Thursday, June 12, 2008

Swimming Lessons

She pretty much told CM Charlie Tygard to go jump in a lake for all of his recent posturing to the media against swimming in the Cumberland. CM Emily Evans plans to join several other Nashville leaders in a June 19 swim across the Cumberland in order to raise awareness about water quality.

Question the swim meet if you like but I like CM Evans' deftness and moxy in calling out her colleague for making himself rather than clean water the center of attention. Here's an email reply she copied to Michael Cass after Tygard copied his to Cass:

since it is my turn in your ceaseless quest to generate controversy and division within the Council, I will respond to some of your concerns ....
It is a requirement of the EPA permit issued to Davidson County to raise awareness and educate Davidson County residents on water quality. Thanks in no small part to you we will probably raise more public awareness about the health and importance of the Cumberland River than any class room visit MWS shall do all year. In short, the Cumberland River swim can be seen as part of the mission and the mandate of Metro Water Services. (I think nothing drives this point home more than the participation in the swim of Paul Davis from TDEC.)
Much of the time dedicated to this event has been volunteer time from Cumberland River Compact and interested individuals. I was under the impression that you supported the missions and aims of non-profits like CRC and affiliated organizations like Harpeth River Watershed, but I guess not. I have informed Chief Halford that I would be more than willing to reimburse the fire department for fuel costs. In the interests of consistency, I will extend that offer to include any fire trucks that come to my district for various summer celebrations like July 4th. I hope you will do the same ....

Without the Cumberland River, this city would not be here. For decades we polluted it. When cow carcasses floated downstream from Neuhoff, your fear was justified. Much has changed and a lot of it has to do with the dedication and work of Metro Water Services, TDEC and the EPA with funding support from Council and the Mayor. I do not understand why you would begrudge them a little acknowledgement of that effort. I personally think all involved have been underappreciated in this regard ....
Lastly, Charlie, I am aware of the drowning death at the quarry and I cannot tell you how sorry I am that the victim's family and the Bellevue community has had that to endure. However, I cannot believe you would attempt to politicize that tragedy as you have done today. I would encourage you to spend your time teaching others about the importance of water safety rather than asking folks not to swim.
Dolphin kick to the chops.

UPDATE: City Paper ignores Tygard's grandstanding and focuses on Evans' goals and resolution to improve Nashville's water source.

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