you imagine if it came out as the Xi variant? Because that was like the next Greek letter up for these variants.

Ogles: Yeah. Obviously, emergency management and aas County Mayor, the governor has vested a lot of authority with your County Mayor when it comes to public health. Then the General Assembly reaffirmed that authority during their special session.

And so, yeah, it’s something that I’m grayer because of. Following the data, talking to the doctors, there is hope in the medical community that the Omicron is the variant that ushers in the end of COVID as far as how lethal it is.

Leahy: The reporting is that it is not as nearly as lethal as the other variants. And also, although I did see a report that said it’s not confirmed that the first Omicron death in the United Kingdom has been recorded.

Ogles: That’s right. Yes, I saw that. Without getting into the pathology and all the others. But the Delta variant was much more aggressive. It particularly loved the fat cells in your lungs. Whereas when you look at your comorbidities in order, typically in the previous variants, it was heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and then pulmonary issues.

But with the Delta variant, there was an emphasis on obesity. And so you had individuals that were even mildly obese, were much more susceptible to extreme illness with Delta. And again, the protocols, the treatment, the therapeutics, all the things that doctors have, which really spurs a whole nother conversation.

You’ve got these nurses and doctors on the front lines giving everything they have to save lives. And then with these mandates through CMS, they’re suddenly discarded. Now, fortunately, the courts in Louisiana stepped up and said, we’re going to put a stay on this when it comes to forced vaccinations and firing our frontline workers.

But our nurses and doctors and CNAs and all these people working in our health care facilities are heroes, and they should not be discarded because they don’t want the vaccine. They’ve been working in this environment for almost two years without a vaccine. And now, as it’s waning, you’re going to fire them?

Leahy: Yes. This is kind of crazy. Let’s talk a little bit about the relationship that you have with the public health department in Maury County, the public health department of the state of Tennessee. There are 95 counties in the state, right?

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: And in six of them, there are separate independent public health departments that have been constrained by recent legislation but have been historically somewhat independent. How does it work? Maury County is not one of those six counties. How does it work in Maury County?

Ogles: So we have a county department of health, and it’s run by a board. I’m on it. I actually serve as the chairman. But just like Maury County, because of where we’re situated geographically, our infrastructure, our hospital is a regional hospital.

We serve nine counties, and our department of health serves much in the same way. So whether it’s AIDS treatments or TB clinics or some of those more significant illnesses that require much more in-depth treatments, they’ll come to our health department because we have this regiment and the capacity to handle it.

And so everything that we were doing in Maury County, both from a hospital side, which is county-owned, and the health department, which I’m the chairman of the board impacted more than just one county. It was impacting the entire Southern Middle Tennessee.

Leahy: How is the operation of the Maury County public health Department different from, let’s say, Davidson County because that’s one of the six that’s been independent.

Ogles: I can’t speak to the inner workings of Davidson County’s Nashville Health Department. But I can tell you that Andy Kenny, who runs the health department there in Maury County, has really done a stellar job.

When other counties, Williamson County, not to pick on them, we’re having trouble getting people signed up and tested, it was Maury County that filled the gap. I mean, we were having people in droves coming from Murfreesboro, Nashville, and Franklin because we had the ability and the facilities to test more people.

And so we really became kind of that stopgap where others were struggling. And then everybody came online. We were learning as we were going.

But that team there in Maury County, if you know anybody that works for the health department in Maury County, you need to give them a hug because they have done an amazing job these last two years.

Leahy: In Williamson County, the county basically owns the hospital.

Ogles: That’s right. Same setup in Maury County.

Leahy: How many counties in Tennessee is a local hospital owned by the county?

Ogles: It’s becoming rarer and rarer as you see more consolidation with Vanderbilt. And there’s a big system out in East Tennessee that’s by rural hospitals and now one in West Tennessee. So I would say Williamson and Maury, especially the size that we both are, is more of a rarity these days.

Leahy: And do you see that continuing, the county ownership of the hospital in Maury County?

Ogles: Yes. I think so. Again, we serve nine counties. We have satellite hospitals and triage centers. It works well in rural America, and we’ve kind of figured out how to do it. And so, obviously, healthcare is a fluid industry, and the influences could change, that would change that. But right now, I see no end in sight for our ownership of the hospital.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attorney Jim Roberts on Pending Litigation with Metro Legal and Nashville Business Coaltion

Attorney Jim Roberts on Pending Litigation with Metro Legal and Nashville Business Coaltion

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Nashville attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to confidently assure listeners that despite metro government’s fear-mongering the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act will 100 percent be on the July 27 ballot for a vote.

