Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Common Patterns in Letters of May Town Center Supporters

An observant Enclave reader suggested that I take a look through the 19 out of 100 or so letters on the Metro Planning website that support May Town Center sprawl for "interesting similarity."

Indeed, I found some rather interesting patterns:
  • Bordeaux is representin'
  • Almost all look formulaic and ghost-written to me, almost as if they were prepared not to reflect personal qualities of the signers, but to be autographed by any MTC proponent
  • The common formula: jobs, "smart growth," tax revenues
  • Addressed to CM Lonell Matthews and copied to CM Jerry Maynard and CM Walter Hunt
That last pattern is perplexing. Why only 2 Cc:'s? Maynard is not the only at-Large CM. Hunt's district is in far north Davidson Co., while the district CMs immediately across the river from Bells Bend are Buddy Baker, Bo Mitchell, and Emily Evans. The proposed bridge would run through Baker's district. CM Jim Gotto sits on the Planning Commission, which is next to consider the proposal. Why the consistent copying by opponents to Maynard and Hunt? What are the odds that random Bordeaux residents from Lonell Matthew's district would coincidentally copy Maynard and Hunt (who has no observable connection to the first district)? Am I missing some orchestrated strategy here that targets Maynard and Hunt as in themselves critical to approval?

And on this topic of orchestration, one of the MTC supporter letters refers to the May Town booster group "Job Opportunities for Bordeaux," a project that received front-page promotion by the Tennessee Tribune. Could the generally impersonal look of the bodies of MTC supporter letters be the result of JOB efforts?

The letters of support addressed exclusively to CM Lonell Matthews constitute a small fraction of the overall letters published at the Metro Planning website. So, I have a hard time seeing why he came out so clearly today in favor of May Town Center himself (incidently SouthComm reporters were less kind last July, calling him a flip-flopper for initially favoring it and then opposing it). Besides, Matthews told the Planning Commission last July that infrastructure cost questions needed to be answered before approval could be won. Have those questions been answered?

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