Sometimes the past is reflective of the future, and voters may need to be reminded about that. In this case, voters need to understand where Independent candidate for Coffee County TN Mayor Margaret Cunningham may lead them. Currently Mrs. Cunningham serves as a Coffee County commissioner, where she has been for 8 years
In 2019, Commissioner Margaret Cunningham suggested a wheel tax be levied to the residents of Coffee County with a rate of $25 per vehicle. According to Mrs. Cunningham “We have a responsibility,” Cunningham said. “I don’t think it’s right to continually burden a small percentage of the population to carry the county burdens of expenditure; it’s not fair. This is a good time. These are reasonable numbers – $20 or $25 on a car and half of that for a motorcycle.” She further stated “And $20 or $25 is not going to kill anybody’s budget”
If Mrs. Cunningham were to be elected, would imposing a wheel tax on already financially stretched residents have to worry about losing more of their paycheck? $20 or $25 means gas or food for many right now.
In September 2021, Mrs. Cunningham, Chair of the Purchasing Committee suggested the Coffee County Historical Society, a nonprofit that utilizes a room at the Court House, should pay rent. Cunningham stated “It seems to me they (the Coffee County Historical Society) are ungrateful for the county letting them have so much space. Maybe we need to think about charging them some minimal charge so that they understand this is a special thing to be able to get the space. I think if they are not grateful then maybe we need to think of something to make them appreciate that they have it.
So, this is how an elected county commissioner views a non- profit, ran by volunteers, creating archives to maintain a cities past should be treated? No surprise though, this is how many quasi Independents aka democrats view history, and are actively attempting to re-write and replace it.
In addition to the many committees Mrs. Cunningham sits on, she also maintained the title of President to the organization Manchester Coffee County Partnership for Tomorrow, which is the umbrella over its three entities, one being Coffee County Animal Welfare – Partnership for Tomorrow. Its stated purpose was “to provide outlet for donations to the coffee County animal control facility in order to improve conditions for animals housed there, as well as provide volunteers and resources to increase adoptions by allowing better hours of operation, assistance to County staff, building capital fund for new animal control facility and overall raising the quality of care for animals in the coffee County animal control facility.”
A question that needs to be asked of Mrs. Cunningham is what did her organization accomplish for the animals of Coffee County? It is widely known the shelter’s condition was dilapidated, and unable to house the many dogs that needed the service. In fact, upon a visit to the shelter to drop off items for the dogs, we observed blankets and towels that were donated, in garbage bags at the rear of the building soaked by rain. Boxes upon boxes of apparently donated goods were piled high, with no sign of being properly stored or distributed. Questions have arisen regarding the dissolution of this particular part of the organization, and where funds raised were distributed.
In this time of political upheaval, voters must be educated on a candidates fiscal responsibilities rather than charm, strong leadership instead of rhetoric, and effective, productive policies rather than “niceness”.
Coming up next… Margaret Cunningham’s road is being paved despite others in dire need…