Leahy: We are joined by our good friend Jim Roberts, going to get an update on the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. Good morning, Jim.

Roberts: Good morning to you.

Leahy: How goes the litigation from Metro Legal and the very Nashville Business Coalition? Where does that stand now?

Roberts: Those folks have used a lot of your tax dollars trying to keep the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act from being on the July 27 ballot, but we are still on for the election that day.

The court has not ruled and suggested that it would rule today. So we’re all watching the court filing system with anticipation. Truthfully, only a dishonest opinion would keep this off the ballot.

The Davidson County Election Commission has made the decision to let the people vote on it as they should have and accept the vote on July 27, and only just the dishonesty of the Metropolitan Government is the only thing standing in the way. And they don’t have a very good argument.

Carmichael: Who is the attorney that’s arguing in favor of the referendum?

Roberts: That’s Jim Blumstein and the folks of the vote comments that are supporting his team. The Election Commission is on our side this time. They understand what we did, how we did it exactly as recorded rules, and they’re defending their decision, as they should.

Carmichael: One of our listeners sent me a text and the name of the listener will not be revealed, but this is what the listener says. I think you’ll get a kick out of it Jim. I am one of the few nerds who watched the Metro Council meetings.

If anyone has watched those meetings at all since the passage of the 34 percent tax increase, you’d realize they’re spending money as if there’s no tomorrow and throwing it out the window.

They even talk about how much money they have and their huge budget. The more money a government agency has or government entity has, the worse it becomes in serving the people.

That’s a Crom axiom. (Roberts chuckles) If we want good government in Nashville or the best government we can get under the circumstances, the amount of money they get needs to be constrained to a four to five percent increase a year.

Which is at this point the natural increase. And it may even, given all the teardowns and all the building that’s going on, it may actually be in the five to the six percent range. I don’t really know what it would be in the absence of the tax increase.

But I’m very happy to hear Jim that you are optimistic that the court will rule in our favor because all of the law is on our side. And then the trick is going to be because the forces that want Metro to have more money, they’ll spend probably over a million dollars to convince people to vote no.

If they vote yes, they constrain the government and give us a better government and force the mayor and the City Council to make some decisions that they should make. But they have no constraints to make them make these decisions.

And they need to be forced to make some tough decisions. And the only way to do it is for the voters to step in. I don’t know if you heard this, but Cooper actually said that the problems for the state of California had to do with the fact that their voters out there get to do things by referendum. Did you hear him say that?

Roberts: (Laughs) I did hear him say that. And the problem with California is the politicians won’t listen to the people even when they vote by referendum.

Carmichael: That’s exactly right. There’s a sense of desperation because I think that the mayor knows that the voters of Davidson County don’t want a 34 percent tax increase and will vote yes on the referendum.

Roberts: That’s right.

Carmichael: But then they’re going to spend a lot of money trying to convince the citizens of Davidson County that a 34 percent tax increase is necessary.

Roberts: Let me take one issue, though. I don’t think they’re going to spend any money trying to convince people that it’s a bad idea. What they’re going to do is try to scare people.

If you look at the advertisements from the pro-tax folks, it’s all scary, fear, police, and firefighters are going to be on the streets, and old people are going to die. There is no intellectual argument. It’s just dishonest fear-mongering.

Carmichael: That’s a very good point. And by the way, that’s exactly what Governor McWherter did when he was trying to pass the state income tax. He said things are so terrible at the state that will have to stop the school buses on April 1.

Don Sundquist, when he was trying to pass the state income tax, all of the media claimed that in the absence of a state income tax, that the state bond rating would fall to a junk rating or interest rate rates would skyrocket and our state would completely disintegrate.

And, of course, the income tax did not pass. And Tennessee has one of the highest bond ratings of any state in the country. So all of the fear-mongering, all of the things that these people say are, just as you say, are just merely fear-mongering.

And if the voters vote yes, then it’ll be up to Mayor Cooper to do his job and make the best decisions he can under some constraints that he doesn’t want to have put on him.

