Candidate: Russ Bradford

Metro Council District 13


Occupation: “I’m a Quality Control Manager for a Federal Contractor with the VA. My primary role is to ensure that deliverables and developer updates are correct and achieve their desired results.”

Previous candidacy/offices held: “This is my first governmental office held.”

Community experience: “I’ve spent the last ten years as the volunteer and community outreach chair for the Mississippi State Alumni Association – Nashville Chapter. I’m also active in my HOA, Quail Valley.”

What will be your top three priorities on the Council?

“Community and Civic Investments, Responsible Development, Environmental Sustainability”

What is the biggest issue facing your district? How would you approach it?

“The biggest issues in the 13th is lack of investment from the city. We need sidewalks, traffic calming and a library/community center. For decades our city has ignored the needs of our community and allowed for the area to fall into blight. I’ve been working for the last two years with the community to bring focus to our district and make the city finally take notice of our needs. I’ve engaged with community leaders to help increase the voices advocating for investment into our neighborhoods and communities.”

Much of the city’s developmental focus, like plans for a new East Bank, have focused on downtown. What’s your vision for downtown?

“Downtown has had its moment, its time that we focus on the areas of Nashville that is home to the people who live and work here. Our focus should be on improving the lives of Nashvillians and not tourists.”

Did you or would you have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing legislation?

“I did not. Again, we’ve seen billions go into downtown in order to appease the tourism industry while barely doing anything to improve the quality of life for those neighborhoods where our residents and taxpayers live.”

Does Metro need more police officers beyond the unfilled positions?

“Yes, based on cities our size we do not have enough officers to patrol and protect our neighborhoods and enforce speed laws. Many of our city streets have become out of control with drag racing and other dangerous activities and our MNPD lack the manpower to really do anything to stop it.”

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 supported the LPR legislation because I believe that other cities and governments have used it successfully to help prevent crime and assist law enforcement to solve crime faster. The frame work we put in place I believe will work and help law enforcement while also protecting the privacy of those not breaking the law. 

As to facial recognition, it could benefit MNPD and be a great deterrence to crime and bad behavior, however, I haven’t studied this technology enough to come to a strong opinion either way.”

Do you think a property tax rate adjustment will be needed in the next 4 years? Why or why not?

“I believe if there is an adjustment it will be a decrease in the rate. We’ve continued to see housing values skyrocket and historic growth in our city and combined with the millions of dollars being generated through special events there is plenty of income coming into our city. We’ve already seen examples here in Nashville and surrounding communities on how effective the technology is at stopping criminals and locating victims of human trafficking.

I would not support any increase in the tax rate and would cite the above as well as the fact that Metro has spent millions on buying dead malls and sporting venues as evidence that our city is not hurting for money.”

Do you view your role in the Council as leading your district on issues or simply reflecting the views of the district’s residents?

“The position itself is inherently a leadership role, however I was elected to represent the voters voice and their views on the Council. I’ve also taken the position that as their elected leader is my responsibility to ensure that they’re fully aware and educated about the issues and policies so that can understand what is going on and better able to express their views and opinions to me.”

How do you view the relationship of the city and Council to the General Assembly in the face of adverse legislation from the state?

“Nashville provides billions in tax income to the state and makes up 10% of the population, yet because the General Assembly is lead by a party that thinks local control only applies to them we see our city’s ability to self govern attacked time and time again. The General Assembly needs to back off and allow Nashville to govern itself the way it sees fit so that we can continue to be the successful economic engine for the state.”

The city is experiencing an affordability crisis. What is the council’s role in creating more housing for buyers and renters in Nashville?

“I believe the Council could pressure the City to start using city owned property to create affordable housing, especially for Metro employees. Metro owns hundreds of acres of land across the county, most of which is empty. Other cities are doing this, why aren’t we? 

We should also be focusing on improving transit along our major corridors so that higher density development makes more sense. When I’m speaking with residents the majority support development, but their chief concern is how it impacts the traffic in the neighborhoods. 

As part of that development conversation, we should also be addressing the lack of diversity of housing. Look around our city, what do you typically see? Mostly apartments/condos and large four to five bedroom homes. What we need is more housing for our 55 and up population as well as more middle income homes. The average house price in our city is in the mid $400s, however the average Nashville worker, myself included, can’t afford that. When I talk to developers this is what I tell them. I want to see housing that the average resident, especially those who are new to the market or earning below the median income can afford.”

What improvements do you think WeGo should make during the next four years? Would you back creation of a dedicated funding source?

“WeGo needs to expand service hours and routes, especially to the edges of our county. They also should switch to using smaller busses on routes that do not have a high ridership and/or for use on smaller neighborhood/regional routes. I would say something else they should focus on in the next four years is ensuring that every stop has seating and shelter, I see so many stops that have neither.

I also believe the city and Council can work better with WeGo when planning our roadways and to start implementing dedicated lanes for bus travel. If riders see that they spend less time commuting on a bus than a car then they’ll pick the bus, right now there is no benefit for commuters to pick the bus over their cars.

I think a dedicated funding source has to happen, there is no other way to sustain public transit in our city. I would support either a carve out of the existing hotel motel tax or an increase in order to provide that sustained funding.”

Second-quarter campaign finance disclosure

Raised: $7,536 

Spent: $7,976

Cash on hand: $7,718

Link to full disclosure here

Pre-General campaign finance disclosure

Raised: $2,144

Spent: $245

Cash on hand: $9,616

Link to full disclosure here