A Belmont professor as well as the council representative of the Belmont neighborhood, LaLonde was caught in an unenviable position at the height of the flap over the university's apparent ouster of women's soccer coach Lisa Howe. Full text of her email message below.
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
Last summer, I was watching my son as he began his swim practice when I took a call from a constituent who had a concern regarding a District issue. The call was only to take a minute, and as I spoke the sun was beginning to warm the day. We concluded the conversation, as I looked up to see Gideon getting out of the pool at the end of practice. My time on the phone had been productive, but had filled an hour before I had realized it. It was one of those moments that made me reflect on my service in office. The job is engaging, at times exciting, and always rewarding. It also time intensive in ways that I don’t always recognize, as I didn’t at the pool that day.
That moment and others inspired some serious reflection throughout the fall, as I considered how I wanted to spend my time and energy in the next few years. After these months of conversations with family and close friends, I have decided not to seek re-election as the District 18 member of the Metro Council. I want to restore a balance between work and family as well as focus some of my civic energy on key issues.
My time on the council has been one of the greatest opportunities of my life. I have been honored to serve a neighborhood and city that I love and to act as your representative to the legislative body of our community. I am continually amazed by the energy, dedication, and insight of my constituents. I have grown to have a stronger love and appreciation for the city and an even deeper commitment to its future.
I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the many people who backed my campaign, supported my service along the way, and helped me talk through my options as I reflected. I hope to have the opportunity to thank many of you personally during the coming months for the wisdom, support, and rigorous citizenship you have shown.
It is trite for politicians to say that they couldn’t do it without their spouses, but people say it because it’s true. My husband, Claudio, has been an incredible supporter of all that I do. When I decided to run, his simple reply was “If we’re in it, we’re in it to win it,” and he has been in it full force since as my greatest source of wisdom, listening, and humor.
My term of office will continue until August, and I look forward to energetically serving you and the priorities of the neighborhood during that time. In particular, I will continue to work on issues related to pedestrian and traffic issues in an effort to make our neighborhood an even greater place to live. Please watch for the announcement of community meetings on this topic in the coming weeks.
After my term of office is complete, I intend to keep working toward many of the priorities that have defined my time on the council, and indeed, define the character of District 18. I will dedicate more focus to issues of education, poverty, and the needs of the youth of our community. I will also continue to support efforts to make Nashville a model of sustainability and smart urban growth.
As always, it is an honor to serve you and all of Nashville.