Candidate: Tom Cash
Metro Council District 18
Occupation: “Retired teacher, Council Member, tutor”
Previous candidacy/offices held: “Council Member District 18”
Community experience: “Hillsboro West End Neighborhood Association, Board 2004-19, Chair 2010-14, 2017-19”
What will be your top three priorities on the Council?
“School funding, transportation improvements, child care options”
What is the biggest issue facing your district? How would you approach it?
“Street and sidewalk safety- traffic calming, safer crosswalks, more sidewalks”
Much of the city’s developmental focus, like plans for a new East Bank, have focused on downtown. What’s your vision for downtown?
“Make it more accessible and oriented to those who live here.”
Did you or would you have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing legislation?
“I voted against the stadium.”
Does Metro need more police officers beyond the unfilled positions?
“We’ve had unfilled positions for so long it’s hard to know.”
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 think some good safety protocols were put in place but look forward to the review of the pilot. No, I don’t support facial recognition technology implemented by government. The purpose of a license plate is to make a car indentifiable on public streets, so very different from capturing individuals’ faces.”
Do you think a property tax rate adjustment will be needed in the next 4 years? Why or why not?
“I don’t know. We’ve gotten our finances in better shape that we had 4 years ago, but if we don’t know how tax incentives will cut into operating fund balances, it’s hard to predict. We have issues coming with the state education funding formula (TISA) changes, which penalizes us for our healthy tax base. So I certainly expect a discussion on AGAIN covering for the state’s lack of school funding, but am not going to commit on a situation that is down the road.”
Do you view your role in the Council as leading your district on issues or simply reflecting the views of the district’s residents?
“Some of both- it depends on how complex the issue is. I’ve lived in this district most of my 55 years and think I understand our values pretty well but on some things- like how to spend major new revenues and large zoning changes- those include a public process and that process should be honored.”
How do you view the relationship of the city and Council to the General Assembly in the face of adverse legislation from the state?
“It’s poor. We need to work together to repair what we can, make clear what our goals are and stand for them without vilifying individuals. Much has centered around the RNC and Council size, but inability to require or negotiate affordable housing, STR and entertainment vehicle regulations, are issues we need to focus on with them. It needs to be a mature, continued discussion but needs to focus on issues and needs not personalities or raw partisanship. I’m up for that work.”
The city is experiencing an affordability crisis. What is the council’s role in creating more housing for buyers and renters in Nashville?
“Support the planning process, fund affordable housing grants (Barnes), MDHA oversight, cataloguing our own property portfolio to see how it can be better used- both in terms of using it to create housing or selling to reduce debt so we can have more leeway to fund other needed capital improvements. In addition to building more we need for existing to be better utilized. There are MANY long abandoned houses in my district that need to be renovated and repaired for use. There are likely many homes with people wanting roommates; we should help them find shared housing if they want it.”
What improvements do you think WeGo should make during the next four years? Would you back creation of a dedicated funding source?
“I do think we need a dedicated funding source. We need more crosstown connections between the pikes, we need more frequency on routes, more engagement to help people accept tge benefits of regular transit use.”
Second-quarter campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $22,142
Link to full disclosure here
Pre-General campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $21,084
Link to full disclosure here