Roberts: That’s right. Last night I sat down and I looked up the budget from Metro from 10 years ago. I was trying to compare Memphis to Nashville. Our budget 10 years ago was about $1.5 billion.

Last night or two weeks ago, or when the Metro Council met, they voted a $2.6 billion budget. That means spending in Davison County has gone up to $100,000,000. a year for a decade.

What do you think is going to happen in the next 10 years? Another $100 million a year, at least. They’ve been on a spending spree that is well beyond our growth. Our population has increased.

Everybody knows that. But it’s gone up about since 2010. But our budget has more than doubled.

Carmichael: Wow!

Leahy: Jim, a question for you. What do you think the odds are that the people win? And what’s the probability that the decision will say the election is on for July 27th?

Roberts: I think it’s 100 percent. This is one of those situations that I just really believe in my heart that the court will know that it’s doing the wrong thing. If the court appeals it we will probably have to straighten it out if it does.

But I don’t see that. This is a good chancellor. And this is the chancellor that ruled in the FOP. He knows the law. He knows how it applies.

Carmichael: Let me say this, I think our judges are very good. I think our judiciary, the chancellors. This is not Chicago. This is not New Orleans.

We’ve got good judges here, and we should be thankful for that because our judges don’t get paid as much as they could make if they stayed in the private law business. And so I’m confident that the ruling, in this case, will be the right one, because I think we have good judges.

Leahy: When will we know something about this Jim? What time today?

Roberts: We’re waiting. The judge could have rolled the trial on the Metro, sued the voters originally. That trial was last week, and the order could have gone down any time. There was a second lawsuit by Metro against the Election Commission trying to get the Bob Mendes confusing ballot initiate on the ballot. As you know, the Election Commission chose not to put that very deceptive and confusing initiative on there.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crom Carmichael Compares Mayor John Cooper and Former Governor Don Sundquist on Tax Reform Discussions

Crom Carmichael Compares Mayor John Cooper and Former Governor Don Sundquist on Tax Reform Discussions

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to compare the propaganda of former Governor Don Sundquist to that of Mayor Cooper’s effort to falsely claim disaster if the Nashville tax referendum succeeds.

Leahy: We are joined now as we almost always are, at this time of the program, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by the original All-Star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Crom, good morning.

Carmichael: Good morning, Michael.

Leahy: Well, just for our listeners and just to remind them of why we call you the original All-Star panelist, you’ve been on the radio here in Nashville since the 1980s.

Carmichael: ’84.

Leahy: 1984, you were part of the original panel on Teddy Bart’s Round Table.

Carmichael: Well, Teddy had a show for years before he formed a panel. So I was one of the originals on his panel once he decided to have it.

Leahy: Obviously the original All-Star panelist. And I never met you until I moved to Nashville in 1991. I didn’t know anything about what was going on politically. And I listened every morning to the Teddy Bart’s Round Table.

And there was one voice of reason and logic in what was largely a bunch of Liberals. I mean, nice people, but Liberals there. And I kept listening. And there was that voice of reason and logic was Crom Carmichael. That’s why you are the original All-Star panelist.

Carmichael: Thank you.

Leahy: And we continue that tradition, by the way, with this program, because just as when I moved here and by the way, I moved from guess where?

Leahy & Carmichael: California.

Leahy: 1991. And just as I moved here and learned about Nashville and Tennessee politics by listening to Teddy Bart’s Round Table with the original All-Star panelist, Crom Carmichael.

Now today we have a wave of California refugees coming to Nashville, and they are learning about Tennessee and Nashville politics by listening to The Tennessee Star Report with the original All-Star panelist.

Carmichael: And hopefully they’re getting some insights that will help them think about Tennessee in Nashville by having a historical perspective on some of the things, which is what I want to get into when you are ready this morning.

Leahy: Well, I am ready after we talk about some fun stuff, some fun stuff Crom. Now I was out last week.

Carmichael: Having a big time.

Leahy: Going down to the beach, enjoying the beach. I love the beach. By the way, I love the waves coming in.

Carmichael: Very good.

Leahy: It comes from growing up in upstate New York, wherein the summer you would go to the lake. We didn’t go to the ocean. Too far away.

Beautiful Lakes, many of them made by glaciers. Very pristine. Not like lakes in Tennessee, which are kind of like damned muddy rivers sometimes. But nonetheless, I’ve always loved the waves, be it of a lake or of a gulf or of an ocean.

