John Cooper focuses on better deals for city, residents

John Cooper focuses on better deals for city, residents

Fiscal debates made John Cooper a thorn in the side of two mayors. Frustrated by what he saw as mismanagement and bad deals, he decided to run for the position himself.

Fiscal responsibility is a centerpiece in his campaign to unseat Mayor David Briley in the Aug. 1 election.

He said the same focus has grounded him for nearly four years as an at-large council member.

Cooper points to his record on council and how he vocally opposed economic incentive deals, city land sales and the ballot referendum to fund mass transit.

Those disagreements fueled his desire to run.

“Simply put, the Mayor’s office has lost track of the public’s priorities,” he said in a statement. “It values promoting development, not protecting our quality of life. It has given millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to developers who don’t need them and has ignored our schools, our traffic, and our affordable housing crisis.”

As a council member, Cooper said he has spoken out against these “bad deals,” voting against costly incentives. And the ones he voted for, such as Amazon and AllianceBernstein, he supported with a request to Music City Center to take on the costs.

Cooper led the charge in opposing then-Mayor Megan Barry’s proposal to hand over 21 acres of Fort Negley Park to private developers for $1 million over a decade, including infrastructure work.

He spurred the creation of the Blue Ribbon Commission to identify $20 million in savings in Metro’s Budget.