Longshot mayoral candidate Guy Satterfield said he believes he could pull off an upset in Tuesday's election, but if he loses he will head out to fish for crappie.
If he wakes up a winner, he said he will be on the streets Wednesday morning alongside city employees. He worked in numerous departments during a 39-year career before retiring two years ago.
He won't be too disappointed if he loses. He told the Brainerd Kiwanis Club, "This campaigning has been interfering with my fishing.
Mr. Satterfield said he believes the odds-on favorite - former state Senator Andy Berke - will have raised $1 million by election day. He said he has spent $1,844.23 of his own money and won't be beholden to anyone.
With campaign contributions, he said, "They will be there on day one with their hands out."
The candidate said Mr. Berke won't promise not to raise taxes. He said he has taken that pledge, saying he will focus on cutting city "waste." He said the city budget rose from $150 million to $212 million under Ron Littlefield. It should be around $170 million, he said.
He told the club, "Everybody knows Andy plans to run for senator or governor. I'm not interested in that."
Mr. Satterfield said the city has fallen $420 million into debt.
He said there have been several failed projects and millions of dollars wasted at the regional Moccasin Bend Sewage Treatment Plant. He wonders what has happened to millions of dollars raised by higher sewer fees.
Mr. Satterfield said the billing of sewer bills by a company in California has been a fiasco. He said the Tennessee American Water Company offered to turn its software program over to the city. He said if the city had accepted the offer then two employees in the city treasurer's office could have handled the program for $100,000 a year. Instead, he said, the California company is being paid a million dollars under a four-year contract.
He is leary of the new Moccasin Bend Clean Water Authority, saying it puts rate-setting power into the hands of several people with no input from elected officials or the public.
Mr. Satterfield said excessive stormwater and sewer fees could cause some small municipalities to have to give up their charters, which he said is a planned consequence.
The candidate said he would cut out departments "like Education, Arts and Culture and the Multi-Culture Department. "Nobody knows what they do," he said.
He said he actually loves public art, noting, "I've climbed the Blue Rhino." But he said it should be purchased using private funds.
He said hundreds of his campaign signs have been pulled up by someone. "It's the mystery of the disappearing signs," he said. He said piles of them were found in ditches in Lookout Valley and in Hixson. He said he has only about a hundred still standing from 400 he put up in East Brainerd.
"At least I won't have many to pick up after the election's over," he said.
He knocks on at least a hundred doors a day. At one house where he left a door hanger after no one answered, he said a woman chased him down. She said, "I thought you were a Jehovah's Witness."
He told the club, "I've probably been called the craziest person in town more than anybody else. But if somebody doesn't run against him, you might as well hand him the crown."