Paid Political Announcement*
I am Justin Walton and I am running for Mayor of the City of Dickson. I would like to begin by saying I am not in politics for personal gain. If you see me out and about in Dickson please feel free to come and have a conversation but don’t expect me to sound like a politician because I am not. I am one of you, a person who wants to see my home town thrive. I am a hard working middle class man. I am a probation officer and work another job part time. My wife is currently a teacher and coach in this county. I am running for Mayor to give the residents their voice back. We all should have a say in how our city is being run.
You will not be seeing my signs and banners at any banks. I am firm believer that nobody should get rich off of politics. Dickson is growing and getting bigger each day. The system of, “who do you know”, is dated and not working for Dickson in the present nor will it work in the future. We are robbing the city of new potential as long as this is in place. As your mayor, this system will not be used.
How would I like to achieve these goals, you ask?
City employees’ benefits will be reassessed. This will be done on a regular basis to ensure we are providing the best and most cost effective benefits to our employees. Unfortunately, I have heard the rumor amongst city employees that if I were elected everyone would be fired….this is NOT true. I think we have some of the best city employees but our leadership from the top down will be evaluated to be sure that they are working for the city’s best interest and not their own personal gain. I am willing to speak with any city employee that is willing to have a conversation to ease nerves.
The sinkhole situation needs to work towards a solution. I have spoken with the business owners that have been affected by the sink hole near highway 46. That issue will be resolved. It is a public nuisance and affected the city’s image long enough.
Addressing the future of Henslee Park. Recently, the city acquired a dog park and walking trail for well over one million dollars. This was purchased, in part, through a grant. The city and its residents however, will be required for up keep with maintenance and costs. If this upkeep is not done regularly it will end up much like the way Buckner Park looks now. The two parks are located about a half mile apart and I don’t believe this purchase was made with the best interest of the entire city in mind. Having two parks in such close proximity doesn’t benefit the eastern or southern part of the city. At this point though, I believe, the money spent on a new park could have been used to update Buckner and provide all the same amenities as Henslee Park without having tax payers be responsible for two parks up keep.
Futhermore, Public Works is going to be assigned the up keep of Henslee Park. That means more wear and tear on their equipment which means we will need to service said equipment more frequently. I have plans to offset these costs. This includes having a splash pad and a golf chipping and driving range. It would eventually lead to a 9 hole par 3 course. This course would not impact the current walking trail. As it stands now, the city is not generating any revenue through Henslee Park this plan could offset the upkeep costs.
Looking ahead to future taxes. We are in a good situation currently, however, good times don’t always last. We do not need to be spending just because we have it. People on fixed incomes are affected by tax increases. In order to ensure that we don’t have to increases the tax rate because of negligent spending, if elected, I will be transparent with your money. For example, there is no need for an assistant to the assistant of the Mayor (especially one that makes in the range of 70-100k a year). I would like to see this position cut. This additional money could be used to improve various streets and roads throughout the neighborhoods.
Term limits for the mayor position should be brought to the table. I recently did a poll on my campaign Facebook page asking people whether or not they believed the mayor position should have term limits. The vast majority of the 195 people that voted, 93 percent to be exact, stated they do believe there should be term limits. While I can see both sides on this matter, I do lean towards the side of needing term limits. Government officials should work for the people who elected them. With that being said, I value the citizens of Dickson’s opinions and trust their feedback. Several positions that were once elected positions in the city have been made into appointed positions and to me this means the current administration doesn’t trust the voter to make the right decision. I think term limits would encourage the mayor, whomever it may be, to listen and trust the voters.
In conclusion, I can promise I will be hands on. If you elect me as your mayor I will be just that. You will be hearing from me. You will see me. You will meet me. Too much power for any one person is dangerous therefore; I will give back the power to the people. I promise you I will be a mayor for all of the residents of Dickson. It’s time!