In case you missed it, here’s a portion of discussion from the LaFayette Underground Facebook Page last Monday morning:

    Underground: Good news: City crews are mowing rights of way around town. Bad news: it takes three guys to run one tractor.

    My observation was a tractor followed by a city pickup truck, the truck is following to keep people a safe distance from the tractor which is totally appropriate. The problem is that other worker who looks like Larry the Cable Guy riding in the passenger seat of the truck. That’s costing us a lot of money for nothing – shades of the three-man plow truck all over again.

    If the city would properly supervise and guide employees we could save money and get better results at the same time. It hurts me every day thinking about how badly we need a change here in LaFayette.

    Facebook Reader: How many city employees does it take to change a light bulb?

    Underground: First it depends on where the bulb is. If it’s at the golf course or airport there’s a guy standing next to the light with a spare bulb in his hand all the time ready to change it just in case, for safety purposes. If it’s on Duke St. or anywhere east of Main St., three guys will come change it within 6 hours of the burnout.

    If it’s between Main St. and Chattanooga St. anywhere from three to six guys will show up and change it in a couple weeks if anybody complains. West of Chattanooga Street they’ll only change the bulb if they can get a federal or state grant or we do five articles about the bulb on the LU Web site and Wayne Swanson reads some of them.

    If there’s FEMA money involved they’ll send ten guys to change the bulb anywhere in town, then come back three more times in the same week to change it again just to make sure it’s OK.

Of course we were being facetious, but the essence of this is sadly true. Much of LaFayette is ignored by the Powers That Be, with little done to pave roads, clean up trash, or stop serial arsonists before they destroy entire neighborhoods. LaFayette residents are getting used to being on their own with brush removal, finding water meters, cleaning up the lake, and even tracking down meat thieves.

Like anywhere else, the City of LaFayette has good employees, adequate employees, and a few bad eggs (hopefully no more arsonist firefighters, murderer cops, or child molester tennis coaches). But any group of people, even good well-intentioned people, that don’t have good leadership will sink to the lowest common denominator. Uneven, inadequate services and law enforcement inside the city are the direct responsibility of LaFayette’s elected leaders and the unelected department heads they choose to supervise everything.

Those elected leaders, however, are our responsibility. The disdain and disregard LaFayette’s mayor, city council, city manager, and police chief have for a good number of the city’s residents is partially about class and wealth, but also comes from the fact that far too many in the city’s most densely populated neighborhoods don’t bother voting in city elections or get involved with the local political process. When we don’t care, why should they care?

This fall LaFayette has an opportunity to reshape its own political future. Two of the three councilmen up for a vote in November have indicated plans to give up their seats, meaning at least 2/5 (potentially 3/5) of the current leadership will be different a year from now. This fall the city will also be using electronic voting machines for the first time, giving us a better chance of having votes counted accurately than they have been in the past with paper and pencil ballots counted by FiSDOP wives.

Every LaFayette resident over the age of 18 needs to get registered and vote, get involved in their community, speak up and speak out. Good candidates with good ideas are also badly needed, to give the rest of us someone worth voting and working for. (Candidate qualification for city voting is August 29-September 9.) When few in the city vote it doesn’t matter who chooses to run, but without good candidates running it doesn’t matter if we vote. It seems almost impossible to do any worse, but without good new people voted in that 2/5 or 3/5 change could end up somehow being worse than the leaders we have now.

It’s time to end waste like the “three-man-plow” and time to make LaFayette more than just a life support system for a middling golf course. But that’s not going to happen until the people who live here stand up for themselves and take advantage of their legal rights to speak, vote, and change what ain’t right in the Queen City.

Over the last few months it may feel like you’ve been “on your own” with the LU Web site too. We are still working on new content for this blog, and much of the discussion found here is continued in depth with more breaking news on the LU Facebook. We also have video of recent city council meetings on the LU YouTube site.

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12 comments so far

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  1. I remember when 18YO’s went out with adults to help get the vote approved for them. It was the waning days of Vietnam and we all wanted Americans to understand how we deserved the right to vote if we were going to die for our country. As an older, middle-aged person now, it’s amazes me how younger adults refuse to exercise their right to vote. Or if they do, choose the candidate who looks the best, has the nicest campaign ads, or promises the moon on a platter no matter what the cost. All this is a direct result of having taught Social Studies rather than Current Events, Geography, History, and Civics in our schools for almost 40 years. There is no in-depth analysis of information but rather a quick perusal of information that’s quickly forgotten when the next unit appears.

    It’s vitally important for voters to inform themselves of political agendas. Politicians who promise what everyone wants mean, “I’ll tax you until you cry and then I’ll tax you some more. Will I give you what I promised? Are you kidding? You do know I only said those things to get elected. Right?” Until younger Americans learn their politicians, be they local or higher up, only want to live off the bounty of clueless Americans, we’re doomed, but that doom isn’t terminal. It’s been proven before and will happen again. Anger Americans enough and, as the Japanese ambassador said to Osama bin Laden on 9/11, “We once grabbed the tail of the tiger and had no idea how to let go. You probably have much better luck.” For those of you who don’t know your history, he was referring to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and the ensuing declaration of war against Japan by the president. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the War in the Pacific is perhaps better known but the meaning was very clear to any American who actually studied history. The ambassador was telling the bin Laden that we wouldn’t stop hunting him down until we got him.

