Metro may fail, best candidate is a pilot

Friday, February 24, 2012

Today we're presenting a double feature on the broadsheet of our "big picture" page of quasi-local events.

Across Marshall's western border, voters are being asked to decide whether Columbia and Maury County should merge and be governed under a metropolitan charter. Usually campaigns against something win.

Meanwhile, Marshall County is the one whole county in the new 92nd House District. Parts of Lincoln, Franklin and Marion counties make up the rest of the gerrymander created by state lawmakers.

Having lived in Winchester and Decherd during the 1980s and becoming familiar with the Experimental Aircraft Association breakfasts at local airports, it's clear to me that one should take a bird's eye view of the new district. Getting to those eastern parts of the new 92nd - especially Marion County by road from Winchester - is a bear.

If the candidates running for state House in the November general election don't have a pilot's license and a helicopter, they ought to have campaign supporters who do.

Sherwood, Tenn., a hamlet on Alabama's border with Franklin County, has residents who are only accessible by land on roads that cross the state line.

It's almost as if you can't get there from here. Unless you drive in from Alabama, it can't be done.

Then there are places in Marion County that are in the Eastern Time Zone.

There's an alternative to the M*A*S*H candidate. It would take a long time, but it's not unprecedented.

Shortly after Brentwood was incorporated in 1968, Joe Sweeney put campaign signs on his horse blanket and rode door to door. He won and was re-elected every time he ran. Brentwood was a comparatively small municipality, not a whole county. The new 92nd House District reaches from Henry Horton State Park to Marion State Forest.

Maybe there's a candidate or candidate supporter among the Air-Evac helicopter ambulance crew: a pilot or a nurse familiar with health care issues.

As for our neighbors to the west, the idea of merging Columbia and Maury County under a metropolitan charter has merit. It might save money through more efficient government. But speeding drivers will still go to the courthouse to pay tickets issued by city police

Maybe there's enough sentiment against government so voters will want to shake things up. They have the opportunity, but the campaign for change hasn't been to "throw the bums out". Instead, the opposition campaign has a simple message: vote no to metro.

Then there's the example of NashVegas and the four network affiliates' news coverage of the sometime-circus of metro council. The countervailing example is Metropolitan Lynchburg-Moore County that belies the Jack Daniels' ad touting a population of - what? - 400 in the distillery's hometown.

Lynchburg-Moore County exists because Tullahoma was trying to annex part of Moore County and the consolidation stopped that city from annexing Aunt Bea's farm. Sheriff Andy stayed in charge, and all's right in the hills.

That metro campaign was against Tullahoma and in defense of property rights.

The consolidation vote is Super Tuesday, March 6, when voters select a party candidate for the presidential race in November. Turnout should be good.

Here, you should go vote anyway.

These views are the author's and not necessarily reflective of the Tribune's views.