Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Lightning-rod Council Member Eric Crafton saw no major battlefield action in last night's Council Meeting. However, he was involved in two of the more laughable events of a very long and tedious meeting.
Two of Charlie Tygard's "infrastructure" resolutions were actually signed on behalf of Eric Crafton. That's not the laughable part. One of those resolutions was to earmark $6,000 for repairs at the Belle Meade Mansion, which appears in Metro Online Property Maps to be in the City of Belle Meade (it's mailing address is listed as Nashville). Council Member Jamie Isabel, who is African-American (which is probably an important point considering that public money would be going to a former plantation where African slaves were kept, forced to labor, and tortured), rose to ask Mr. Crafton how giving money to Belle Meade Plantation helped all of Nashville. Mr. Crafton rattled out something about his wife being a tour guide there and that Belle Meade Mansion commemorates the Civil War, something which we should never forget. I know that the mansion commemorates antebellum history, but does it really commemorate the Civil War per se? And do we need to send $6,000 in taxpayer money to repair a Carriage House (which is presently used for stuff like upscale wedding receptions) at best marginally located in Nashville because Mr. Crafton's wife works there translating for Japanese tourists?
The second humorous little moment for Mr. Crafton came after Member Carolyn Baldwin Tucker pointed out to Co-sponsor Rip Ryman that changing the proposed name of the "Korean War Veterans Memorial Boulevard" to "Korean Veterans Boulevard" might lead some to believe that the honor might be misunderstood as going to war veterans of Korean nationality (and God knows, that's unAmerican and unacceptable!). Mr. Crafton stood to suggest that the problem might be solved by putting an apostrophe after "Veterans" on street signs to show possession of the street. The Metro Council adviser responded that possession of the street is exactly the reason for not putting the apostrophe, since it would suggest that 54,000 war veterans own that street. Mr. Crafton in what appeared to be an overly-patriotic episode of zeal replied that it would be fine with him if Metro gave the veterans the street after "all they have done for out country." But why stop at a bridge and a street? Why not just rename the entire Central Business District "Korean Veteranstown" instead of "Downtown?" And I'm still trying to figure out how an apostrophe would solve the problem of Metro naming a street in honor of war veterans of Korean nationality. That's a head-scratcher.