Friday, April 13, 2007

Some Metro Council Infratructure Funding Requests Actually Aim at Infrastructure Next Week

We actually have some real requests for spending money on Metro infrastructure and equipment in the upcoming round of "Infrastructure" resolutions. As such, they deserve mention before I post on the latest round of non-profit earmarks in another post:
  • $6,000 to the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation to purchase baseball equipment for boys and girls teams at Antioch High School (Sam Coleman)
  • $7,000 to the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency to purchase an electronic sign for the James A. Cayce Homes, which was requested by the neighborhood at community meetings sponsored by the council member (Mike Jameson)
  • $12,790 to the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation for canoe launching ramps the Harpeth River Greenway System (Charlie Tygard)
  • $24,000 to the Metropolitan Transit Authority for the purchase and installation of four bus shelters with artistic renderings, which were requested by the neighborhoods at community meets sponsored by the council member (Jameson)
  • $30,250 to the Metropolitan Police Department to pay for "Crime Reduction Team" activities in South Nashville (Rip Ryman)
And a more marginal request going to fund "program services" of a public-connected non-profit:
  • $95,000 to the Nashville Alliance for Public Education, which is a non-profit "partner" of the Public School Board and School Director (Erik Cole, Greg Adkins, Jason Hart, Randy Foster, Emily Evans, Jim Shulman)
While this request ostensibly supports public education, whether the money actually supports public school programs and infrastructure depends on how it gets allocated.

A big thanks to all of these council sponsors for finally bringing motions to fund public infrastructure and programs directly instead of earmarking tax money for narrow non-profits. But we should particularly be grateful to council members Coleman, Jameson, Tygard, and Ryman for designating public dollars to public projects. In particular, Mike Jameson deserves special kudos for hosting community meetings to let the neighborhoods decide how his portion of the discretionary funds would be spent.

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