Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tennessean Acknowledges Controversy of Whitson's Appointment to BZA and Mayor Dean's Role

From Michael Cass:

Tonight the council unanimously confirmed the appointment of former Councilman Chris Whitson to the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals.

Dean’s appointment of Whitson upset some council members and neighborhood leaders because the attorney lives in Belle Meade, which is not subject to Metro zoning laws, and he took some stances on the council that some viewed as anti-neighborhoods.

“Mr. Whitson on a number of occasions opposed efforts by neighborhoods to protect themselves from incompatible development,” Lane Easterly, treasurer of the Nashville Neighborhood Defense Fund, wrote to Dean on Monday.

Whitson said he understands that his role on the zoning board is to interpret and apply existing laws rather than making new ones.


  1. Dean’s appointment of Whitson upset some council members

    Was it a voice vote? Why did they appoint the guy if they had problems with him?

  2. It was a voice vote, which is typical of all appointments. I've never seen a roll call vote taken on an appointment. The committee also voted unanimously, but I don't know if they voice voted or not. Here are the confirmations committee members:

    Rip Ryman, Chair
    Greg Adkins
    Megan Barry
    Carl Burch
    Erik Cole
    Jim Gotto
    Frank Harrison
    Jim Hodge, Vice Chair
    Mike Jameson
    Anna Page

    Voice votes are recorded in the minutes as unanimous.

    I don't have an answer to the question of why the specific council members who opposed would not want to be recorded as voting against.

  3. Because, in the end, they are all insiders and issues are sacrificed in the interest of personal relationships.