Officials at the Beacon Center of Tennessee say they will now engage themselves more in local matters, not just state affairs — and this includes scrutinizing Nashville’s spending habits.
Beacon is a Nashville-based free market think tank.
In a new column on the organization’s website, Vice President of Communications and Outreach Mark Cunningham cited a property tax hike in Murfreesboro and the expansion of government-owned Internet in Johnson City, among other examples of local affairs needing scrutiny.
But in his column Cunningham focused especially on Nashville.
“As a Nashville resident and homeowner, the way the city has been mismanaged infuriates me. It’s not just one person or department either. The city continues to spend money it doesn’t have for programs it doesn’t need and the chickens are finally coming home to roost. Nashville will not always have this kind of growth, and if we cannot balance a budget now, how do we expect to do it when the growth slows down?” Cunningham asked.
“We are in serious danger of becoming the next Chicago or San Francisco if our city leaders fail to show some type of fiscal restraint.”
Cunningham went on to say “our city is run with less restraint than drunken college girls in front of a Girls Gone Wild cameraman,” and he faulted Nashville for having $4.5 billion in debt — more than double the entire state of Tennessee.
“Instead of carefully and effectively cutting the incredible amounts of waste or the hundreds of millions of tax dollars given out to corporations each year, Mayor Briley has simply asked department heads to ‘find savings’ in their budgets with no real direction,” Cunningham wrote.
“The city’s debt problem is so bad that the Tennessee comptroller—the state’s money cop—sent the mayor and city council a letter posing major concerns for the debt situation and lack of a plan to solve it. This is why local politics and local government matters so much.”
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