I was a bit surprised when I attended a community meeting on redevelopment of the Nashville Riverfront ....But the butt-kicking and name-taking commenced here:
I know what you are thinking - "didn't we just do that?" Unfortunately, the answer to your question is "yes, we did." Apparently, after 16 months of planning and community discussion and $500,000 of YOUR money, some bureaucrat somewhere has decided that we need to re-examine implementation of the Riverfront Plan.
An adventure, water park for children and families on the east bank that was originally slated to start construction in early 2008 as the first phase of the project will now be third phase of the project in favor of some projects on the east bank and all projects on the west bank.
The reason given for this re-order of the plan was the economy. Apparently, the economy has replaced 9/11 as the excuse for why we aren't doing what we said we would do. Not to understate the seriousness of a national problem, the excuse left me scratching my head a bit. MDHA wants to hold off on building the $10 million part of the project so it can go build the $13 million piece of the project.
More disturbing, however, was the repudiation of hundreds of hours of planning by professionals and citizens and thousands of public dollars. Such blatant disrespect for the average Nashvillian's time and money is what gives government and politicians a bad reputation.Indeed, the Dean administration's failure to lead on the Riverfront by being the catalyst and implementing the public concept that had been formulated under the previous Mayor either looks like a stall or a power move by Karl Dean. Either way, this only reinforces perceptions that all levels of Metro governance are wasteful, wavering, and ineffective, if not dishonest.
The Mayor needs to fish or cut bait on the Riverfront.