So it was a lot of fun. Now Crom, while I was away, and I’m gonna do this myself. Of course, we are big fans of the Glock Store here in Nashville. Lenny Magill, another California refugee, got sick of California who wouldn’t, by the way, moved hid headquarters here to Nashville.

And we were there at the Grand opening. Nashville Glock Store. They have graciously given us a Tennessee Star Glock 17. I think it’s about ready for you to pick it up.

Carmichael: Just about ready.

Leahy: Just about ready.

Leahy: You’re getting one. I’m buying one. And you and I are going to do some training there.

Carmichael: I’ve already started.

Leahy: So you started. We did a little shooting episode. It turned into a contest. You were better than I was.

Carmichael: I didn’t even know it was a contest.

Leahy: It wasn’t until after I discovered how much better you were than me. So that made me competitive to try to get better than you. That’s how it became a contest.

Carmichael: I got it.

Leahy: It didn’t start out that way. But, you know, I’m a little competitive. And it just riles me when somebody’s that much better than me at anything. And there you were better than me as a shooter. So they’ve invited us to come and do some training. So you did some training independent of me.

Carmichael: I’ve had a one-hour session.

Leahy: So you’re even more ahead of me.

Carmichael: With a different trainer. Not Mario. This was John. And John is a former military former police officer. A great guy and really understands firearms. And I learned some additional techniques.

We practiced on the three targets again. That’s what’s really neat about if they do out there, it’s not just a tunnel type of target.

Leahy: You watch all the cop shows and the police procedural shows. And when they go to shoot, it’s a range. It’s a very narrow range. It’s only one target. This is a shoot 270 situation. 270 degrees.

Carmichael: It’s 180. You’re having to move left Center, right, left, center, right or right, he tells you, go right, go left-center. So you got to move quickly.

Leahy: Got to be paying attention. You got to be paying attention.

Carmichael: But you also have to learn how to focus, how to focus and aim quickly.

Leahy: I thought you were quite good when I observed you. Very focused.

Carmichael: Anyway, I had a wonderful time, great instructor, and look forward to additional training sessions.

Leahy: I’m even further behind.

Carmichael: My office, by the way, it’s about a mile down the road, so that makes it very convenient.

Leahy: Well, if you wanted to be, what do they call these run and shoot competitions you could run from your office and then go and shoot.

Carmichael: At my age, I would do a brisk walk.

Leahy: We’ll have to call that a new sport. Brisk walk and shoot. We will expand our competition. It will be Mike and Crom’s brisk walk and shoot.

Carmichael: Let’s talk about what the world is going on and for our friends from out of state. I want to give a little bit of perspective as to why the idea of Mayor Cooper’s gigantic tax increase is such a terrible idea. They don’t need the money. They need discipline.

Leahy: There’s a lot of revenue coming in, but a lot of bad expenses going out.

Carmichael: Let me just give it a real simple example. Let’s say you have a ranch house. The way the tax law works here in Tennessee, and Metro has to adhere to it on property taxes, and you’ve got 150 feet frontage on the street.

Somebody will come along and buy that ranch house if it’s in a nice area and they will now pay seven or $800,000 for the house, and it’ll be a teardown. But that person who is living in that house was probably paying about $4 to 5,000 in taxes.

And then because you can’t, Metro can’t raise taxes on somebody’s house if it’s unimproved. If they improve it, I think if they were to make an addition or something like this, where they have to get a city permit, a building permit to make an addition, then the city can increase the taxes that they charge for the house.

But you get a house and somebody buys it for $800,000. They tear it down, and then they build two houses and they sell those two houses for a million five each. Well, now you have $3 million on which to tax which generates at a one percent rate to keep math pretty simple.

And then Nashville, that is close enough for this discussion. The taxes on that parcel would go from $4,000 which is what it was before the $30,000.

Leahy: That’s a big increase.

Carmichael: It’s a big increase. And we’re seeing that all across the city. So Metro’s tax revenue is increasing dramatically without a tax rate increase. And what you have is a bunch of people who are very irresponsible. And I want to go back to when Governor McWherter was Governor.

Leahy: Ned McWherter. A Democrat and a good old boy from West Tennessee.

Carmichael: And he wanted to raise taxes. And this is when the Democrats were in charge, and he wanted an income tax.

Leahy: This would be in the ’80s.

Carmichael: And he claimed that things were so bad, so bad in Tennessee that if we didn’t raise the income tax, And I think there was irony in this by April first because I remember it was April Fool’s Day.

Leahy: April Fools Day. I remember saying April Fools Day? wouldn’t he pick a different day than that? But he said April first the buses would have to stop. The school buses would have to stop.

And so this reminds me of what Mayor Cooper and his buddies are running these ads claiming about all these terrible things that will have to happen if they don’t get this massive tax increase.

So you had Governor McWherter who then said the school buses will have to stop. And low and behold, the income tax didn’t pass, and the school buses, the school buses did stop. And then a person was run over and killed in a school parking lot.

The next day, the school buses started again, which showed that what McWhorter was saying at the time was just a big, fat lie. Now, Let’s fast forward. Don Sundquist. Don Sundquist was a Republican, and he joined with the Democrats because, at that time, the Democrats still controlled the House and the Senate.

And just like Cooper, Sundquist ran for reelection, saying that an income tax would pass in this date over his dead body. When he came to Teddy Bart show, and I asked him if he was going to accommodate. (Leahy laughs)

And he did exactly what you just did. He laughed out loud. And I said, governor, I’ve supported you twice, and you fooled me. Good for you, good for you. You’re nothing but a dishonest political hack. And I said this two feet away.

Leahy: You said that to the then Governor.

Carmichael: I’d say that to the mayor because Grant Henry read the quote of what Mayor Cooper said when he was running. And by the way, when Cooper was running, he was a Councilman at large, so he had access to the whole budget.

And so when he said, we can live very nicely if we just manage our fiscal affairs, he was right. And now he’s just like Don Sundquist.

Leahy: And we’ll continue this after the rest of the break. But here I do want to give you this quote of what he said when he was at his church. John Cooper said. “You are creating a path for anarchy in Nashville, Tennessee that will not end well, all because there’s this path of a super small weaponized, kind of Trump-oriented divisiveness that enters into Nashville.” That’s what he said.

Carmichael: What a disgusting thing to say when you’re that irresponsible but not surprising. Not surprising.

Leahy: It gets worse. We’ll talk about that when we get back.

Listen to the second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American’s for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry Calls on Conservatives to Come Out and Voluneteer at Grassrootsnashville.com

American’s for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry Calls on Conservatives to Come Out and Voluneteer at Grassrootsnashville.com

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Grassroots Director of American’s for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry to the newsmakers line to outline their efforts urge people to volunteer to get out the word for the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum on the July 27 ballot.

Leahy: Joined now on our newsmaker line by our good friend, the grassroots director for Americans for Prosperity of Tennessee, Grant Henry. Good morning, Grant. Good morning, sir.

Henry: Thank you for the opportunity again to be on.

Leahy: Well, great. And thanks for coming in studio last week while I was goofing off down on the beaches of Florida.

Henry: (Chuckles) You don’t tell people how nice that studio is down there, too. It was a fantastic opportunity. I had an incredible time. And if you ever want me to come back, you don’t have to twist my arm. I promise.

Leahy: We’re going to have you in studio. So you liked the palacious studio here?

Henry: Yeah, it was great. It was an awesome time. Really, really nice place. But you’re a radio guy, aren’t you?

Henry: I was back in the day. In a former life. That’s correct. Yes.

Leahy: In a former life. Did you have your own program up there in Knoxville?

Henry: Yeah. I actually was entitled Real News back in the day. It was a playoff Trump’s fake news type thing. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: We try to cover news in a real way here. So you were the groundbreaker. We’re just following your lead, Grant.

Henry: Oh, sure. Yes, sir. (Laughter)

Leahy: Grant, now tell me it like we want to talk about the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. It looks like it’ll be a referendum on the ballot of July 27 of this year. Now, the lefties are trying to do everything possible to stop it.

Jim Roberts, the lawyer who put this together, will be with us at 7:15. He’ll give us an update on the legal side of things. I think it’s looking good for the home team there, by the way. So I think that it will be on the ballot.

But tell us what it is that you plan to do at  Americans for Prosperity to gather support for those who want to turn back or roll back the property taxes that Mayor Cooper put in here and want to vote in favor of that roll back on this July 27 referendum in Davidson County? What are you doing at American’s for Prosperity?

