for the last five years we have been told that we were moving to a new location. Approximately every 18 months is our scheduled move out date. We have even made it as far along in the process as going to the new location and assisting in the design of the lay-out. We were scheduled to move last August and the date was changed at that time to March of this year. Six months ago we learned that not only would we not be moving but that the designated location had been given to another department. At this point only our new kitchen facility has been placed in the budget for approval by Council. If this passes and is built, we believe we will see some relief to the parking situation as well as to the delivery traffic as all of those functions will move to a new location.Mayor Dean's flip flop on relocating MAC is now a de facto cause of costly delays to federally-funded Salemtown construction project because if MAC had moved to a facility that could have accommodated high-volume automobile traffic, they would not have put up late road blocks to our streetscape plan.
I have e-mailed the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods for details on the reasons for the flip flop and on which department was chosen to be moved to Howard over MAC. I'm waiting for a response.
CM Gilmore has scheduled a conflict resolution meeting for Salemtown leaders and MAC staffers away from our home court at East Nashville's MDHA building. The meeting is scheduled for June 3 at 3:00. She writes that she hopes we can come to a consensus on the project. I have already maintained that the neighborhood had reached a consensus on the project last year, but I agreed to participate. I also encouraged Ms. Gilmore to ask a Mayor's Office representative to be present since the Mayor's decision to kill the MAC move is partly responsible for the current project delays. Ms. Gilmore endorsed the Mayor in 2007, and I hope she uses some of that social capital to motivate the Mayor to send someone. Given what I interpret as Mayor Dean's detached indifference toward these kinds of neighborhood issues, I will be genuinely shocked if anyone from his office shows up on June 3 to offer long-term solutions.
UPDATE: S-town resident Brian Newman comments his displeasure with the double standard with which Metro agencies treat the Metro Action Commission:
If I didn't want the streetscape in front of my yard, would I be able to halt the project and be granted a "conflict resolution meeting?" The truth of the matter is the MAC knew about the streetscape, but they didn't care because they thought they were moving. Now that it looks like they will be sticking around for a while, they want to be a little more say-so in Salemtown. If council member Gilmore continues to bow to the MAC and delay this project, Salemtown residents should seriously reconsider their votes next election.