Saturday, May 26, 2007

Meet the candidates

Nashville has a mayoral election coming up. When, I'm not exactly sure. Who the candidates are, I'm not sure. Oh, I know their names, but Karl Dean or David Briley don't mean anything to me. So I want to be an informed voter, and I head to the internet. After a lot of headache, I located the Tennessean's coverage. Their site is ugly and busy, making it a nightmare to find anything (the search tool? ha!).

I don't know that I like my choices. Clement would make every city employee read Good to Great. Karl Dean named his son Rascoe and one daughter Wallen. Buck Dozier doesn't sound like a name of the New South. Kenneth Eaton has no political experience, other than running for mayor once before.

Alright, maybe those aren't the soundest reasons to reject candidates, except for Mr. Eaton. Briley has the teacher's union endorsement and was against the baseball stadium. I don't have an opinion on the baseball stadium. If a candidate promises to move Titans stadium out of East Nashville, now that would get my vote. But ... thanks to the Tennessean, I still don't know when the election is. And their news? "Dean says his message is Nashville is a great city." What does that mean, and do I look down on Dean or on the Tennessean for such a platitudinarian message?

To the candidates' websites. David Briley has an alarmingly trendy logo I've seen around town. But he is in favor of green building standards, open-space acquisition, expanded recycling, alternative fuels, and trees. (He also is in favor of safer streets, which I'm sure really sets him apart from the pack.) Alright, I could get behind Briley.

Then again, Bob Clement wants to expand public transport. Hm. Still, there's that Good to Great thing.

Yes! Karl Dean's website explains why his signs have the Shelby bridge on them. I was wondering. But his stands on issues could be taken from any candidate's page in any U.S. city. Education, public safety, and economic growth. Maybe he's afraid that if he reveals his plans, we might disagree and vote for someone else. I'm going to have to blame him, not newspaper spin, for the "great city" message.

Oh my sweet ... wow. Buck Dozier's site is as retro as his name, except for the link to his myspace site. I have to give major props to his web designer, although style gets in the way of quick info access. Maybe he's taking a page from Dean but doing it much, much better.

Howard Gentry doesn't say anywhere that he's in favor of public safety. Uh oh. His info on the issues is sketchy, addressing only education, arts, and the music industry. I know music is important here, but it seems to be doing swell without his help, hardly a top three issue.

Kenneth Eaton's site is retro in a totally different way that Dozier's, as in, approximately 1999. He wants (among many other unrealistic things) professional soccer, basketball, and baseball teams to come to town. He does realize the mayor gets the keys to the city and not the magic wand, right?

Well, there you have it. Four white guys and a black guy. (We might get our first-ever female vice mayor, though. Aren't we progessive?) August 2, be sure to vote.

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