With their daughter, Ari, are mother Johnetta Hastings and father DeCosta Hastings who’s running for re-election to the District 2 seat on the Metro Nashville City Council. Courtesy photo

By Clint Confehr

NASHVILLE, TN — A clear view of Independence Day fireworks is available at Councilman DeCosta Hastings’ campaign event where he’ll discuss accomplishments and deflect challengers’ lies, he announced recently.

“We are going to be at 1230 West Trinity Lane where there’s a beautiful overlook of downtown to watch the fireworks display,” Hastings said of his campaign event on July 4. It starts at 5 p.m., concludes after the fireworks, and includes a playground for children, Jacks BBQ, Harold’s Chicken, and some plain talk from Metro’s District 2 councilman.

Hastings says his re-election advocates include Jamie Isabel, Melvin Black, Kwame Leo Lillard, Luyde Wallace, Nick Leonardo and Brenda Haywood.

“The biggest challenge in the campaign now is making sure that our constituents know the truth,” Hastings said. “There are reports out there saying I’m taking money from developers … saying that other kickbacks are happening, and of course none of that stuff is true.”

Hastings says there are “photoshopped documents on-line to make it look like a [council] vote was a grease plant vote and that is not true.” Facebook, Next Door, other social media and emails are being used to present a false image, he said.

The so-called grease plant is a waste disposal and recycling business that receives grease from restaurant drains traps, liquid from landfills, and other waste requiring treatment before disposal.

In 2008-09, before Hastings ran for office, Metro’s Council rezoned 2832 Whites Creek Pike. That’s where Onsite Environmental is moving. It’s been at 1421 Baptist World Center Drive and can move to Whites Creek Pike because of decisions made years before he was elected.

“My legislation,” Hastings says, “was for the overall guidelines that the facility would have to follow for the betterment of our community.”

Controls, he says, prohibit bad odor and loud noises. Hours of operation are restricted as is traffic. Briley Parkway is to be the main thoroughfare. Trucks aren’t to drive through neighborhoods.

“My legislation addressed that, not whether the grease plant could move,” Hastings said.

“I’m doing what I’m doing for what is right for our community,” he said.

To improve the quality of life for his constituents, he said, Nashville must “build a stronger economic development cluster in our community that will be the economic base for all the services that our constituents need and say they want.”

Toward that end, he advocates a bridge over the Cumberland River to connect Metro Center with West Trinity Lane. He’s named members to the Nashville Infrastructure for Community Expansion (NICE) Committee that’s working toward an image for Nashville like the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco.

What’s his response to those saying it will never happen?

“That’s something they’ve said for years,” Hastings replied. “It will happen as long as I’m working to get the privatized dollars” for development motivated by a bridge. Hastings wants to improve roads and bring good jobs with better wages to the district.

“People are teaming up to get things done,” he said.

“As the councilman of this district I push myself every day to remember the needs of the people I represent,” Hastings said on the telephone as he held his 2-year-old daughter, Ari, while his wife, Johnetta, tended to other matters at their home.

Clint Confehr

Clint Confehr — an American journalist since 1972 — first wrote for The Tennessee Tribune in 1999. His news writing and photography in South Central Tennessee and the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical...