Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More special council hearing privileges for SNAP leaders?

It does not seem to be enough that South Nashville Action People leader Keith Moorman enjoyed the privilege of his own special council hearing time next to Mayor Karl Dean on the Fairgrounds question on Nov. 9. Now another SNAP representative--expressing his displeasure with Metro Council granting a public hearing to those attending first reading on the issue Nov. 16th and with Fairgrounds preservationists' new request for a public hearing during second reading on Dec. 7--is lobbying council for an exclusive "public hearing" only for those who support the Mayor.

Here is an excerpt from SNAP's Fred Agee to all Metro Council members, which was forwarded to the Nashville Neighborhoods e-list:

I would respectfully ask the Council Members to reserve any consideration for another public hearing to those who support the Hickory Hollow Leases that may want to have a public hearing. If SNAP wishes to request a public hearing you will hear from our leadership.

Either Mr. Agee does not understand that a "public hearing" on Dec. 7 would give all sides time to address the council or he believes his group is entitled to continue the same exclusive access that Keith Moorman scored back on Nov. 9. If the former, hopefully someone in South Nashville will help him see that Dec. 7 is his side's opportunity to flex their muscles. If the latter, how many Fairgrounds opponents have Mr. Agee's inflated sense of entitlement that they do not have to play by the rules that everyone else does?

Either way, if Metro Council caves to this request and offers an exclusive SNAP hearing, which could not be called "public" in any sense, then it would be out of order and unfair to all sides.


  1. Don't forget that we taxpayers are paying Mr Agee a salary while he emails and argues with Council members and basically runs a one horse operation to support the Mayor and destroy the fairgrounds.

    He works the the Tennessee Secretary of State.

    It's all connected!

  2. Dude, I think you misread Fred's email.

    Fred's email was in response to Darden Copeland's email to Council, where he insinuated that SNAP had called for a public meeting when we hadn't.

    Fred was simply pointing out that if SNAP wanted a public meeting, Council would hear it from SNAP, not the Save the Fairgrounds PR person.

  3. Dude,

    My understanding was Darden's email to the council was to request a public hearing for EVERYONE, aiming to preempt the "it's not fair" crying Moorman did to the press after being poorly coached by the Mayor's press secretary. It's actually a smart play - doesn't SNAP want a public hearing, too? Or are they afraid of being "shellacked" again as they admitted defeat on Nov 16?

  4. No, SNAP doesn't care to call for a public hearing about the Hickory Hollow leases because it's about just that...Hickory Hollow. It's not about the racetrack, not about the fairgrounds property & not about Wedgewood-Houston. The residents surrounding Hickory Hollow should call for a public hearing about Hickory Hollow if they want it. Not SNAP.

  5. C'mon, SNL, that partitioned approach to the two linked projects is so disingenuous. The debate on the Hickory Hollow lease is about Fairgrounds vendors. You cannot treat flea marketers as Hickory Hollow vendors just yet. This lease wouldn't be even up for consideration if it weren't for the Mayor's attempt to sell off the public Fairgrounds.

    And public hearings are public, therefore open to everyone in Davidson County. Any public hearings that involve the Fairgrounds are open to any Nashvillian. Not just Wedgewood-Houston.

  6. I know public hearings are public, I'm just saying there is no need for SNAP, a Wedgewood-Houston group, to call for a hearing regarding Hickory Hollow.

    Alright so let's say the HH bill fails to go through Council. What then? Everybody just shrugs their shoulders and the fairgrounds and racetrack operations just continue all hunky dorey like?

    The Mayor has touted an Urban Land Institute study and a Civic Design Center study that both say redeveloping the fairgrounds is the best thing for the city. They aren't going to just drop it.
    They are trying to find solutions to various issues.

  7. SNL: your nonchalance about the Hickory Hollow public hearings is perplexing given that SNAP leaders have acted so bent out of shape about Nov 16 first reading.

    Every time CM Tygard has asked HH lease supporters to put together a list of alternative sites, he gets a response similar to Alexia Poe on Nov. 9. She rolled her eyes and acted like putting together other possibilities were out of the question.

    The Mayor is set on HH. He totally disregarded the Antioch task force recommendations for a new community center & library outside of the mall. Antioch leaders report that he told them if they opposed the lease they would get nothing. It seems to me that the HH bill has got to pass for the Fairgrounds plan to move toward privatization.

    As for studies, the Antioch task force fiasco shows that the Mayor picks and chooses the recommendations he likes. Some of us beyond the preservationist group believe the Fairgrounds task force was window dressing for what Rich Riebeling wanted to do since the Purcell admin. As for the ULI study, check out p. 25. It mentions a potential use that I could support: public use and occupancy. The Mayor did not pick that option offered by ULI.

  8. Regarding the reactions to the meeting: Yeah, I was peeved about the unannounced public hearing on HH that turned into a public hearing about the racetrack & fairgrounds.

    I would totally support public use and occupancy, and I think many neighbors would too, if it meant getting rid of the racetrack and the copious amounts of pavement on the property AND if it included something that nearby residents could actually use on a regular basis.

    I don't recall seeing anything that said those options were being ruled out by the Mayor. That's a mighty big piece of land, there is plenty of room for private leases & public use.