Sunday, January 23, 2011

Further crowdsourcing Metro e-mails on Karl Dean's Fairgrounds plan sheds more light, spurs more questions

An Enclave reader read through the previously unpublished e-mails that I put up at Google Docs last week and e-mailed reflections and questions to me:
  1. The economic impact study that Dominy cites when filing his bill to keep the track (50-60 million dollars) is “legit” and uses proper methodology, the Chamber of Commerce “Matrix”. Toby and the Mayor’s office are obviously VERY worried about this study, and instruct Buck to get it “ASAP” and “within the hour.” (pages 365-369). This is perhaps the most damning piece of information to those suggesting there is a “higher and better” use. Some will try to mislead you and say the racetrack generates pennies per sq. ft., but these divide and conquer tactics are falling on deaf ears. The Fairgrounds generates between $50-60 million dollars a year, as prepared by the Fair Board and their staff, using the same formulas the Chamber of Commerce uses.
  2. The other email that has me scratching my head is an email from Robert W. Lowe and a cc: Chad Tuck of Cassidy / Turley Commercial Real Estate Services (page 483). They are requesting to meet with Buck the week of Oct 11. What is that about?
  3. Page 485, Buck attached a Word document to the Mayor’s office with some talking points, and advised the Mayor to “stay away from any discussion of Tennessee State Fairgrounds expenses.” Our supporters have long said the expenses are a big reason the Fairgrounds appears to “lose money”. This suggests the Fairgrounds was designed to fail, even going as so far as to jack up the expenses.
  4. Page 531, Marilyn Edwards sounds the alarm with Rita Roberts-Turner in Human Resources that some of the State Fairgrounds employees are not qualified to apply for some of the jobs they are being told they should apply for. Call in the SEIU.
  5. Interesting that Karissa Barclay was “campaigning” for Buck Dozier to become the election commissioner. How does that work? Hopefully she wasn’t tearing down any signs like she was for Cong. Cooper.
  6. Page 590-599 discuss FEMA damages in detail (down to the horsepower and model numbers for equipment) and whether to request an extension of time. Did Buck and the Fair Board submit damages to FEMA? If so, how much? We believe there was substantial damage to the Fairgrounds due to the flood. Now that the Fairgrounds will be open for 2 more years – will that FEMA money come to the Fair Board? That money SHOULD be used to rehabilitate the Fairgrounds.
  7. I thought is was bad when Reibeling called Nancy Amons “Sophomoric”, but evidently no one in that office takes her seriously, they can’t even spell her name correctly (610-615)
  8. Page 627 and 667 – examines the “culture of fear” the Mayor’s office is instilling in the Fairgrounds staff.
  9. Page 655 – State Fairgrounds staff skeptical of Toby Compton and Mayor’s office, stating in an email to Buck “wish they would be honest about their real intentions” in response to a request by the Mayor’s office to contact the vendors directly.
  10. There are 23,000 “customer accounts” in the system. We assume this is a list of vendors over the past decade. So in essence, up to 23,000 small businesses rely on the Fairgrounds. Makes the 10-County Chamber of Commerce’s 2,000 look small in comparison. I understand a Councilmember requested the same list and was given a list of a few hundred. Hmmmm (Page 657)
  11. Page 666-667 – Clear coordination between not only Buck Dozier and the Mayor’s office, but the Mayor himself is attending SNAP meetings at the end of October to help build support for closing the Fairgrounds. When was the last time the Mayor attended other neighborhood meetings?
  12. On page 668, Buck asks Kristi Harris to remove certain documents from her computer: Summary Report on Fair viability; 12 Yr Profit/Loss; AG opinion on the property, and the HH Lease to Council. Why?
  13. Page 669 – Toby Compton responds to a request from the State Delegation on the details involving moving the State Fairgrounds. It appears our state elected officials also had some concerns about the Mayor’s plans. Wonder how long it takes SMF to begin emailing this list of legislators to keep them informed?

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