As early voting for the May County Primary starts today, it's a good time to take a look at the messaging being sent out by candidates.
A mail piece arrived recently for current County Commissioner and candidate for County Executive Jim Vaughn.
A couple problems with this mail. First, Vaughn states he supported the $300 million school building project." There's not currently a project of that magnitude. The County Commission did approve a $70 million bond to make improvements to 26 schools around the county. That was in February of 2015 and Jim Vaughn voted NO. So, he didn't support the current building project that has led to a near elimination of portables and improvements at many campuses around Sumner County. Also in February of 2015, the County Commission voted to move forward with the purchase of land for a campus for schools in Cottontown. These schools will download students from the fast-growing Station Camp area. Once again, Jim Vaughn opposed this measure. If the rest of the Commission had voted like Jim Vaughn, we'd still have more than 80 portables and there'd be no relief in sight for the overcrowding caused by rapid growth.
Vaughn then says he "championed enhanced security for schools including School Resource Officers." Problem is, he didn't. In fact, the Gallatin News Examiner reported that Vaughn "foresees security plan without new SROs.
Once again, Jim Vaughn's mailer deviates from Jim Vaughn's record.
The idea that he supports continued investment in our schools is not supported by evidence. In fact, in November of 2014, Vaughn wrote about why he opposed the funding necessary to make new investments in our schools. To be clear, Jim Vaughn SAYS he supports our schools, but his votes show he OPPOSES paying for them. In the column on why he opposed the funding, he claimed to want to see decreased fees to parents. Well, as a result of a majority on the County Commission (not Jim Vaughn) voting to invest in schools, school fees for grades K-8 have been eliminated. What's more, Jim Vaughn voted against the 2017-18 school budget.
The record is clear: Jim Vaughn is not a supporter of investing in or funding Sumner County Schools. He's opposed efforts to ease the overcrowding caused by growth. He's opposed funding initiatives that have virtually eliminated portables. His mailer references a "building program" when there's no evidence he's supported or advocated for such a program.
Jim Vaugn's mailer says one thing, his votes tell the real story.