My own council member, Erica Gilmore, as well as all five of the at-Large members (including Megan Barry who during the 2007 campaign asserted, "I believe one person, one voice can make a difference. I will be your voice on the Metro Council") fell in line with the large pack of other CMs in blocking a vote on the request for more time to inform and prepare communities for the largest capital project in Nashville history. According to bill sponsor Michael Craddock, tabling motioner Rip Ryman supported the delay resolution in committee the night before. Emily Evans encouraged all of the CMs who wished to stop the vote on the measure to hold community meetings with constituents regardless. Mike Jameson asked Finance Director Rick Riebeling for assurance that a claim--that the vote could actually be held in January without the resolution--used to justify tabling was true. Riebeling deflected by denying that the Mayor's Office has any control over council scheduling.
In the end, it looks like the Mayor and his drones on the Metro Council are going to call an audible right out of the developers playbook, by holding controversial municipal meetings during the holiday season when people are busy, distracted, absorbed with family life or on vacation. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Hanukkah/Christmas, it is going to be difficult for people to attend community meetings. That gives convention boosters, who are locked in like zealots in the Crusades, the upper hand.
We need to keep tabs on which council members hold community meetings before the bond issue to finance the project is approved and signed by the Mayor. Will Karl Dean's supporters on the council accommodate their constituents by holding meetings to prepare them? It will be interesting to see who does and who does not. A month ago I requested that Salemtown Neighbors Neighborhood Association contact CM Gilmore and ask for a meeting on the convention center proposal. No word yet on whether it will happen. But now that CM Gilmore has voted down a request to hold public hearings, she really should meet with us and discuss the ramifications of this project for our future.