Henry: Michael, again, thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about this and specifically talk about what the ground game and the opportunities are. Let me start by saying Grassrootsnashville.com is going to be the best way to sign up for some of these opportunities and see what’s coming forward.

Obviously, Americans for Prosperity are known as the ground game type people. We’re going to be making phone calls for the next couple of months here, doing several different phone banks, reach out, get in touch with me, go to that website, sign up for an opportunity to do that.

We’re also going to be doorknocking, which is a major, major way to meet people where they’re at, create an organic community buzz and a groundswell that is irrefutable. We’ll be starting doorknocking next weekend and going pretty much every weekend for June and July other than that July fourth weekend.

And right now since the last time, we did this when we gathered those 27,000 signatures, meeting people where they’re at at the doors is the best way, not just to get the word out about this referendum, but I’m telling people also, it’s the best way to send a signal across the bow to Metro government that, listen, Conservatives are here.

We are a loud major voice in the area. They’re structural, systemic change that needs to happen right now. We will not be refused. To make your voice heard come in these doors, tell these people to their face as well.

Leahy: The website is grassrootsnashville.com and that sends you to an AFP-related site. You can sign up there. There’s an action center. And if you want to help out financially, there’s a donate button. I am a big fan of Get out the Vote door to door Canvasing.

As you may recall, back into 2013, I set up a little conservative political action committee called Beat Lamar. And you may recall, we had a very aggressive door-to-door campaign and ended up endorsing a candidate to challenge Lamar Alexander named Joe Carr.

And in the primary of August of 2014, largely because of that very aggressive door-to-door campaign, Joe Carr became very close to defeating Lamar Alexander 49 to 40. And it turned out in Middle Tennessee, where the grassroots activists were most engaged, we had probably about 90 kids at any time over a three-month period knocking on doors.

It’s very effective. I am excited to see what’s going to happen because, with COVID-19, grassroots door-to-door campaigning stopped. This looks like this may be the first major effort in the country where conservatives are back doing door-to-door canvassing.

Henry: And the door-to-door canvassing is part of it. We will also be doing mailers. We’re doing massive media breaks and a social media campaign as well. Another thing I’d like to give people a heads up on or at least get their help on is look, if you have a story to tell, okay, anecdotes pull heartstrings.

We understand that. We understand that. If you have a story to tell as to how this referendum will affect you, how it will make your life better, I will give you room to breathe maybe you came in as some of my favorite people around here now call themselves California refugees.

If you fled another state because of terrible spending and you don’t want to repeat the same mistakes here, tell me these stories. I’ll give up my number on air. If people want it, it’s 615-330-4569. That’s 615-330-4569.

Give me a personal phone call. I will put those stories on camera. We will spread it around or at grassrootsnashville.com. And I’m telling you, our city, Nashville, will continue to dig itself into a deeper hole and raise taxes unless voters can decide whether some guard rails are needed to curb Nashville’s spending addiction that puts us in the current crisis we are at right now.

We at American Prosperity look forward to getting out in this community and letting people know that they can play a role in getting Nashville’s priorities in order and help them help our city prosper for years to come.

And Michael, let me tell you, some of these situations are just inherent to Nashville alone. Nashville has nearly twice as many employees per 1,000 residents as the more populous cities of Louisville, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville.

That’s according to an analysis from The Beacon Center done just a few years ago. Some of these situations where there is a spending problem being that we’re 3.6 billion dollars. Billion with a b. 3.6 billion dollars in debt. Some of those situations are inherent to just to Nashville. We got a very interesting situation going on here.

Leahy: If you do not want to California Nashville, you should go to grassrootsnashville.com. It is June the 11th and this is like six weeks before the referendum, but there will be early voting as well, won’t there?

Henry: That’s right. Early voting starts on July seventh, and early voting will go to July 22. Election Day itself will be on July 27. And again, as I said before, we’ll be knocking every Friday and Saturday.

Other than that July fourth weekend. We’ll be setting up call banks all over town. And one more thing here, too. Well, I am not an out-of-the-box thinking kind of guy, okay? I think very analytically.

If it’s done well, one way, I’ll do it that way again, if you are an out-of-the-box thinking kind of person, give me a call also. Reach out and sign up on Grassrootsnashville.com I’m open to any and all types of changes here.

