Former county mayor seeks position in Troy
Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2008 9:11 pm
By JOHN BRANNON
Messenger Staff Reporter
Just when all is quiet on the local political landscape comes a familiar voice with tidings to shake the serenity.
“I’m back,” former Obion County mayor Gaylon Long of Troy told The Messenger.
Long served one four-year term as county mayor. In 2006, he ran for re-election but was defeated by Benny McGuire, a long-time member of the Obion County Highway Commission.
“I’m back and I’m running for mayor of Troy,” he said.
Voters will decide on Nov. 4 whether he or incumbent Mayor Jimmie Hart will lead the city the next four years.
Hart is a formidable opponent. He is in his 23rd consecutive year as mayor.
“My pledge to the citizens of Troy is this: I will always be honest and fair,” Long said. “Your vote and support are appreciated. Help me so that I, in turn, can help you.”
Money — tax money — is very much an issue in this race.
“I said a long time ago that if (the Troy board of aldermen) did not maintain the certified tax rate, I would challenge the office,” Long said.
The latest tax rate, as approved by the Troy board on Sept. 17, is $1.70 per $100 valuation.
The certified tax rate for the city, as set by the State of Tennessee, is $1.56 per $100 valuation.
Long asserted that tax-wise, the distance between $1.56 and $1.70 is a quantum leap. He said had city fathers adopted the certified rate, they would have saved taxpayers a nice piece of change.
Long asserted that Troy’s citizens are being unfairly taxed.
He further asserted that if the city would use $300,000 it has in a reserve fund, the higher tax rate wouldn’t be needed.
“I would tell the citizens of Troy that as their mayor I will use our assets to help defray our taxes rather than use the concept of, ‘We’ll save these (reserve funds) and increase your taxes.’ I want us to be good stewards of the people’s money,” Long said.
Long, 62, a Troy native, is married to the former Barbara Huffstutter. They have three children — Kim Hepler of Miami, Michael Long of Troy and Kristie Hazelwood of Martin.