Tuesday, April 19, 2011


What's more American than the mechanics of a mayoral election in "small town USA"?  Nothing - it's the envy of the third world.  There's nothing more democratic or screams freedom more than the free periodic elections held in our country.  That freedom is again coming to life this month in my hometown of Harriman, Tennessee with a new mayoral campaign.  It's time to elect the next mayor of our fair city, and you can bet it is going to be a heated contest.

There will be lots of handshaking, baby kissing, stump speaking, and gatherings of townsfolk enticed by the smell of BBQ and the promise of cool lemonade!  That's part of the reason I'm involved, that and the photo opportunities, but those are not the only reasons.

Why am I so concerned over an election I can't even vote in?  

Mainly it's because I know the incumbent personally, and I know he's as honest as the day is long.  I've watched him with his family and I know how much he loves his wife and children, and extended family.  To me, that speaks volumes about a man.

However, one of the strongest reasons I want Chris Mason to win another term is because we believe in the same dream.  That dream is to see my hometown come back to life and be as close to what it once was as possible.  We both think that can only happen if our beloved Princess Theatre comes back to life first!  It's not the only issue I like his stand on, but it's the most important to me.

Since September 4, 2009, the dream to give new life to the Princess has been moving forward.  Adding to a $300K+ grant from the State of Tennessee for the construction of a "trailhead", the Tennessee Valley Authority donated $1.7M toward the restoration of the Princess.  This came completely unexpected after an unfortunate mishap involving the breach of years of impounded coal ash that spread out in a tsunami like wave covering and destroying local property.

The dream continues to move toward life daily as restoration work continues, having never stopped since it began last August. 

This is the dream work I want to see continued, and Chris wants to see it completed and operating fully during his next term.  Actually, it will most likely be opened prior to the election, but there are a lot of benefits to the city's prosperity that will be associated the Princess opening, and Chris knows how to address these future opportunities.

The Mayor's office has recently received letters of promise and intent from 4 or 5 new businesses to move into downtown Harriman.  The central part of the city has been virtually dead for several years, and these new promises lift everyone's hopes that our beloved "small town" will come back to life.  

Maybe it won't be like it once was, but, there is potential for Harriman to actually be better than it was!  With new college and high school student foot-traffic downtown taking classes in media and the arts, someone will want them to spend the money they carry in their pockets.  Someone will want some of them to live downtown in refurbished apartments, to eat a meal, drink a cup of coffee, by a book or art supplies, or...whatever!  

To ensure "the dream" comes alive and remains alive, I want Chris Mason to be reelected.  After that, I personally don't care who comes in to pursue their own dream.  By then the Princess will be fully functional, being perpetually supported by Roane State's educational funding, and the city will have begun to reap and understand her importance to its well being.

So, that's why I went to Thursday evening's kick off to Chris' campaign.  Well, it could have been the free BBQ, but I'd rather think it was because I supported a man that supports my cause; my dream.

It was my small way of getting involved in my community and giving back just a little. If I didn't have such first hand knowledge of this man's integrity, and if I didn't believe in "the dream" so much, I wouldn't have gotten involved at all.  But, I believe in the dream and the man that can make it happen!

Good news...he said he will have another, more publicized, gathering closer to the election, and than means more great BBQ for me!


Muse Watson said...


Shrinky said...

Your enthusiasm and excitement is contagious, I can really see the difference a project like this can make to instill life back into this small community. So many small towns are struggling to maintain a viable town centre, I feel heartened to think you may well be on your way to successfully achieving that aim!

Scott from Oregon said...

I think politics should mostly be about local stuff...

Way to go Mushy!!

Mushy said...

Update...he won!