Monday, October 19, 2009

At-Large in Name Only

Two years after we elected them, and have the 5 at-Large CMs consistently done anything to show that they generally represent the broader interests of Metro Nashville-Davidson County taken together?
  • Charlie Tygard--I've watched him consistently advocate causes and sponsor bills for Bellevue and mostly white West Nashville.
  • Jerry Maynard--He keeps reemerging on behalf of mostly African American North Nashville. Like this morning.
  • Megan Barry--the social liberals' special interest CM. Socially liberal, economically conservative: the general profile of reporters in the mainstream media. She should go far beyond Nashville with that kind of PR interface.
  • Ronnie Steine--The Mayor's CM; as Budget Chair in the coming year, he'll be the one hammering all of the Mayor's budget recommendations through the council process. Carrying water leaves no time for the rest of us.
  • Tim Garrett--the good ol' boy who votes with the conservative, pro-growth Nashville Business Coalition and seems to be more interested in cake-baking competitions and name-dropping his connections to celebrities than he is in governing well.
Two years later and there is really no one here who pulls an intelligent and broad agenda together to balance the more focused district representatives. In the case of Tygard and Maynard, two sections of Nashville seem to have extra CMs to plead their cause. Maybe we'll get some challengers in the next council election who have more to offer. Or maybe at-Large is a beautiful theory that doesn't work in practice.


  1. Very astute post and observations, Mike. Nicely said. None of them represent Nashville AT LARGE. They are simply protecting the little piece of political turf that got them elected.

  2. How do you represent the entire city without alienating some portion of the constituency? There are conflicting and divergent issues and viewpoints that each enclave of the city has.