Monday, March 16, 2009

Milking the Clock on Nashville's Riverfront Plan

The Riverfront Plan blog found Mayor Karl Dean's pronouncements on the plan in Gail Kerr's Sunday column lacking and ponders what the Mayor was really doing asking for more time to look at the proposals without having to deal with heated online commentaries outside of those he sanctioned at[ernment]:
Frankly, Mayor Dean, the only reason our community was willing to give you the space you asked for to consider the original plan was because you committed to completing all 19. If you're willing to acknowledge now that you don't have the money for the projects at the bottom of the list, doesn't that make your true intentions about the Adventure Park insultingly clear? If there is not enough money to do the whole plan, you need to prioritize the parts of the plan that attract the most new tourists, raise the most revenue and impact in the most positive ways the environment you promised us you'd prioritize when we elected you Mayor.

The Mayor's Office can't seem to remember why it was that they called for changes to the plan. At first, they said that the economic downturn required the change, an argument that doesn't stand given that the Plan B they've recommended is more expensive than the original Riverfront Plan. Then, on March 7th at the public meeting, Owens said that it was because the west bank allowed for MDHA to link to buried phone lines. Last week, Owens told a reporter that MDHA wanted to change the sequence to make sure they weren't just offering the Mayor a "variation on a theme."

There is a difference between a real assessment and what increasingly looks like an effort to find reasons to defend the decision the Mayor has already made: to disregard 16 months of public input, the efforts of a thousand Nashvillians and the recommendations of a professionally-designed plan for which we paid a half-million dollars in exchange for something that he just likes a little better.

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