At a meeting earlier this week, Tygard told Metro Finance Director David Manning he felt Purcell had not supported the [west Nashville] library for political reasons. Purcell allocated $700,000 for the land in his proposed capital budget this year. Manning responded to Tygard saying Purcell has spent far more dollars on community projects than any other Nashville mayor.That's not all either Tygard or Manning said. The omitted details are telling. Tygard demanded that both Manning and Purcell explain to Bellevue residents why they would not be getting a library or more elementary schools. And then, he overplayed his hand: he accused the Mayor of spending less money on the Nashville community and more money on the courthouse and public square, which Tygard called, "monuments to government."
Manning countered with facts that we all know: this Mayor has spent more money on the neighborhoods than any other Mayor ever has or probably ever will. The Finance Director said that if previous Mayors and Councils had taken steps to maintain and repair the courthouse over the years, then Metro would not now be spending so much to do so now. He also took his own shot at the Metro Council by saying that the Mayor spends more time out in the neighborhoods than any Council members. And the congregation said, "Booya!"
But as I said, Tygard overplayed his hand by calling Nashville's courthouse and public square "monuments to government." He revealed at that moment that his anger was more political and partisan than pragmatic. He was far afield from fiscal conservativism that questions cost overruns. He was being a socially conservative Don Quixote, fighting imaginary big government foes; had he put a lid on his seething cauldron, Tygard might have seen that if we resort to calling the courthouse a "monument to government," then we are also bound to refer likewise to any libraries or public schools that the government builds in Bellevue.