Whoever is running this other campaign here, Michael. And I’m not pretending to speculate that I know all the players on the other side. I do know they’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars already. Already! We’re just now starting the TV ads.

Leahy: And the TV ads are so misrepresentative of what this referendum would do if it passed. If you want to lie, just join the campaign against this referendum. That’s what they’re doing, in my view.

Henry: Yes. And all we’re asking for, really, is to hold Mayor Cooper accountable for what he said during his own campaign. Let me read you a quote real quick, what Mayor Cooper said while he was campaigning.

A properly managed city should be able to thrive on a four-point five percent revenue increase. Metro needs a return to fiscal stewardship.’ I don’t feel good about asking taxpayers to pay more in taxes when we are not properly managing the money we already have.

That was Mayor Cooper while he was running for this position. And since 2015, The Beacon Center has identified more than $300 million in Metro Nashville waste, fraud, and abuse in their yearly pork reports.

Again, it’s a spending problem with Nashville. We’re reaching out and saying, Listen, Mayor Cooper, Metro Council, Cooper ran on a ticket of being fiscally responsible. Now is the time to finally have your voice heard. Come out, knock on doors with us. And it’s a blast out there, too.

Leahy: Grant Henry, with Americans for Prosperity Tenant for Tennessee. Thanks so much. One thing I think we conclude about this is, apparently Mayor Cooper does not feel good about what he’s done as Mayor based on that statement? David Grant Henry, thanks so much for joining us this morning. Come back again if you would, please.

Henry: Thank you, sir.

Listen to the second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Petitioning” by Costa Constantinides. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Oracle Move and Middle Tennessee’s Real Estate Quandary

Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Oracle Move and Middle Tennessee’s Real Estate Quandary

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio who weighed in on the recent announcement of Oracle’s big move to Nashville’s East Bank and a harried Tennessee real estate market.

Leahy: In studio the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. Crom, big news last night. This is from WSMV. Oracle is coming to Nashville, the big software company. Big big software company after the Metro Council approved plans to install the new headquarters in Music City. Tuesday night in a unanimous vote, City Council has approved Oracle’s bid that they presented to the Metro Finance Committee on Monday night, where they promised to bring 8,500 jobs to the city within a decade.

After the Metro Council passive vote, Mayor John Cooper expressed his optimism for the project, calling it, “the largest private investment and largest job creation deal in our history.” Oracle, Crom, looks to install a bridge over the Cumberland River as access to their new facility. The bridge still requires two more rounds of voting by the City Council, but past its initial round of voting on Tuesday night. Crom?

Carmichael: Well, given our city-state of finances, that’s a bridge over troubled waters.

Leahy: Ohhh, that Crom, Crom.

Carmichael: Kaboom.

Leahy: That’s very good Crom. People don’t realize. (Laughter) People don’t really people don’t know this, but Crom used to be a standup comedian, and that just shows his capabilities there. It’s still funny. (Laughs)

Carmichael: Thank you. I have a friend of mine who’s in real estate that sends me a column that comes from The Tennessee Ledger. And this is a writer who writes about Tennessee real estate. And he will generally pick a particular house that has sold, and then he’ll build his story around it on what’s going on in Nashville.

Leahy: So he’ll go into one of the neighborhoods and say a house in this neighborhood sold.

Carmichael: A particular house. You’re looking at a particular house here. This one is at 1104 Lenore Street. That house sold. Now it went on the market. This is instructive. It went on the market for $750,000. It sold for $950,000 and $175,000 above the asking price.

Leahy: Wow.

Carmichael: This same house in 2018 sold for $194,000. It was gutted and fixed up.

Leahy: Somebody made some money.

Carmichael: But then that house after it was gutted and rebuilt, it then sold for $550,000. So that $550,000 converted into $950,000.

This is $440 a foot, $440 a foot! Right now in Nashville, and these numbers may be slightly off because they’re one month old, but only slightly. There were 2,500 single-family residences on the market at the end of March. There were 200 single-family homes that closed in March. There’s a three-week supply.

Leahy: Wow.

Carmichael: Now a seller’s market is 60 days of supply. A three-week supply, if a house goes on the market, it sells almost immediately. A typical Realtor will have nine buyers for every listing. For every listing, then they have nine buyers. And so if you’re listing a house, you say I am scheduling appointments every 15 minutes, (Leahy chuckles) and I’m doing it over these two days. And then I will be accepting offers, and the negotiations will then begin.

