Everybody talked but the candidates when the city-sponsored Go Vote! roadshow rolled into the Milton Roberts Recreation Center at the edge of District 4 last night.
Gary Loe asked Mayor Madeline Rogero to permit the four candidates from District 4 to speak, but she said that was not the predetermined meeting format. Instead, Rogero welcomed everyone and introduced incumbent council members Finbarr Saunders, George Wallace, Vice Mayor Duane Grieve and Nick Della Volpe, who currently represents District 4 and is term-limited.
District 4 contains much of Fountain City, Spring Hill, Alice Bell and Holston Hills.
Della Volpe struck sour chords, calling the mayor “dear” and advising the candidates that they’ll P.O. half of the people most of the time. He did not abbreviate the slang expression. Later a woman from the audience waved her arm and said Della Volpe had set a high bar for constituent service. Yes, everyone spoke but the candidates.
One of the five, Jack Knoxville (“I liked this town so much that I changed my name”), didn’t even attend.
So the top-talker was an unlikely fellow, Cliff Rodgers, administrator of elections. He actually used the Barney Fife term “Nip it in the bud” a couple of times and said there’s a bad rumor afloat. “Even though the top two vote-getters from each district will advance to the general election, you can vote for only one on Aug. 29.
With only one election on the ballot, Rodgers said he hopes everyone goes to vote. “One of these races could be decided by one or two or a handful of votes.” Vote on the first day of early voting, he said. It’s important. “Don’t worry about hacking. The Russians don’t care about this election as much as you do.”
Four silent candidates talked individually with voters. They are: Harry Tindell, Lauren Rider, Dan Davis and Amy Parker.