Let me make a disclaimer:
I do not live in District 5. I live in District 2. Although everything that happens in District 2 impacts my district as we are next door neighbors. I could throw a rock at district 5 from my street.
I am writing this post for a few reasons.
1. Nashville is growing extremely fast. Every decision that our council members make matters. This election is CRITICAL to Nashville’s future.
2. People receive most of their information from the mainstream media, and the reality is a lot of that information is watered down, they have little time to truly get down to the nitty gritty, and they are limited to what they can publish because they are stuck with timelines and tons of stories coming at them every day. Because of this, many people are misinformed and only get bits and pieces of stories.
3. I have no personal problems with Councilman Scott Davis. He has always been friendly with me. This is nothing personal. Strictly business. As a matter of fact, I have heard several folks state he has done some pretty good things for District 5. On the other side and from my own experience with the Nashville Ready Mix proposed move, I have heard and seen some things that made me nervous for my own community and this entire city.
4.This is all public information and is located here : http://www.nashville.gov/Election-Commission/Candidates/Financial-Disclosures.aspx
I encourage you all to please take the time to glance through your district’s metro council candidates. Most that I have looked at have been pretty spot on and accurate, but I don’t know all of the names of builders, attorneys, or lobbyist in all areas of the city. My goal is to bring light to something that could potentially be going on across the city, I don’t know. Also with the latest controversy with Mayoral candidate David Fox, it’s not something to ignore as citizens of Nashville.
The questions I am unsure about are:
What connections do metro councilmembers ( or candidates ) have to it’s residents?
What connections do metro councilmembers (or candidates) have with developers and builders?
Does our election commission even look at the financial disclosure of candidates or is it just routine to hand it in and move on?
I would also like to express that I am PRO development. We need it. But we need smart growth and development and we do not need back door deals in order to make it happen. Yes, most developments should be supported by the council member of that district to get passed, or it helps a whole lot if they do have their support. Developers are humans/civilians and have the right to choose who they donate their money to during election time. IT. IS. OK. to receive contributions from developers/realtors/lawyers/lobbyist…. I am not knocking that. BUT the problem is when you have minimal or zero contributions from the residents of the district you are running to represent. This shows me that the residents of the community are not supporting the councilman or councilwoman … the builders, attorneys, and the lobbyists are the ones supporting the councilman or the councilwoman. When an issue arises and that councilman or council woman has to make a decision on who to side with, who do you think they are going to support?
I started researching financial disclosures during our Nashville Ready Mix debacle. Since Nashville Ready Mix was located in District 5, and wanted to move to District 2, I got more curious into Councilman Scott Davis' motivations. He even told me at a Dickerson Road Merchant’s Association meeting, “You will not mess with my Top Golf” project. I just chuckled because I am completely in favor or Top Golf coming to the North East River Bank, and a BIG red flag was raised because Top Golf had nothing to do with NRM moving ( I later learned there was another big deal brewing with the the East bank re-development plan Don Allen is working on). NRM current property is owned by a huge out of town developer by the name of Don Allen, who is represented by big time Lobbyist/ Attorney James Weaver. I then came across an article titled Council’s Scott Davis hasn’t submitted last two campaign finance disclosures “ . Hmmmm, so is this a pattern? And why is no one talking about this? Is this happening all over Nashville? Or is this just a one off instance?
Since we won the Nashville Ready Mix battle and they are not moving their operations below Katie Hill (despite both my councilman, Frank Harrison and Councilman Scott Davis supporting the move) I have heard many stories from residents in District 5 regarding Scott’s actions toward residents and his favor toward builders and developers.
Please take a moment and view the Financial Disclosures (below) submitted by Councilman Davis in April, as well in July. Again, this is public information. Why has no one truly pointed all of this out, or the election commission reviewed these documents and recommended he re-submit them accurately? ( photos of the disclosures are at the bottom of this post)
Everything I circled in red are blank spaces that were not filled out properly. I have also made some small notes to the left of each contribution.
1. Councilman Davis stated the balance on hand in the April disclosure was $10,045. Basic math tells us that number should have been $14,186 ( off by $4,141.78) . In the July disclosure, he carried over the April disclosure balance of $10,045 vs the correct amount of $14,186.78. This tells me that the election commission is not reviewing these documents and sending them back to candidates if they are incorrectly reporting numbers. Let’s face it, we all mistakes right? Yet, carrying the number over to the next disclosure regardless of the “little mistakes” that people sometimes make is unacceptable. This is a $4,141.78 mistake. Where is the $4,141.78?
2. I found hardly any financial contributions from residents of district 5. Mainly realtors, attorneys (Waller Law who represented Nashville Ready Mix), and developers. Remember LKQ? Yea, they made a nice contribution as well.
3. Most contributions were not filled out accurately. Missing contribution dates, and even their address, occupation or Employer.
4. One contribution was from Dr. Nick Sabin. As much as I have looked, I have not been able to find a Dr. Nick Sabin. The only Nick Saban ( spelled differently but we can also see Councilman Davis didn't spell several things correctly on his disclosure forms ) I know is the head football coach at Alabama. Roll Tide.
5. Check out page 8 of 9 (July disclosure) itemized expenditures page. Councilman Davis paid his “campaign manager”, Jackie Sims, a total of $5500 over the months of May and June. Apparently I am in the wrong business. He also paid his “Field Staff” by the name of Cory Holt $2000. I am not following his campaign closely, but I would hope if he is paying someone $5500 as a campaign manager, they would be able to get his reports correctly filled out. It also states he has an outstanding obligation for T-shirt printing and signs of $2500, but we know Cory Holt and Jackie Sims are getting paid nicely!
Nashvillians, this is a very important time in our history as a city. As we move forward and progress, we have to elect officials that have our best interests at mind as residents. We also have to hold those individuals and government t organizations accountable for ensuring our elections are run properly and our candidates are held to a high ethical standard. Our council members must be able to work with both residents and developers. Growth is inevitable but playing sides is not going to help with this growth. YOU MATTER. YOUR VOICE MATTERS. You can make your own decisions about who you elect for your district and as mayor, but I would really encourage you all to do your own research and speak out when something doesn’t look right. Again, I have nothing wrong with Councilman Davis personally, but why has no one in the media or even the elections commission brought this to light? And just remember, Your councilman or councilwoman matters, if you don't think they do, look at what just happened with Mayor Dean's budget proposal. #bye .
April Financial Disclosure Statements - Councilman Scott Davis
July Financial Disclosure Statements - Councilman Scott Davis