Leahy: It’s not just in Nashville, it’s in Williamson County. All around Middle Tennessee.

Carmichael: Yes. All around Middle Tennessee. Now, there are some areas where there’s still lots of land where you can build new developments, but the cost of the dirt in those areas, is what is going up, the cost of buying the land. But it’s really interesting to see what is going on in Nashville with the growth. Now I was down in Naples, Florida.

Leahy: In Florida.

Carmichael: Yes. Naples, Florida, is very similar. It used to be that you drive down a highway called 41, which is a six-lane wide highway. And then if you went inland on one Street, it was four lanes. Now if you go inland one street it was four lanes. Now you go inland four or five streets before you get to two-lane highways.

So Naples is growing East. It’s also growing North, but it’s growing East inland at an incredible rate. And so when you have that and in Nashville, the difference is in Naples, they’re able to build the infrastructure. They’re able to widen the roads because as they’re moving inland these are two-lane roads and the development hasn’t happened yet. Nashville is already developed. Now Oracle I think, is locating on the East Bank.

Leahy: I think that’s correct. Of the Cumberland Yes.

Carmichael: And so they’re going to build the bridge.

Leahy: The bridge over troubled waters. (Laughter)

Carmichael: But what this is going to do to East Nashville…

Leahy: Boom. And East Nashville has been re gentrifying over the last five or six years. But this will even accelerate that pace.

Leahy: Now the story at WSMV, Oracle promised to bring wait for it…8,500 jobs to the city within a decade. It’s a big company. What’s that going to do to the real estate market in Middle Tennessee?

Carmichael: Well, the real estate market in Tennessee is going to stay red hot until you get the supply of houses back up to 90 days. This means there will have to be nine to 10 single-family homes on the market available to buy. And I don’t see that happening anytime soon because building 3,000 homes a month is a lot of homes to be built. And all that does is keep you at the three-week supply. So you’ve got to get up to where you’re building 5,000 homes a month. I’ve been here since 1967 and I’ve never seen anything like that.

Leahy: Nothing like this.

Carmichael: Nothing like this.

Leahy: Here’s the other part about this, which is interesting. There are two elements to talk about. First, the underlying economics of migration within the United States. I see that trend continuing away from high tax blue states to really the three leading no state income tax states in the country. Texas, Florida, and Tennessee.

Carmichael: Private schools are getting 15 to 20 inquiries a week from just people moving here from California. That’s just from one state. There are all kinds of issues that are being created because it takes a while to plan and build a new school or even to do a major expansion of an existing school. And most private schools don’t want to have more than 100 or maybe 120 per class.

Leahy: It’s hard to make them fit together.

Carmichael: The private schools want to keep themselves small enough so that they are meeting the needs of each child which is my big beef with the government-run schools because there’s no reason that a government-run school ought to have 1,500 or 2,000 students in high school. There’s no reason for that. It’s just that way because that’s how the system likes it.

Leahy: The other issue I want to chat with you about that comes along with this huge growth, the huge increase in home prices and real estate prices in Middle Tennessee is for people who have lived in Tennessee all their lives and who perhaps are not homeowners, they’re being priced out of the market.

Carmichael: Yes. And that’s what I’m saying. That’s one of the examples. There are three or four. There are three or four pressure points that are going on. One is the demand for private school education exploding. And the number of private schools is not. And so there’s a huge imbalance there than what you just brought up.

If you don’t own a home, and if you don’t have $50,000 in cash, maybe even $100,000 in cash to put down on a house because they’re still requiring 20 percent down on most houses unless it’s an FHA-type thing. And even those, it’s almost impossible to get the mortgage if you don’t make a substantial down payment.

Leahy: And this does lead to, I think, resentment towards newcomers who have more cash because they live in states where they can sell their houses for very high prices. They come here and even with this increase, they’re able to pocket some money from the sale of the house in California.

Carmichael: If it was a really expensive house in California. But the trick is selling expensive houses in California now is finding buyers who buy an expensive house in California because California is losing a congressional seat.

Leahy: I’m so sad about that too by the way.

Carmichael: It’s the first time. It’s the first time, I think ever.

Leahy: I think you’re right.

Carmichael: It’s shrinking.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.