On Friday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy talked to in-studio guest Carol Swain in the second hour about her vision for a watchdog organization That Would Oversee Financial Accountability of Nashville’s Metro and City Council.
Nearing the end of the second hour, Swain offered to help Mayor-elect Cooper with any policies and offered prayers and encouraged support from the citizens of Davidson county.
Leahy: In the studio all-star panelist Carol Swain, former candidate for Mayor. Lot’s of things going on locally. Mayor-elect John Cooper will be sworn in tomorrow. What’s going on with Mayor-elect Cooper?
Swain: Well, there’s an article today in The Tennessean which talks about his objectives and I was pleasantly pleased to learn that he is going to rescind Mayor Briley’s executive order favoring sanctuary cities. The executive order that told metro employees not to cooperate. So he’s going to rescind that and he’s not going to pursue the parking meter privatization.
Leahy: That’s breaking news. It just broke this morning in The Tennessean?
Swain: I mean I don’t know when he made up his mind. I would like to think that he listened to the Tennessee Star and he’s heard us.
Leahy: I think you’re right. (Laughs)
Swain: He’s made some good decisions. And so right now I am happy but I still believe we have to hold the mayor and city council accountable. But it looks like Mayor-elect Cooper is headed in the right direction. But we know how the progressives operate. We’ve watched them and so they will definitely go after him. And if he is trying to govern as a statesman or better than the previous Democrats, well he will need all of our support.
Leahy: So this is news that’s breaking as far as I know. My previous indication until you just told me this was that he had not decided whether he would rescind that executive order.
Swain: Well, The Tennessean reported it so I would assume it is correct. So if he doesn’t I got it from The Tennessean.
Leahy: Did they quote him?
Swain: He did not give them an interview but apparently he’s indicated it.
Leahy: Then how did they know then? How are they reporting this?
Swain: I assume that they’ve talked with people within his administration.
Leahy: Ok. I’ll put a little asterisk on that.
Swain: I know a lot of our listeners, The Tennessean is not at the top of our list of sources.
Leahy: At the bottom of course. At the top is the Tennesseestar.com
Swain: I read it so I can be informed about what everyone’s doing in Nashville.
Leahy: We will look into this. And if this report is true I think that’s very good news as a starting point that he would rescind that illegal executive order.
Swain: Well I mean he has to. If he’s going to respect the rule of law he has to. And so for the conservatives who’ve supported him instead of me, I have to concede he seems to be off to a good start. But we have to hold him accountable for the people that didn’t support him. When he does something good, write to him. Encourage him and let him know we have his back. And please pray for him and all of our leaders.
Leahy: Well, that’s very gracious of you to address it that way. Two good things in this report if true. Number one he’s going to rescind David Briley’s illegal executive order prohibiting metro employees from cooperating with ICE. number one. Number two, that he is abandoning this ill-advised parking scheme to sell off parking rights to some other company.
Swain: I would like to think that he read my op-ed piece and one of the things (Leahy chuckles) that I’ve stressed is that we can upgrade the parking meters ourselves and keep the revenue for the city. So that’s a great decision. We have to see what he’s going to do when it comes to the police officers and public safety.
We know there are all sorts of problems brewing with the community overreach board. Overreach instead of oversight. We don’t know what’s going to happen there but that will be difficult waters to navigate. And if he needs me to come in and run some ideas by me I’m available.
Leahy: Very interesting. There’s the offer made to Mayor-elect Cooper from the very gracious former opponent Carol Swain. Again making news here left and right, Carol!
Swain: I was never running for myself. I was always running for office for the people. It was not about me.
Leahy: So we talked a little bit in our previous times you were here in the studio as our all-star panelist. We talked a little bit about an idea that you had about setting up sort of a watchdog institute to look at the local budget in Nashville and Davidson county government. Do you have any more to report on that idea?
Swain: Well I mean it’s really the vision is a watchdog organization that would oversee metro and the city council and it would focus on financial accountability. Transparency. The use of resources to support public safety officers. The whole gamut of them. And also taxes. Keeping personal property taxes low. Those are things we have to do as conservatives to make sure money is not wasted.
Leahy: If you want to call in and ask Carol Swain a question, former mayoral candidate and Vanderbilt professor. 615-737-9522. Carol, you said the two magic words: Property taxes.
Swain: Well, the other things is it’s not Carol Swain’s baby. I’m working with a group of fellow conservatives and concerned citizens. So the mission statement and purpose of the organization will have to be refined. I don’t want it to be my baby. I don’t see it as the call of my life but we certainly need to get it started.
It is a part of my vision and will hold the city accountable. If conservatives are shut out from holding most offices that matter than we have to have a say and we can do that by accountability.
Leahy: So metro council at large member Bob Mendes apparently has now been named the chairman of the budget committee by the vice-chairman. He’s the guy that wants to increase property taxes. Do we have a showdown coming on property taxes Carol?
Swain: I believe that when it comes to that, that we really have to watch Mayor-elect Cooper like a hawk because I’ve been told that he does plan to raise property taxes.
Leahy: Whoah, whoah, whoah! We’re just making news left and right. You’ve been told that mayor-elect Cooper plans to increase property taxes, and this is something that…
Swain: Wait a minute, it’s like the whistleblower, this is hearsay. (Laughter)
Leahy: Hearsay! Hearsay! The “whistleblower” Right?
Swain: I think it’s important that we let the Mayor know that as long as the revenues are coming into Nashville that he’s supposed to shepherd and make sure their wisely spent. We don’t need a property tax increase because people think the taxes are too low. So we need to get out there and make our voices heard. but at the same time, I’m very encouraged by what I see from Mayor-elect Cooper.
Listen to the full second hour:
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