Candidate: Jeff Eslick
Metro Council District 11
Occupation: “I own an advertising agency, Slick Media Productions”
Previous candidacy/offices held: “I haven’t held government office.”
Community experience: “During Covid, I started a gofundme for local musicians to help them make ends meet through the pandemic and am currently helping a friend raise money while he fights a battle with cancer. I have also worked with my neighbors to protect the integrity of our neighborhood from a bad plan that would have put 50 homes on a lot the size of a softball field.”
What will be your top three priorities on the Council?
“The Safety of Nashville: Nashville’s police force has been recognized for outstanding performances in recent extreme situations. We should use this positive momentum to hire new recruits, while retaining our experienced officers and add better protection to our schools.”
“Nashville’s Growth Management: Nashville’s recent growth is well documented and shows no signs of slowing down. Managing and making space for new construction should be done with respect for current residents and neighborhoods.”
“The Growing Number of Encampments: It seems for every encampment that is closed, several new ones pop up. Letting the encampments continue to grow isn’t healthy for the people living in them or the residents living near them.”
What is the biggest issue facing your district? How would you approach it?
“Nashville’s growth. We need better planning to maintain the integrity of existing neighborhoods and to accommodate the added traffic. I would work with Metro planning and TDOT and make sure new developments are designed in a way that doesn’t compound the issues.”
Much of the city’s developmental focus, like plans for a new East Bank, have focused on downtown. What’s your vision for downtown?
“The tax dollars generated by downtown businesses pay many of Metro’s bills. We need to keep it safe, clean and attractive to tourists and locals. Neglecting to do this could cause serious financial difficulties and destabilize funding for many essential services.”
Did you or would you have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing legislation?
“I support the plan to renovate the East Bank and the construction of a new Titans’ stadium. The original deal was slanted in the Titans favor and left Nashville residents on the hook for the upkeep of the current stadium. The new deal will be better for Nashville in the long run. There is no denying the Titans and the stadium have elevated Nashville’s image and rank as a destination city. The new stadium and East Bank investment should raise Nashville’s appeal and bring more events, tourist and revenue to the city for decades to come.”
Does Metro need more police officers beyond the unfilled positions?
“We need to fill open positions and make sure there is at least one SRO in every school.”
What do you think of the current framework passed by the council around LPR (license plate readers) usage? Do you think Metro should allow facial recognition technology to be used downtown?
“I would need to do research on the effectiveness of the technology but am always concerned about spending money without a clear benefit to the taxpayers.”
Do you think a property tax rate adjustment will be needed in the next 4 years? Why or why not?
“The council passed the Financial Reserve Policies in January of this year. It established savings levels to keep our city from getting into financial trouble again. Once these levels are met, the tax rate should be looked at and possibly be lowered. This would give back money to the residents and leave headroom for the future.”
Do you view your role in the Council as leading your district on issues or simply reflecting the views of the district’s residents?
“I am running because District 11 needs a neighbor. Metro Council doesn’t need another political activist, but someone who will focus on the basics that go into making safe, flourishing neighborhoods. I want to bring a neighborly approach and will stick to a to-do list for the district and the city. I think voters are looking for someone who recognizes the little things about the district, like the traffic buildup on Lebanon Road and Shutes Lan, the need for a dog park and better restaurant options in the area.”
“This is already a nice area to live. I want to help take it to the next level.”
How do you view the relationship of the city and Council to the General Assembly in the face of adverse legislation from the state?
“This is what happens when the state’s top officials don’t get along. Hopefully, a new Mayor and different Council will breathe new life into the relationship and restore trust between our local and state leaders.”
The city is experiencing an affordability crisis. What is the council’s role in creating more housing for buyers and renters in Nashville?
“This isn’t a new issue and there are people, in government and the private sector, working on it. It could take local, state, federal and private investment to create viable solutions. The council will need to balance helping with affordability while not overburdening taxpayers.”
What improvements do you think WeGo should make during the next four years? Would you back creation of a dedicated funding source?
“Nashville seems to underutilize the WeGo assets. It could be a bigger part of the transit solution. It needs to be reimagined and with a better understanding of its role, the funding question would be easier to answer.”
Second-quarter campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $13,212
Link to full disclosure here
Pre-General campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $32,762
Link to full disclosure here