Bold New Leadership
Is it in the best interest of City of Lebanon taxpayers? This is my primary consideration and will be the benchmark of my administration.
I will bring a business approach to city government, and prioritize spending for departmental efficiency, including addressing the huge debt our city currently has. We should not have an annual budget item of almost 20 million dollars set aside for bonds, one of the 10 bonds goes back to 1998!
Central planning is wise, as long as pragmatic flexibility guards against government meddling. All too often, politicians and bureaucrats want to build monuments to their ego, forgetting that as elected and appointed officials, we work for the citizens, not the other way around. The United States Constitution will be foremost in the function of my administration. My plan below is in addition to the normal, daily function of city management.
A Bold New Exciting Vision for Lebanon:
Prosperity: Lebanon citizens have two choices when new funding grants are unavailable: higher taxes, or a higher-healthier-growing tax base of contributors, i.e., more people participating in our commerce. In 2019, the current city government hit us with a 41% property tax increase; this is unacceptable for a properly run city government.
Under my administration, once investors discover Lebanon has become void of insider deals and government intrusion, investors will be more likely to partner with us for growth and prosperity in our city. Conditional approval of building plans if the investor also donates money to other city projects, as one of our neighboring cities has developed to an art form, will not find a place in Lebanon, under my care. Extortion is defined as the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.
As a result of my more honest approach, which you will read in further detail below, our tax base will begin to rise by virtue of investment and business growth fueling more employment opportunities, industrial and residential occupancy, and subsequent rise in sales tax and property tax dollars coming in at current tax rates! As the tax base grows, so can consideration for adding aesthetics such as a city flower garden, amphitheater, and city art museum.
Taxes, Debt, and Grants: It will NEVER be my first choice to raise tax rates. I believe pragmatic growth in business and housing, and investors wanting to work with us as we keep a sharp eye on infrastructure needs, will provide growth surpassing our neighbor cities.
A real effort to retire Bond debt; one of our many bonds date back to 1998! Current budget item #110-61630 identifies Debt Service in the amount of $2,200,066.00, a 16.98% increase from the previous budget! Tackling this debt is vital to the long-term financial health of Lebanon.
Lebanon currently has a “Grant Writer.” Chasing state and federal grant money is fine, but we must expect a higher standard for ourselves, and promote Lebanon as a great opportunity for investors and builders, as well as residents; I plan to market our city in just this way.
Prosperity Fueling Growth: The timing of major investments, such as my airport project, and parking project below, will of course rely upon the actual growth in (our) tax base, with the realization major items in my plan may need to be delayed, accordingly.
Preservation: The aforementioned growth and prosperity can be done with efforts to maintain the beauty of our neighborhoods, older homes, buildings, and rural landscape, not with government meddling, but within U.S. Constitutional law, and compassion toward residents affected. I’m not pretending reaching an agreement on all sides will be easy, but let us begin.
I will meet with department heads to discern their needs in order to achieve or maintain top efficiency. Listing what each department needs, not included in the current budget, I will work with our city council to obtain additional resources. Other review examples:
Family Life Center Budgeted #122-44431- $1,490,182.89 *not counting concessions. Senior Citizens Budgeted #110-41150- $282,812.00. Due to the Wuhan, China-Covid-19 virus situation, an itemized review of money allocated from the current budget year, and the amount actually used during scaled back hours of operation, will indicate how much will be carried over within the next budget assessment; this should be noted in the next budget report, so tax payers can become fully informed how my administration intends to responsibly handle their tax dollars.
Annual Monetary Bonus: Any bonuses awarded should be measured according to the efficiency of the recipients’ department, not on the employment longevity of recipients themselves.
Budget Notations: I will propose more specific notations be made in the budget report to taxpayers. For example, the notations, item #110-44234-Special Events-1 and item 110-44238- Special Events-2 should differentiate between official functions, such as gatherings on behalf of government business, and social functions on behalf of constituents, with itemized expenses in a separate report, open for public review.
Transfer to other funds: item #110-60000- $722,150.00; this definitely needs to be more specific in terms of the amount transferred, to which department, and the reason for the transfer.
Dues: item #110-44235- Identify the organization(s) receiving money, and the purpose.
City Natural Gas Sales
Securing purchasing contracts from our supplier(s) of natural gas, while prices are at historic lows may offer future opportunities to rebate money or lower prices to citizens, during supply & demand cycles in the marketplace.
