Carol Swain Response To SEIU Endorsement Questions

What are your views on privatizing/outsourcing city services?

A strong and productive Metro Government workforce is essential to a highly functioning city. I want to thank all Metro Government employees for their service to Nashville. For employees to be successful, they must have the right tools.

I will advocate for the implementation of the latest workplace technology to help improve communication and productivity. I will push for remote workplace software, which will in turn, allows more employees the flexibility of working from home.

These strategies will give Metro Government employees additional tools to be successful and productive in the workplace.

If a city service could be managed by a private entity more efficiently and at a significant cost saving to the city, I would weigh the effects on the Metro workforce, as well as the City budget.

Would you appoint representatives from Metro’s current employee organizations to serve on various Metro board and commissions?

As Mayor, I will appoint the most qualified candidates to Metro boards and commissions. Previous government experience will be accounted for during the selection process.

Do you believe in creating a dedicated funding stream to support the pay plan’s COLA increases and increments to occur on a consistent basis?

Once in office, I will review the city budgets to determine where wasteful spending can be cut and ensure that our city employees are paid what they deserve.

Will you continue to fully fund a defined benefit pension plan for all Metro employees?

Once in office, I will review the pension system and it’s investments to determine whether or not it needs to be retooled. I will not make promises without viewing all of the data that the city has internally.

Do you support a hybrid or 401k system for retirement? If yes, why?

As mayor, I would consider a hybrid or 401k system for retirement, with a match from the city. I believe that a hybrid or 401k plan would allow for employees to direct their own investments and remove some of long term liabilities from the city’s balance sheet.

Do you have any experience directly working with a union? Have you been a member of a union or any labor organizations? Please describe your experience.

I have never directly worked with a union.

What is your opinion on income inequality in Nashville? What would you do as Mayor to address it?

As mayor, one of my main priorities will be to review the hiring and promotions processes inside the Metropolitan government. We need the best and most skilled workers in our city government to continue being an “it” city. I will fight to end cronyism in the workplace and in the city contracting processes.

Additionally, I will review the best practices of other cities and advocate those solutions to create meaningful legislation alongside the City Council.

Do you support Memorandums of Understanding (M.O.U’s) with Metro workers’ Unions?

As Mayor, I would rely on the best available legal counsel, including but not limited to, the Metro Legal department to determine the best use of M.O.U.s.

Nashville has used Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) for development projects on the promise of job creation and economic growth. Many cities have created “clawback” legislation so that if a company receives incentives and doesn’t meet the standards and/or requirements, the taxpayers/city can recoup the revenue. Would you support including “clawback’ provisions in future TIF and PILOT agreements?

Yes, for too long the city has given away tax dollars to big corporations and ignored city workers and small businesses. We need more accountability, if we are going to use tax breaks to attract new business to the city. As Mayor, I will advocate for such legislation.

What is your opinion on Community Benefits Agreements?

I believe that communities should have the ability to negotiate with real estate developers on what the future of the community will look like. However, I also support personal property rights and the right of landowners to develop the land within the established city codes. I do not support the use of eminent domain to force property owners to give up their land for city uses.

  • Milton Orgeron

    Great answers that leave you beholden to no one and free to change what needs changing in Nashville. I would be a little if the SEIU actually did endorse you. They don’t like anyone who doesn’t ask “how high” when the unions say “jump.”

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