The Scene interviewed the council-at-large candidates last week for the purposes of upcoming endorsements. But after reading the political coverage last week by Bruce Dobie, Liz Garrigan and Matt Pulle, one has to wonder whether they had already made up their minds about at least one candidate, former fire Chief Buck Dozier.
Dozier was compared to unpopular and big-spending California Gov. Gray Davis (“The Class of 2004,” July 24), which makes about as much sense as likening Ronald Reagan to Walter Mondale. Chief Dozier used an overtime budget to compensate for the personnel cuts imposed by the previous administration. He fought for new capital spending to replace old outdated equipment. The present mayor has made hiring new personnel and obtaining new equipment priorities in his administration. In fact, there are now 18 more fire department chiefs than when Dozier left. Why challenge Dozier regarding initiatives that are supported by the current administration?
Under Dozier’s leadership, the Metro Fire Department was the first in the nation to be accredited among major urban markets. Buck Dozier is respected in Tennessee for his leadership and expertise in the arena of public safety. One would think that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, all firefighters and their leadership would continue to be held in high esteem. The Scene seems to have a memory shorter than most. I respectfully ask the voters to re-elect Buck Dozier for council member at-large on Aug. 7.
Doug Reynolds, campaign chairman, Buck Dozier for Metro Council
1808 State St., Nashville
I wanted to respond to the endorsements for the upcoming Metro Council races offered in last week’s Scene. I’m very concerned that I and many of the other candidates were not adequately informed that endorsements would be issued. I think it may be rash to endorse a candidate based upon a single phone conversation. Had I realized that endorsements were going to be made, and that space would have been given to address additional issues and concerns, I would have discussed in more detail the concepts we’ve been discussing in my campaign.
The residents of District 29 needed to know that I was endorsed by the Nashville Fire Fighters as well as by Out & About Nashville newspaper (despite my opposition to the proposed gay rights ordinance); that I’m being supported by a wide array of conservative organizations; and that I stand by my position to oppose any property tax increase. They needed to know that traffic is my No. 1 concern for the district and that controlling growth is my second. And unlike the candidate who did receive the endorsement (who is known only for her dancing on the side of the road), I’ve been discussing these concerns for months.
I was sorry to see the endorsement this paper made, but I’m more upset that the effort to truly delve into the positions of the candidates before making such endorsements obviously wasn’t made.
Dorrence Stovall, District 29 candidate
Mayor Purcell must have been very persuasive in his little tour with Dobie and Garrigan (“Now We See It,” July 24). Too bad they didn’t ask him when he’s going to do something for middle-class taxpayers who pay the lion’s share of taxes. But it’s good to know that Nashville’s fire halls are safe for dogs.
No longer Dreading the election
If there’s one thing I really don’t like, it’s the taste of crow in my mouth. Luckily, after years of outspokenness, I have acquired vast experience in this regard, and find the best response is to just go ahead and spit it back out. About this time last year, I responded to your endorsement for the Metro Council at-large race to fill Howard Gentry’s seat. I used a variety of choice descriptors to illustrate my disagreement with your endorsement of Adam Dread. I had the great pleasure to be contacted directly by Dread after the letter was published. I told him that I questioned his political aspirations and didn’t feel he had proven himself to be the kind of representative I could support. I did, however, promise to give him the chance to prove me wrong.
He has. His work this past year has been consistent and strong. He has offered well-thought responses to some of the council’s trickier issues, and has stood for issues on which a less committed first-year representative would have remained quiet. I have found him to be a responsive member, almost annoyingly available to constituents and a far-ranging thinker who considers beyond the immediate popularity of his decisions to support what he believes is right for Nashville long-term. And, although I wouldn’t let him drive my car, he’s apparently immortal. Not bad qualities. He’s no Diane Neighbors, but I do hope to see them serving side by side. Yum Yum.
I agree with Randy Horick that it would have been “purely poetic [if] an underdog named Wallace [had won] the biggest golf tournament in Scotland” (Sports Desk, July 24). But the champion was Ben Curtis and the course, Royal St. George’s, is located in Sandwich, England.
The Scene’s news team flubbed a few things last week in our political guide: We misspelled the names of District 26 council candidate Sybil McLain and District 3 candidate Nathan Massey. And we misstated at-large Metro Council candidate Buck Dozier’s title under Mayor Phil Bredesen. He was legislative liaison. We apologize.
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