On Monday’s Tennessee Star Report – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Michael Patrick Leahy talked to Nashville Metro Council member Steve Glover about Nashville’s fiscal irresponsibility and how Glover is the ‘last man standing’ to help save the city from destructive fates similar to Detroit, Chicago, and Baltimore.
As the show progressed, Leahy implied that a vote for Glover would be a vote for prudent financial management. Glover agreed stating that Nashville needs to prioritize their spending with an emphasis on services that keep the city safe and clean.
Nearing the end of the show Glover added, “So much is at stake. I’m just telling you right now we are at a turning point. If we don’t get a hold of this. And we can fix it. But we don’t have anymore time. We’ve got to fix it now. Our children and grandchildren cannot afford for us to lose this game.”
Leahy: We are here with Steve Glover a member of the Metro Council. Who’s a candidate for the Metro Council at large. He’s in the runoff. Welcome to the studio here Steve.
Glover: Thank you sir. How are you?
Leahy: I am great. Tell me if you would a little bit about Steve Glover first. How long have you been on the council?
Glover: Well, I’ve been on the council now for eight years. Anyway, been on the council for eight years and I’ve been a district council member for the Hermitage area. Prior to that I was on the school board. David Fox and I were on the school board together. I chaired budget and finance. When we went through the first economic crisis here in Nashville.
So, I’ve got a lot of experience where I’ve seen the bad times. I’ve seen the good times. And I’ve seen this botch. And frankly, one of the reasons I decided to go ahead and do this is because I mean, it’s hard. But that’s OK. It’s because there’s nobody else who’s willing to stand up for our values.
Leahy: Well, and I’ve made this very clear. That if you live in Davidson county and you want to stop in essence the destruction of the city that we know and love. Which is the path that all the left wing liberals who are in power right now. There’s only one thing you can do and that is to vote and vote for one person only at the county level and that is for Steve Glover for city council.
Because he’s the only guy who has common sense and it will keep Nashville from becoming a Detroit. Or a Chicago. Or a Baltimore. And you know, this is clear. You must go out and vote. Steve, you took something very interesting and led up to that you’ve been a councilman from a district. There are 35 districts.
Leahy: Then five at large members of the council. One, Bob Mendes has already won that seat in the general election. And the run off election now September 12th. There are eight candidates vying for four spots. There’s a sort of methodology they use where you get to vote for multiple candidates but it doesn’t do any good to vote for any of the other candidates because you don’t want any of the other candidates, my view. Because they’re all a bunch of left wing lunatics. My view. It will hasten the destruction of the city of Nashville. It will become like Baltimore. You have recently been re-elected from your council district.
Glover: I was term limited.
Leahy: But you were term limited. So now, you’re running at large and the idea is at large everyone in the county gets to vote for you. But you have I think a little bit more sway and a significantly more influence because you can speak for all the county. tell me what the biggest problems are and what your strategy is as the last man standing.
I think you can keep Nashville from falling over the edge. Personally I think only you could do it because it looks like to me almost all of the other 35 people who will be elected in districts, there may be a few exceptions, we’ll find that out, are in the category I would describe as left wing lunatics.
The other three that will be elected are clearly, my view right now that are left wing lunatics. By the way I’ve invited them all in to tell me why they’re not. But tell us what the big issues are that you see and tell us your strategy to be the last man standing to keep Nashville from becoming Baltimore.
Glover: OK. So, if we go back. If we may bore you with a little history.
Leahy: This is not boring at all. This is the fundamental, existential question for the continuous of Nashville as the great city we know. So go ahead.
Glover: Alright. So, under the Dean administration, under the Purcell administration. Purcell basically said we’re closed for business. We’re not gong to take anymore business and we started to see a decline. And then we watched Karl Dean just spend like crazy. The MCC changed the law around.
Leahy: This would have been around 2008 to 2015.
Glover: Leading up to Barry.
Leahy: So, Megan Barry elected mayor in 2015.
Glover: Jumps in there. And then in 2016 when she announced she was going to give all these raises to these things for the future. I warned us and said, “We can’t afford to do it unless we readjust our priorities.”
Glover: With that being said, literally, June 20th 2016 I started warning us that this is where we were going.
Leahy: That would be more than three years ago.
Leahy: Did Mayor Barry listen to you?
Glover: No. Everything they used to say about me was he’s was just grandstanding. Yet every bit of my grandstanding has come true.
Leahy: Has come true. Steve, before we get into your description of the key problems facing Nashville. Your bio, I don’t know your background. Are you from Nashville? Where are you from?