Citizens verses Government: As Mayor DeMoor, I will seek to bring together all sides to discuss the facts, and (even) offer alternatives. For example, the recent fight over rezoning (from residential to light-industrial) a 202 acre set of properties near Tater Peeler Road, and Cainsville Road had upset residents in the area, not wanting what they said was another wrecking yard in their neighborhood; apparently such use of the proposed acreage was in the planning stages. The Lebanon Planning Commission gave a “no” vote to the rezoning, yet the city council was entertaining the possibility of a vote in favor. As citizen acrimony increased, the discussion was set aside. Current council members including those in banking and real estate, should have suggested alternatives available for consideration by investors, as I mentioned in my opening, above, and (I) offer further remedies below under the paragraph, My Mayor’s Coalition of Businesses.
I personally visited the area in question, after I asked one of the residents if anyone from the city council or mayor’s office visited, or asked her or her neighbors what kind of future development would be more acceptable; she said nobody visited nor asked! As mayor, I feel it will be my duty to directly interact with the needs and feelings of our citizens, not just during city council meetings.
Mitchell House Mansion
As Mayor DeMoor, I would love to call this beautiful place my office, and upon assuming the office, I will review actual reports concerning the structural integrity of the building; it may be wise to call for a “second opinion” report, and current market appraisal of this investment.
Upon reviewing Mitchell House current budget item #110-41160, in the amount of $172,186.80, I want to review utility records for the past 5 years, to ascertain if the amount is a reasonable figure for the current year.
As of July, I understand there are only eleven people enjoying this new city office building. I would like to find positive, creative ways to mitigate the cost of this landmark, even to the point of having “it” pay for annual operating costs.
Update Baddour Parkway name to add “Bypass” Widen the thoroughfare to accommodate 4 traffic flow lanes, and space for a 5th lane placed at strategic intersections, and "turning points" for businesses, Don Fox park, and emergency "pull-off" areas.
Baddour Parkway “Bypass” Signage and Expansion: Adding the word, Bypass, with illustration, and adding lanes will encourage large freight trucks to bypass the downtown retail area as they look for ways to more easily traverse to and from I-40, Hwy. 231, and Hwy. 109, connecting all routes in and out of Lebanon, freeing up traffic for shoppers, business owners, and their customers. *GPS device settings (by users) may not always offer this route alternative.
Beneath the main "Bypass" sign: A directional arrow with the words, Restaurants, Shopping, Accommodations, Repair, pointing to businesses along main streets and secondary streets, in and out of Lebanon.
Give Us a Sign! I will ask the city council to approve updating the aforementioned Baddour-Bypass signs and arrow signs, approve funding, and schedule installation during the 1st. Quarter of 2021. I’ll also ask the council to set a target date to widen the bypass, and prioritize funding, if available, for the project. If funding is not available, then I will work with the city “grant writer” to obtain funding.
TRAFFIC LIGHTS Arterial Flow: Using existing equipment, double the time side street traffic must wait for a green light, after their car/truck has triggered a light change, on major streets and thoroughfares.*A 90 day trial period will offer results.
Building: When investors want to build in Lebanon, my new “Mayor’s Coalition of Businesses” team, along with city council members, will encourage them to utilize areas already zoned for their requirements. As I mentioned above, for example, when the recent Tater Peeler Road/Cainsville Road rezoning argument caused residential citizens to adamantly object to the rezoning proposal from residential to light industrial, and the (citizen objected) rezoning/annexation of 69.6 acres on Leeville road, I wondered why there were no apparent alternatives proposed, nor reasons given for either the acceptance or rejection by investors to property sites already zoned. We’ll make more money on the purchase isn’t always the best criteria to grow wisely.
As mayor, before any rezoning proposals get to the planning commission, I will ask each council member, in cooperation with Coalition of Business team members, to present an alternate “already-zoned” property site to interested investors, if their desire is to build industry within residential areas. Perhaps a compromise can be made, hopefully with community spirit in mind. An effort to preserve areas designated as residential should always be of paramount consideration. However, because market conditions are always changing, and if an investor has a reasonable reason to ask for rezoning, this method will offer valuable information so we may determine if flexibility in or adjacent to already zoned areas should be considered.
Many communities use tax abatement and smaller fees as an incentive during negotiations with investors; I will not accept either of these unless the investor(s) commits to directly repaying all of the abated taxes and/or fees, within a certain time frame, utilizing existing and future assets as collateral. Open to all investors, with this method, we become more fiscally responsible guardians of tax dollars.
Impact Fees; Penalty for Investors
Recently, city government sponsored an ordinance that would enforce a $1,500.00 per apartment/condominium unit “impact fee,” which I feel is not only a deterrent to investors, but equivalent to a penalty for bringing investor money to our city. I will review this kind of penalty in what I consider to be “holding investors hostage” if they want to build and bring jobs to our city.