  2. kcsowriter, I couldn’t agree more :)

    I registered to vote on my 18th birthday. I looked forward to it for years and couldn’t wait to exercise my right. As a young woman (22) it blows my mind to see all of these women who have so quickly forgotten, or maybe never learned, about how hard we fought for our right to vote!

    LU you are RIGHT it is OUR fault the city is in the shape it is in because of the incompetent leaders we have kept in office for so very long.

    I see a lot of complaining by your “followers” so I had better see some action this fall. Otherwise they have no right to say anything at all.

  3. Every time we find somebody good to run for city council they pack up and leave town. The shape the town (and really the entire county) has gotten to makes a lot of people hesitant to run for office – it’s like willingly buying a house that you know has termites, a bad roof, and ghosts. There are some left who apparently plan to take a swing for it but not as many as we had hoped.

    If this year’s election doesn’t bring any positive change, no new blood, we’ll see a fight for the exits. There are some folks hanging by a thread and they’ll give up if they don’t see any signs of improvement by the end of 2011. The middle class families we have left will take off and leave nothing but FiSDOP’s, poor hillbillies, and the near-homeless.

    — LU

  4. You tell um Lu….

  5. LU or should i say KRISTOPHER MARKS OF KIDS FOR CHRIST….You know people of this town actually trust you to teach their children Christian Values and all you do is spread HATE and Dissension…You my friend are a HYPOCRITE …Much like the PHARISEES of JESUS time… YOU are self rifgtous and sit there with a BEAM in your eye and point out a mote in the eye of another…

  6. Personally, I don’t think turning the lights on to stomp cockroaches is a bad thing. The Pharisees would probably be sitting on the Council anyway :>0

  7. As we’ve been saying since day one, which was three years ago, everybody GETTING ALONG and keeping peace and not rocking the boat is how we got into the condition we’re in now. If record-setting poverty, soaring crime (the uninvestigated kind), widespread drug use, an economy in shambles, dozens of arsons, unaccountable government waste, wife-killing cops, and child-molesting Tennis coaches are what you love to have in your community, your argument is valid. But if you want to change how this community runs, change the hopelessness and the wasted potential, then maybe some dissension and disunity is what we need. Only the FiSDOPs like what we have now.

    If you’d like to discuss or debate specific points and statements we’ve written that’s your right, but these blanket “hater hater hater” accusations get really old. Be specific or shut up, seriously. You can bring up topics here, on Facebook, or e-mail me directly at lu@cityoflafayettega.com – I’ll gladly answer whatever questions you have (except for identities of course). We only censor for profanity and abuse, not dumb questions or comments.

    Since day one we’ve laid out reasons for being anonymous. A lot of people like to throw names around and point fingers at who’s LU or who’s not LU or how many people are involved and the list of suspects keeps growing longer. These childish efforts to distract from the blog’s content by trying to name names and destroy people for speaking their mind are some of the reasons why we’ve chosen not to identify ourselves.

    Bottom line, all of you need to worry a lot less about who we are and start thinking a lot harder about what we’ve been saying.

    — LU

  8. I am good friends with Kris and his family and an active volunteer at Kids 4 Christ. As his friend I do not appreciate the comment Becky left. Even if you believe it to be true, which you obviously do for whatever reason, dragging a Christian Children’s Ministry’s name through the mud based on a hunch is not ok in my book. There are a lot of hard-working, honest people at Kids 4 Christ who love the Lord and love children. None more than Kris. and popping off the way you just did does absolutely no good for the ministry or the children of this community.

  9. Spread the word. I will follow if you lead me. I will speak for you if you call me to do so. If you think things are fine the way they are in LaFayette, then I have nothing to offer you. If you think that to much happens in the dark around here, and that the current council has failed to represent the wishes of the people, then help me change that. If you want to see some light shed on financial matters, then listen to what I have to say. If you want to see LaFayette become something more than what it is, then vote for me. It’s your choice, your city, your decision. Educate, advocate and participate. If you treat government with apathy, can you expect government to treat you with anything but the same regard?

  10. Chips are on the table. I’ve anted up and the cards are being dealt.

  11. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? James 4:10-12

  12. Ask any middle income resident looking to purchase a home just what LaFayette has to offer for them to do so. In regards to housing prices, yes, LaFayette has some deals, but only because it looks “scary” driving down the road trying to find the listed house. I do not live in Lafayette, nor do I understand what is going on in this town. What I do know is that I have looked far and wide for homes throughout the Chattanooga and surrounding areas, and LaFayette seems to be one of the most run-down areas of them all. Very sad, because the potential for this little town is enonormous.

    To someone who posted about LaFayette public schools being schools of excellence, please look at how your schools compare within the entire state and southeast Tennessee region. Woodstock (GA) schools are school of excellence. Signal Mountain public schools are schools of excellence, not LaFayette public schools. It’s time to get real.

    If Lafayette would spruce itself up, more middle income families would move there.

    Good Luck to the residents!