I received an e-mail this week from an insider who pointed out that ending the current events at the State Fairgrounds would adversely affect nearby Fall Hamilton Elementary School, which uses those events to fundraise by charging for parking on its grounds. Leaders at Fall Hamilton have not waited on the Chamber of Commerce's One Nashville to raise money for their school. They created their own source of funds.
While the predominantly white gentrifiers in the SNAP neighborhoods might reduce the community concerns here to racetrack noise, this predominately African American neighborhood school is concerned with providing educational opportunities for its kids. Given the state of Metro Nashville Public Schools, those opportunities have to be bought with outside money. Office parks provide their own parking, so the Mayor's plan could spell the extinction of Fall Hamilton's fundraising efforts.
Where is that money supposed to come from? What plans do neighborhoods who support Karl Dean's plan to move fairgrounds events to Antioch's Hickory Hollow mall (which garners strong Antioch opposition ignored by some leaders in South Nashville) have to help Fall Hamilton make up the financial losses? Or maybe those losses do not enter the equation for supporters. Nonetheless, Mayor Dean needs to come up with a Fairgrounds redevelopment plan that suits community interests not limited to those of gentrifiers and developers.