One of my affirmations is to develop mutual respect and cooperation between city government, investors, and citizens. I realize decisions made rarely please everyone, but we must make every effort to foster preservation with prosperity, honesty and integrity, as we grow our beautiful Lebanon.
My team will identify, and actively pursue redevelopment in blighted areas in Lebanon. For example, the former Hartman Luggage property and surrounding area is begging to be redeveloped; I will invite all licensed realty agents to join my team in promoting the sale and development of these type of properties.
Agents win by earning their usual commissions from their companies, and our taxpayers win by increased tax dollars into our treasury.
City Square Parking Building
(the availability of investor funds and monetary government grants will decide the timing of this project)
Our beautiful city square business area will continue to face tough challenges until ample parking can be available.
I have three possible solutions that will offer additional parking, while maintaining the beauty and charm of the square itself. The concrete parking building should be designed to complement, if not visually blend in with surrounding structures, i.e. color scheme, and concrete forms to embrace existing building exteriors.
A multilevel parking structure will invigorate retail on and near the square with convenient parking in all weather conditions, 12 months out of the year. In addition to bringing more shopping and restaurant customers into the square, by virtue of convenient parking, the surrounding blocks will have incentives to update their buildings to attract more people as well.
*Optional: Public restrooms within the parking building, accessible from the exterior of the building itself.
Plan A: Drop the Sports Complex plan, sell the land purchased for the complex, and designate the money for the parking building. Incorporate Plan C with this, if necessary.
Plan B: General Obligation “Support Our City” Bond, ONLY if existing bond debt will responsibly allow an additional bond. Example: Review the possibility of refinancing existing bonds for a more favorable debt load.
Plan C: State/Federal Grant(s)
Plan D: Seek private investors for the project.
Plan A: City Square-Southwest Corner-current street level parking
A 3 or 4 story parking building, complete with concrete facade to compliment surrounding structures. Owner: City of Lebanon.
Plan B: (N.E. Corner E. Market & Hwy. 213 One Block North of City Square) 4 story parking garage structure. I spoke with owners, Frank & Theresa Vastola; they will consider a deal.
Plan C: (West Main & ½ Block West of City Square/Former Bank of America Building) 3 or 4 story garage, and surface parking with entry off Main Street, Maple Street, and Market Street. I spoke with owner, Bob Black; he will consider a deal.
*After I examined this structure, I believe it can be utilized for many purposes, including leasing as a retail and/or office space(s).
Monetary Benefits: No matter which location is ultimately selected, initially, I envision free parking as an added incentive to bring customers to the square and surrounding neighborhood. The resulting increase in merchant sales tax receipts to our treasury will be apparent.
Naming Rights on the parking building could include a digital sign, sharing advertising with City of Lebanon events and alerts. Private businesses will have the opportunity to purchase advertising. *Subject to existing safety codes regarding distracted driving.
Free-up Surface Street parking for retail stores/restaurants, with space on the top floor of the parking building designated for merchants and their employees, weather permitting. Because the design calls for an open-air top floor, certain outdoor events can be planned utilizing it as well, weather permitting. *Design should include an elevator, and possible public restrooms.
Retail Stores and Permanent Residential Multi-level Condominiums. As a result of providing convenient parking for customers, building owners and other investors will have incentive to rehabilitate existing structures, and build multi-level residential condominiums for blocks around our city square.
*Permanent Residential Multi-level Condominiums must include their own parking area within their plan.
As I mention within my economic plan, increasing our tax base of contributors (consumers paying their taxes) and seeking private venture capital, so that we may fund major projects, will always be my first and second choices, as opposed to raising tax rates.
I believe the impact of providing year-round convenient covered parking for consumers coming to the square (see above) will be the catalyst in bringing more revenue to merchants, and incentive for additional private investment, in and for many blocks around the square itself. The area surrounding the square will then be conducive for new residential housing in the form of condominiums, as well as businesses geared toward not only shoppers, but residents needing services.
As a result, property values will increase, and the land now serving as a drainage ditch approaching, traversing under, and exiting the square can be converted to accommodate large composite or concrete pipe, and buried to handle storm run-off, and rising Barton’s and Sinking Creeks. Imagine, "where once there was a drainage ditch, buildings exist".
As your next mayor, I will run the cost estimates against those of the Army Corp of Engineers Barton’s Creek, Lebanon Flood Risk Management Project assessment of 2018. Obviously, clearing and dredging the “downstream” area leading away from the square must be considered, lest we move the flooding problem to residents beyond the downtown area.
