Battle On Signal Not "Bitter," But There Are Sharp Contrasts

Monday, November 5, 2012

I was amused to read this morning that I am engaged in a "Bitter Battle" on Signal Mountain. Heck, I thought it was just a fairly typical political campaign. 

Actually, if you look around and compare our small town race to the bitter mudslinging in the 4th district Congressional race, or the 3rd district primary last time around, Signal Mountain looks pretty tame.

For what it is worth, I am not "bitter" nor do I have any personal animosity toward Ms. Allen or Mr. Lusk. They seem to be good folks. I do, however, disagree with the way they have governed. And I am running to give the voters a fiscally responsible alternative to their policies which have included a 9.9 percent property tax hike in 2011 and over half a million dollars taken from reserve funds to "balance" the town budget this year.

I also find it interesting that the author of today's article chose to describe me as a "libertarian and sometime speaker at Tea Party events." (I have spoken at exactly one Tea Party event, and that was over 3.5 years ago; I rarely even attend the CTP meetings.) She could have mentioned that I am a Pachyderm Club member, was formerly (2010-11) a Republican precinct captain and member of the county executive committee, and was runner-up to Bobby Wood in 2010 for a spot on the Republican State Executive Committee. But I guess describing me as a "Republican" wouldn't have made for such a juicy story. 

As for getting support from former Mayor Paul Hendricks - even I admit that is an unlikely source. Paul and I have had our differences, that is true, and no doubt will continue to have them. We have learned to respect each other, though; I would attribute that to maturity on both our parts. Though Paul is far to my left politically, we share a love for Signal Mountain and a desire for openness and transparency in the way town business is conducted. Considering that he supported Mr. Wallace and Mr. Gee last time and both were elected, I am hoping maybe his support, from across the political spectrum will help bring me a similar result this time. 

After all, as another local official once quipped, "potholes don't have parties." 

I am glad the author of the story mentioned my quote "How much money would a reasonable person spend to win a job that pays nothing?" I think that is a legitimate issue for voters to consider. I believe the way a candidate spends campaign funds is likely to be indicative of the way he or she will govern if elected. The highest-spending candidates in this race are also the ones who have given us higher taxes in the past; I submit that they are likely to continue on that path if they are re-elected. 

I have been frugal with my campaign spending, and I will be frugal with citizens' tax dollars if elected. What's more, I will be open to input from all citizens, whether or not they side with me on an issue. I won't seek to remove (or not reappoint) members of town boards just because they don't agree with me. 

To sum up, I am not "bitter" toward anyone. Win or lose, I will be happy to shake the hand of any of the other candidates next time we meet. Regardless of our differences on the issues, we will all be neighbors when we wake up on Wednesday morning in our beautiful mountain community. 

I do hope Signal Mountain voters will cast their votes tomorrow for fiscal responsibility and open, transparent, and accountable government. If they pick me, it will be my honor and privilege to serve. 

Joe Dumas
Signal Mountain

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