Early voting for the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen began today. Normally we wouldn’t talk about municipal elections as they don’t really affect Williamson County Schools.
But incumbent Alderman Bev Burger is a special case. Back in 2014, as a sitting Franklin Alderman, Bev Burger worked hard to defeat Williamson County School Board incumbents and elect a secretly coordinated slate of her vetted and preferred candidates. She was a huge booster of Susan Curlee, Beth Burgos, Candy Emerson, and Dan Cash. She (with a helping hand of national group Americans for Prosperity) was successful in getting her chosen slate of candidates elected.
Burger stayed involved. One record unearthed in the Williamson Strong legal matter shows that Burger told her preferred WCSB members how to vote (on a legal matter involving her friend, County Commissioner Barb Sturgeon) and used the board members’ personal email addresses, circumventing public records laws. Burger tried to obscure her role as an operative repeatedly, including using a fake name. Burger also thought it was problematic that some parents objected to Mark Gregory’s “ButtleOpener” invention and the idea that he would be elected school board chair.
Below is some additional history on Bev Burger and the WCSB that may be useful for the public.
In 2013, turnout for the Franklin municipal election was 2%. Burger won with 391 votes.
Kathy Danner, District 4 County Commissioner, disclosed that there was a “team effort” coordinated by local community organizer Chuck Shelton and political consultant and Franklin Alderman Bev Burger (among others) to “vet” Williamson County School Board candidates.
Burger was enraged that Dr. Mike Looney announced that “Williamson County Schools students’ performance on state standardized tests not only place them first in Tennessee, but also first in the nation among 300 or more school districts that are similar in size” based on information from a national website. Burger wrote to the website’s owner and reporters, “Seems from the newspaper articles we have read in the Tennessean and Williamson Herald, our county has been misled by the school administration.”
Burger was copied on the infamous Kent Davis emails calling for the ouster of Dr. Mike Looney.
Franklin Clapham Group hosted a WCSB candidate forum. The forum was moderated by Chris Burger, Bev Burger’s son. Franklin Clapham Group’s mission is to “promote the application of a Biblical worldview in all spheres of life, including but not limited to, self-conduct, family, church and civil government, using all means possible.” Bev Burger is Chairman of the Board of the group.
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The prepared statement read by Beth Burgos stated that “not one of us has remotely entertained or expressed the desire to replace our superintendent Dr. Looney.” Burgos said, “We have not made any of our campaigns political or partisan. BUT … a fair election process has been ROBBED FROM US by highly partisan groups and individuals…” The candidates refused to answer questions.
Burger promotes Curlee, including to former SNL stars…
District 2 County Commission candidate and former Saturday Night Live actress Victoria Jackson was “confronted by the aggressive Alderman Bev Burger who looked at the Susan Curlee button on my chest and told me, ‘You are a controversial figure around here. Don’t support Susan Curlee. I want her to win.'”
“Everybody won.” – Franklin Alderman Bev Burger
“So thankful for you and humbled that God would answer all our prayers 4 times over, – Dan Cash, Candy Emerson, Beth Burgos, Susan Fick Curlee, no actually five – including Glen Casada And to top it off Jay Galbreath and Paul Bartholomew Awesome, professional, caring, wonderful people who love our community, our children and our schools !!”
Burger promoted a petition to retain Mark Gregory as WCSB Chair on her Alderman Facebook page.
“I find it terrible that a fellow board member has led the charge when they are bound to their ethic code to follow majority vote. While they’re at it maybe they ought to take his wife and kids out to the wood shed and give them a piece of it too.”
Burger helped former WCSB member Susan Curlee assemble the Registry complaint against Williamson Strong and prepared packets for the March hearing.
Burger emailed the eight 912 members of the Williamson County School Board – Dan Cash, Paul Bartholomew, Jay Galbreath, Candy Emerson, Beth Burgos, Susan Curlee, PJ Mezera and Mark Gregory – at their personal email addresses and advised them how to vote on a situation regarding her ally and County Commissioner Barb Sturgeon.
“One of you called and left me a voicemail… YES, we are asking you to get out of the lawsuit.”
“The vote tonight needs to be transparent and in order to do that, as our city attorneys have beat into me (and my fellow Aldermen) many of time [sic], make sure you discuss why you are voting yes or no…
“I hope it will be something like this:
“I vote NOT to support the letter written by our Superintendent to Commissioner Sturgeon…”
Burger shared the link to the secret Hillsboro teacher audio recording via Williamson True on Susan Curlee’s page.
Burger endorsed Laurie Cardoza-Moore for the interim District 4 WCSB seat.
“I support Laurie 120%. Professional, well balanced, mom of public school kids, and has a deep knowledge of all thing [sic] education…”
Burger endorsed 2016 District 4 WCSB candidate, Joey Czarneski, and contributed $125 to his campaign.
Burger, along with County Commissioners Kathy Danner and Brandon Ryan and Laurie Cardoza-Moore, also endorsed Czarneski in his failed run for a Franklin at-large aldermanic seat in 2011.
Burger accused WCSB member Anne McGraw, one of her Ward 1 constituents, of stealing Joey Czarneski’s campaign signs.
“… Looked great and I know those banners cost a lot of money. The very next day it was missing. Seems a bit odd don’t ya think since this is where your competitor, Anne McGraw lives. I guess someone doesn’t like you having supporters in her neighborhood.”
Burger, along with County Commissioners Kathy Danner and Gregg Lawrence and Laurie Cardoza-Moore, hosted Rep. Glen Casada’s campaign fundraiser.