Vote: John DeMoor, Candidate for Mayor.
Lebanon Waterway Clean-up
There are a number of creeks and drainage areas throughout our city frequently choked with stagnant water and overgrowth, which invites disease carrying insects and microorganisms. I want to coordinate regular clean-up efforts with neighbors along the waterways, such as a community effort of “neighbor helping neighbor” cut back overgrowth along their property. Perhaps designating a Saturday once each month, or every six weeks, March through October, as a volunteer effort of citizens, in concert with city workers to clear vegetation, identify waterways in need of dredging, and promote downstream runoff, will be beneficial.
This forward planning will especially benefit buildings surrounding our city square, in order to mitigate future flooding.
Making our waterways more efficient and attractive will also make properties more appealing and livable, for all our citizens.
A number of new innovative health services companies are simplifying the bloated maze of healthcare paperwork, in addition to fostering cost transparency and competition in the health care industry.
“Sidecar Health” company is but one alternative I’d like to explore for City of Lebanon coverage, to save tax dollars.
Because crime affects the economic well being in every city, including Lebanon, I want to make it clear, that as your next mayor, our police department will have my full support in utilizing their training to defend themselves in every situation, with every piece of equipment available.
I will meet with the Chief of Police to determine what, if any additional resources our police force needs, to efficiently do their job.
5G verses 6G technology
Our lives are directly and indirectly affected, financially, and personally by current technologies, whether we actively utilize cellphones, computers, and the Internet, or not.
5G: The Communist Chinese are far ahead of us with their network of 5G implementation, and the spread of their influence via the (communist) Huawei global corporation. According to reporter Kyle Almond, “Huawei is the world’s largest provider of telecommunications equipment, a leader in next generation 5G technology, and passed Apple to become the second biggest smartphone seller in the world.”
6G-6th generation wireless: Currently being researched and developed, 6G is the successor to 5G wireless technology. According to reporter, Margaret Rouse, “6G networks will be able to use higher frequencies than 5G networks, and provide substantially higher capacity.” It will be interesting to see if Communist China will, what I call “cross-pollenate” 6G networks, in other communist and non-communist governments, and in our own country, just as they have 5G, to influence commerce and steal intellectual property.
It may be wise to limit adapting 5G technology, as we wait for 6G to become widely available.
Tougher U.S. laws are being enacted to prevent theft of American intellectual property, as well as the spread of communist-influenced global commerce.
The responsible thing for my administration to do is frequently inform our citizens in Lebanon on the current status of our relationship with communist governments.
I will encourage our businesses in Lebanon to update their customers on personal choices in technology, i.e., made in the U.S.A or not. My administration will be vigilant regarding any and all direct communist influence in our businesses and schools.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure ~Benjamin Franklin
I want to be your next mayor! Together, we will transform Lebanon into a city of mutual respect between citizens and government.
Together, we will rid Lebanon of "insider deals" manipulated to enrich the few, instead of the many tax paying citizens!
Together, we will refashion Lebanon as a dynamic growth destination of prosperity AND preservation.
Click the "More" tab above, and then Airport Expansion Plan, for details.
As of July 2020, I began contacting a number of major air-shipping companies about our Lebanon airport, and how we will effectively compete as a satellite freight hub with Nashville International Airport. I want to interest one of the companies to invest with us, to help defray the cost of the project. A Federal and or State Grant may be included as well.
*My correspondence with: Air Freight, DHL, UPS, and FEDEX*
>>>>>>>>>FEDEX already has fleet aircraft that can utilize our airport.
Initial letter to executives:
As candidate for Mayor of Lebanon, TN, I'm formulating an economic plan, and would like to include you in my Lebanon, TN airport idea. The Lebanon Municipal Airport accommodates and services a wide variety of commercial and private aircraft, with a 5,000 foot runway and several modern T-hangers and corporate hangers. My plan includes lengthening our runways, and adding additional warehousing.
On Interstate 40, about 20 miles east of the Nashville International airport, with many freight trucking companies already nearby, we're strategically positioned to offer service to accommodate your smaller planes, allowing greater flexibility in logistics.
The airport provides fuel and maintenance services, and rental car services. I look forward to talking with you.
Candidate for Mayor of Lebanon, TN
Additional Airport Details
Multiple Fortune 500 Companies
Life Flight Vanderbilt
52 City-Owned T-Hangars
29 Corporate Hangars
Multiple New Developments
Endless Private Development Opportunities