Glover: Originally from Huntsville, Alabama.
Leahy: You see you’re already ahead of me. Because if you’re originally from Huntsville, Alabama that means you are from the south. I, unfortunately I’m a Yankee but I’ve lived in Nashville since 1991. So you’re from Huntsville. When did you come to Nashville?
Glover: ’83. The end of ’83.
Leahy: What do you do for a living?
Glover: I actually got transferred here with Knight Ridder broadcasting. I was working for the CBS affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia.
Leahy: So you come from broadcasting.
Glover: And they transferred me here from WKRN channel two.
Leahy: And what did you with them?
Glover: I was market development manager. I did sales.
Leahy: You did real work.
Glover: Well, I had fun work.
Leahy: You did real work. So what do you do now?
Glover: Now, I do financial planning and retirement income planning for folks.
Leahy: So you understand money and you have common sense. Let’s segue back to using those skills in Nashville. You said there was a vote in Jun of 2016 where mayor Barry promoted a…
Glover: Proposed a three percent raise to the employees. And then a three and a three.
Leahy: When you say a three and a three?
Glover: A three percent cost of living and then the following year another three percent. Of which we did not honor.
Leahy: We didn’t have the money at the time.
Glover: We didn’t have the money at the time and I warned us.
Leahy: This is common sense. You can’t spend money you don’t have. Did anybody in the metro council say anything to warn the fellow council members or the voters in Davidson county?
Glover: I can’t say that there was nobody else who said it. I know I was saying it loudly.
Leahy: What exactly did you say when this bill, this reckless fiscally irresponsible reckless bill passed in 2016. What exactly did you say?
Glover: Well the very first words out of my mouth were, “Can you say Detroit 1965?” As individuals, what we do as people, we repeat history over and over and over again. And so we already knew that Mayor Barry was not going to ask for a tax increase. We knew that there was not the revenue’s in order to accomplish the objective here of the two three and three and everything else she wanted to do.
Leahy: Again, two percent raise, and three percent cost of living, followed by a three percent.
Glover: Every Metro employee.
Leahy: Every Metro employee.
Glover: Which I have to agree was the right thing to do because it’s the priorities. Those are the people who are on the ground for us everyday. 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Leahy: But we did’t have the revenue to pay that?
Glover: We had the revenue. But you can’t keep spending it on everything else. And think you can…
Leahy: So really what it was that the idea of providing those raises made sense but you cannot do that and at the same time increase spending. I mean, I look at this spending and they spend money on just nutty things, in my view. So I think what you’re saying is that it’s a question of priorities. I think were saying then, if you want to provide the raises that these people deserve you’ve got to cut these other crazy programs out.
Glover: You can’t keep buying bridges to no where. Wee can’t keep spending money like we’re spending and pretending like it’s OK. Because all these various projects, and here’s what’s gotten us into real trouble. All the debt we have now. I mean our debt is astronomical.
Leahy: What would be some examples of some of the crazy projects?
Glover: A bridge to go from the Gulch across the railroad tracks so people don’t have to walk an extra three blocks in order to get to where they are going. 18 million dollars.
Leahy: So they spent 18 million dollars on that o that that didn’t go to raises.
Leahy: And that we really didn’t have.
Glover: We don’t have it because our debt servicing in this years new budget increased, not total, increased by 44.8 million dollars.
Leahy: That’s a lot of money.
Glover: Here’s the bottom line. In order to do a three percent cost of living adjustment for every Metro employee. Not teachers OK. But for Metro employees, 18 million. For teachers, 15 million. For schools, the last I checked was what? 33 million dollars. We spent 44.8 on new debt. And I guess the real question is…
Leahy: Is that increase in..
Glover: In service.
Leahy: So again, it’s like the idea is prudent financial management. I think that’s your theme.
Leahy: You shouldn’t be selling off assets right?
Glover: The parking meter is a bad bad move. Been a bad move from the very beginning.
Leahy: Bad idea deceptively presented in my view. And is a included in the revenue of this plan to sell off the parking meter’s rights for kind of a paltry sum.
Glover: Oh, it’s basically we’re going to take pennies when we could be getting dollars. And here’s the other problem with that. And I hear people attacking me saying, “Well you’re substitute budget included that parking deal in it.” We’ve never had multiple substitutes budgets until this year. We make up the rules as we go now on the floor. That is a major problem.
Leahy: There’s no financial discipline in the city government.
Glover: Well, in my opinion right now no. No, there’s not. I mean, we’re out of money so let’s raise your taxes. Well that’s the wrong answer. Because we’re not out of money.
