Thursday, September 03, 2009

Diane Neighbors: Metro Council's Version of "The Hammer"

The Vice Mayor announced committee appointments last week and some unsubstantiated buzz I hear is that Diane Neighbors punished critics of the Mayor's convention center plan, like Mike Jameson and Emily Evans, by not assigning them to chair committees during the next year. Check the list of Ms. Neighbors' appointments and see if there is anyone who has dared to raise a single objection to the proposed Music City Center:
Budget & Finance Ronnie Steine
Charter Revision Darren Jernigan
Codes, Fair, & Farmers Market Rip Ryman
Convention, Tourism & Public Entertainment Facilities Erik Cole
Education Kristine LaLonde
Federal Grants Review Sandra Moore
Health, Hospitals, & Social Services Charlie Tygard
Parks, Library, & Recreation Lonnell Matthews
Personnel, Public Info-Human Relations-Housing Phil Claiborne
Public Safety-Beer & Regulated Beverages Buddy Baker
Public Works Walter Hunt
Rules-Confirmations-Public Elections Anna Page
Transportation & Aviation Bo Mitchell
In fact, one of the Mayor's biggest cheerleaders, CM Steine has the plum appointment to Budget & Finance. Mayor Karl Dean should be elated by the prospect of acquiescience to his capital designs from this years Budget & Finance bunch:

  • Megan Barry
  • Erik Cole
  • Michael Craddock
  • Jim Forkum
  • Tim Garrett
  • Jason Holleman
  • Jerry Maynard
  • Sean McGuire
  • Anna Page
  • Rip Ryman
  • Parker Toler
  • Charlie Tygard

Half of that group (bolded names) signed the letter prompting the end of any further critical questioning of the PR/MDHA fiasco that temporarily slowed the roughshod momentum of the Mayor's finance team. I can barely imagine 1 or maybe 2 others daring to take any oppositional stance toward the Mayor regardless of all of the unanswered questions that remain. They collectively look whipped.

The Vice Mayor--who is married to a developer--also appointed a planning committee that seems to lean in the same pro-developer direction that the last committee did:

  • Karen Bennett
  • Sam Coleman
  • Eric Crafton
  • Duane Dominy
  • Robert Duvall
  • Jim Gotto
  • Jim Hodge
  • Darren Jernigan
  • Kristine LaLonde
  • Bo Mitchell
  • Pam Murray
  • Carter Todd
  • Vivian Wilhoite

That committee, vested with important decisions that will affect zoning and growth in our neighborhoods, seems to sway more regressive to me. I suspect it will be dominated by the conservative bloc. Maybe we will be entertained by watching Murray and Bennett continue to tear into each other at a personal level. Indeed, we may need something to laugh at to keep from crying.

Worst of all, the only member running for the Chair appointment (decided by Council) is Jim Gotto, who just completed two years in the position that included support for May Town Center sprawl in Bells Bend, for commercial LED billboards in residential neighborhoods, for developers' fee-cuts to enable unexacting changes in controversial specific plans, and for a large commercial chain development run by a law-breaking, union-harassing company to replace a church in Sylvan Park. With no progressive likely to run against him, it looks like we're stuck with at least 2 more years of fighting Metro Council and Metro Planning to protect neighborhoods against overgrowth, blight, and sprawl.

Thanks, Diane Neighbors, for nothing. A tool used to forge for a Mayor is no less a weapon for pounding those beyond his inner sanctum.


  1. We have always known that Diane Neighbors is the leader of the Good Ole Boys posse. As a city leader she is a joke. She is simply doing what she is being told to do. She is nothing more than a puppet.

    All of Nashville needs to remember this when the 2011 election rolls around. Let's just hope there is something left in Nashville for neighborhoods to protect once they get through with it.

    Voter apathy is the reason we have this bunch to start with.

    Convicted thief in charge of Nashville's budget, now that is really smart.

  2. Oh yeah, we all know that Steve Neighbors, being a developer, is evil to the core and cares nothing nor has ever done anything for Nashville neighborhoods.



    Somebody needs a life.

  3. Somebody has a life. This city needs an honest and respectful administration with no ties to the development community.

  4. Oh I remember Steve Neighbors. Wasn't he the developer working with fellow developer Jim McLean (also Chairman of the Metro Planning Commission) who complained to Mayor Dean when they didn't want to follow the rules set down by the Planning Commission about putting sidewalks in their development?

    When the two could not get Planning Staffer David Kleinfelter to go along with their scheme to break the rules and save themselves some money, they ran to the mayor and demanded that Kleinfelter be removed from his job. They also wanted the minutes from the Planning Commission meeting to be changed to reflect what they wanted.

    That type of behavior is not ethical, professional, or neighborly. Funny how some have to follow the rules while others just throw around their power and do what they want.