During a discussion Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill and Leahy spoke to Metro Council at large candidate, Adam Dread about low early voter turnout and scooter safety and how it ties into the public’s concerns.
The men also touched upon the future of Nashville and how it’s imperative that focus be on the public’s safety to ensure healthy financial growth for the city.
Gill: Adam Dread is a candidate. He’s been out there on the hustings and has some insights I think on some of the early voting numbers. Adam, welcome in.
Dread: Good morning gentlemen. How are you today?
Gill: Doing good. 25,000 early votes. Again, if you get 4,000 or 5,000 each of the last three days of early voting you could get to around 40,000. That’s again, we’re looking at maybe 85,000 total votes in the mayoral and council elections. That seems low to me.
Dread: Yeah. It’s not in my purview Steve. (Gill and Leahy laugh) You know what’s an interesting thing about Nashville is, a lot it’s really weather-related. It’s been really hot the first part of early voting. The last two days have been beautiful. People seem to linger around there longer.
And there not just getting out. And I think some of the candidates also started to push their own people to come out. I noticed in Bellevue there doing little things like, there was a Popsicle maker and things like that. I was planning on doing something with fireballs but apparently, that’s illegal.
Gill: You could ride over on a scooter. How’s the scooter issue playing? That’s been one of your big issues. I know that’s one of your issues.
Dread: The issue is still big. And you know the worst part about the scooters is the council just voted again to keep them. You’ve seen the numbers. People don’t want these things here. I had a woman call me the other day who just had a baby. She had a one-month-old infant in the car and a drunk on a scooter hit her car and ran it and crashed on her windshield with her infant in the car. I mean unbelievable. They’re getting worse and worse.
Gill: Again you can’t walk down the sidewalk without them laying all over the place. I mean they ought to be able to be treated as trash. If it’s laying in the sidewalk in your way you ought to be able to literally pick it up and throw it in the dumpster.
Dread: Or because the council’s decided they’re not a motorized vehicle. Apparently, a motorized vehicle that you can pick up and impound would cost 400 bucks to get them back. Which is a lot for a $300 scooter.
Gill: And legally what I’m supposed to wear a helmet if I’m on a bicycle on a public road and yet these scooter drivers don’t have a helmet on. Can you ticket them?
Dread: Nope. There are no laws around scooters. they ride willy nilly. They can do whatever they want. There are no laws. The police can’t stop them because they’re not doing anything illegal.
Gill: Now we’re going to post these early voting numbers through yesterday.
Gill: And also break it down by some of the various voting locations.
Dread: It is a low low turnout. No one seems to be very excited about this stuff. And here’s the real thing, and I try to describe it to people like this. And the scooters tie into this. The mayor and council in the movie Jaws were still the mayor and council in Jaws 2. (Gill and Leahy laugh) It’s very very important.
Leahy: That’s a great one.
Dread: If you want to keep it status quo and keep our police officers leaving and numbers dropping, and keep scooters on the street, don’t vote because you’re going to leave it the same. But really, it’s really important for folks to get out there. And actually, early voting is really easy. There’s like eleven sites, they’re pretty much all over town. It doesn’t take long. It will take you no longer than five to ten minutes.
Gill: There’s certainly no crowds standing in line. Can you detect anything from where the early vote is turning out?
Gill: Because during early voting I can go to any location. If I happen to be over in Green Hills or Bellevue I can just vote anywhere. But can you tell from who’s turning out? Is it an older voting group? It is millennials that are going to shake Nashville up? Because you’re out there. Do you see who’s voting?
Dread: I found the first couple of days a little older. I saw a lot of Millenials yesterday. You’ve got to remember the areas like the Gulch and Hillsboro village, their closest place is Green Hills library where I was for a while yesterday. And I noticed some older folks but I didn’t see anybody under thirty. I didn’t see the Millenials. No scooters pulled up so that was a good sign. There was definitely more young parents were there yesterday.
Gill: Why aren’t people engaged. I mean the mayoral candidates are all trying to, and I talked to somebody that’s working with one of the campaigns yesterday. He said, “We’ve decided to go the Bill Lee route. We’re just going to play nice.” It’s like well Bill Lee route worked because the others were blasting each other. (Dread scoffs) Nobody’s blasting each other. I’m just going to be low key. That’s not turning out voters.
Dread: No. The blasting will start the runoff. Yes, there will be blood in the runoffs I’m sure. But for now, everyone is kind of playing. Which is pretty standard. The people that go dark early on generally lose in Nashville. Nashville’s a very polite city. So, but it could get a little dirty.
Gill: Now neither Michael or I are in Davidson county. So we don’t see the mail. My understanding is Cooper has sent out a ton of positive mail. It’s been like fill your mail box. And he’s been, I don’t know that I’ve seen that much on TV for anybody. But he’s been pounding the mail. Has Briley been doing the same thing?
Dread: I honestly haven’t seen much from either of them. But I throw that away immediately and the people that grab my mail tend to throw it away. So I couldn’t tell you that. I know I’m not wasting my money on mail. People like me we almost don’t have time to read it anymore. I say, people, put their money in television and radio.
Leahy: Of course. Radio’s the way to go.
Gill: Especially radio. I’m the same way, Adam. During these big political seasons when there are 33 mail pieces a day. I literally stop at the garbage can on my way in and then kind of flip through them looking at them. “Oh, that one’s interesting.” But at best you’ve got two or three seconds. People aren’t going in and sitting and just reading every line of every portion of a mail piece.
Dread: Absolutely. We don’t want to read a manifesto from anybody.
Dread: We want to hear on the basic issues. And frankly, I’m the only one coming out there talking about public safety. I can’t believe none of the mayoral candidates are…
Leahy: Yeah, that’s fascinating Adam. Where do you go out and talk? How do people respond on that? Because, to me, I’m with you, I think these scooters are, you know, it’s time to go.
Gill: Even on the police and fire. It’s getting more violent. You go into Green Hills you get bumped and robbed.
Dread: Oh yeah.
Gill: In places, you weren’t seeing. It’s bleeding, no pun intended. Into the suburban counties.
Dread: Into the suburbs. And their saying, “Well our numbers show that they’ve actually decreased.” Well, they’ve actually not decreased. They’re going up.
Gill: You’ve 16 and 17-year-olds with guns robbing people and shooting people. I’d say that that should be an issue. Why aren’t people talking about that crime issue? The Triton poll we did just a month or so ago, crime was one of the top issues.
Dread: And that’s flabbergasting. I don’t know why people are talking about it. They’re talking about cherry trees and Walk Bike Nashville and stuff, I don’t know. I think is kind of irrelevant. Even from the financial side. Even if your big issue is bringing business and keeping our taxes down and getting money to Nashville. Listen, business’s aren’t going to move here and move their employees here if they don’t think they’re going to be safe in this town.
If they don’t think they’re going to be safe in this town. Tourists aren’t going to come here if they think they’re going to get mugged, robbed, or hit by a scooter. (Leahy chuckles) These are really serious issues that go into every other aspect of your life in Nashville.
Gill: You know again, let’s put it into the most harsh terms. A couple of these bachelorette parties get broken up because somebody gets raped, robbed, or shot. Bachelorette Nashville is going to stop.
Dread: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. And we don’t have the police to secure it right now. I mean properly secure it. Our police are really working hard. They’re overworked and… (Inaudible talk)
Gill: And then again they’ve got this oversight. This oversight committee let’s blame the police. We see cops getting water poured on them in New York because we’re seeing this diminished respect for them.
Gill: Adam Dread, thanks for some insight on what’s going out on the campaign trail. We’ll post those early voting numbers folks so you can get a look at them. Twenty-five thousand early votes so far. Way below what people were expecting. We’ll see if there’s a big bums rush to the polls in the next couple days of early voting in Nashville and Davidson county.
Listen to the full hour:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Adam Dread” by Alchetron. Background Photo “Metro Nashville Council” by Metro Nashville Council.