Leahy: We have money. We’re just spending it on stupid things.
Glover: That’s correct.
Leahy: We don’t understand what the most important thing is to spend money on.
Glover: Our public safety. Our education. Our people who are out there everyday doing the things that effect our daily life.
Leahy: So these wasteful projects at the City council and the mayor proposes, which as you said started with Mayor Barry, and even before her, Mayor Dean and Purcell, they’re all doing stupid stuff with tax payer money.
Glover: They all want plaques with their names on it.
Leahy: Right. Things that are not central to the mission of keeping a clean city. A safe city. Sot that the rats don’t start running around Nashville like they’re running around Baltimore. I mean really, what does that do for a city if it’s….
Glover: It destroys it.
Leahy: And we’re on the path of destroying it.
Glover: I don’t think people really understand if we don’t change our course right now for this election than, and I really hate to sound like a doomsday kind of guy.
Leahy: Well you’re just being realistic.
Glover: But our economy will not support us. The yield curve inverted a couple of weeks ago. There’s a possibility of a recession that’s heading our direction. We’re not prepared for it. And unfortunately when it hits, it won’t care if you’re prepared or not.
Leahy: My sense is what you’ll be doing is if you win as an at large member of the Council. September 12th election. Early voting started right?
Glover: Yes. It started last Friday.
Leahy: Started last Friday. So go and early vote. When you get out here go and early vote and cast one vote. One vote. Steve Glover, Metro Council at large. That’s my view. And by the way, just in fairness right? All these other seven candidates we’re inviting, I’m inviting them all of them right now on the airwaves to come in for an hour and have a conversation just like this.
We’ll talk about this. We’ll talk about their attitude for fiscal responsibility and spending and what they would propose. All of you are invited to come in for one hour in studio to make your case. Now, I start from the perspective that you’re a left wing lunatic. Just so you know. I can say it politely, you’re a left wing lunatic and about to turn Nashville into a wreck of a city like Detroit. But tell me why I’m wrong. That’s the approach that I’ll take with them.
Glover: Yeah you’re right. That’s you. I have to work with everybody.
Leahy: (Leahy chuckles) Of course you do. So, other examples of this reckless spending that’s going on. We’ve got an 18 million dollar bridge to nowhere.
Glover: They’re going to sit down and say there’s a lot of people who will be mad at me. And let me just say this. Every time I go and I speak and I’m in these various forums and everything else. One of the very first thins I say is, “You need to know this. I’m a conservative. I’m a Republican. And I’m proud of it.
Here’s why.” Because we always look ahead. We forecast. We try to figure out how do we keep ourselves out of trouble financially. I never run away from that. And I’m the last one out there.
Leahy: You are literally in Nashville…
Glover: I’m the last man standing.
Leahy: You’re the last man standing. And so if you care about Nashville.
Glover: You’ve got to go vote.
Leahy: You’ve got to go vote for Steve Glover. Again, that’s my view. The other seven candidates you’re welcome to come on in. How do you fulfill this commitment to be the last man standing?
Glover: I’m very cautious when I say those words. But that is the right question. So, when you go out and vote and you get me elected. We keep ourselves at the table. We are one of the five sitting at the table of the five at large. Right? By doing that we have said that our voice matters in Nashville.
Leahy: So you have authority. You have legitimate authority.
Glover: To speak on behalf of our conservative voice.
Leahy: If you want a spokesperson in the city council who can speak with authority for fiscal responsibility and you vote for Steve. When you go in and you make your argument you can say legitimate, the voters of Davidson county have spoken. I represent them. No more crazy reckless spending. Stop this stupid project over here.
Glover: That’s right.
Leahy: And that will have impact.
Glover: Right. Look. As a district council member I’ve had some impact on various things.
Leahy: But you’re speaking for one of 35 districts.
Glover: Yes, but now as a metro council at large representative. I’m representing our values. And when I say our values, I’m talking about the conservative values that so many of us have in Nashville.
Leahy: Limited government. The role of government should be limited.
Glover: That’s right. But see they try to limit our voice. The other side tries to limit our voice. If we keep doing what we’ve been doing and sitting on the sidelines we lose the game. We cannot afford to lose this game because our children, our grandchildren. And this is not a cliche here. Our children and grandchildren cannot afford for us to lose this game.
Leahy: Right. Very important.
Glover: So much is at stake. I’m just telling you right now we are at a turning point. If we don’t get a hold of this. And we can fix it. But we don’t have anymore time. We’ve got to fix it now.
Listen to the full hour:
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