To the Editor:
I would like to commend the outstanding job that Trina Baughn is doing on City Council. Of all the members of City Council, she is the most knowledgeable about the city’s massive and rising $186.4 million debt. Trina Baughn understands the history of how this debt was accumulated; she also has developed a strategic plan to help the taxpayers resolve this debt.
While Oak Ridge slipped deeper into debt, past City Councils have wasted and squandered taxpayer funds on law firms in Washington, D.C., to lobby for more money for Oak Ridge’s government facilities, as if lobbying rather than the qualifications of local scientists could swing federal funding to Oak Ridge. The taxpayers derived zero benefit from those lobbyist payments or the largesse City Council has bestowed on the Chamber of Commerce over the years.
When a person is facing financial constraints, he or she must cut all unnecessary spending. It is unclear whether the current City Council majority understands the concept of “no unnecessary spending.” Trina Baughn understands that the taxpayer funds are not just “other people’s money” up for grabs, and that every dollar counts. No person of intelligence would oppose her attempts to hold city government accountable or to exercise fiscal restraint.
Euripides once said that when a good person is harmed, all people who would call themselves good must suffer with her. Thus, I took it personally when Trina Baughn was publicly attacked for calling for an investigation of the current police chief. Trina Baughn demonstrated not only courage but class in the manner in which she conducted herself in the last City Council meeting.
I am glad the council voted unanimously to conduct an investigation. Now maybe council should investigate itself to find out why certain members of Council were eager to sweep this matter under the carpet and avoid public scrutiny. Why was Trina Baughn the one and only Council member to submit a resolution calling for an investigation, when the other members of Council had access to the same information that she had? Anyone interested in the chronology of events should view the website: http://trinabaughn.com/2015/02/04/my-response-to-hensley/
Trina, keep up the good work. We need more people like you on City Council.
Michael A.S. Guth