There they go again.
First, the South Nashville Action People organization supported Mayor Karl Dean's plan to exile the State Fairgrounds Expo's fleamarket to Hickory Hollow mall and sell off the property to private developers. After the exile scheme crashed and burned, SNAP backed the Mayor's plan to keep the fleamarket for a short time but demolish the racetrack. Then that pitch was crushed by an opposition whose scale dwarfed the handful of SNAP reps we've actually seen.
A few days ago SNAP leaders made its third unilateral attempt to dictate its terms without direct negotiation with Fairgrounds supporters in Davidson County. Yesterday I obtained a copy of the SNAP document called "Community/Neighborhood Terms for a 2011-2012 Race Track Lease," which I posted at Google Docs. Look over the document and give your feedback in the comments section.
Two issues immediately come to my attention. Both reflect the same brazenness that SNAP has shown since it first grasped at Karl Dean's ill-fated plans. One problem with the terms is that they limit all racing but one event to daytime hours. This not only ignores the principles of fair negotiation, but it denies racetrack supporters the same flexibility accorded to the Nashville Sounds or the Tennessee Titans to hold their events at different times.
The other ostensible problem with these terms is that they give a stacked State Fair board "absolute right" to modify and even terminate the lease. Hence, the SNAP proposal is a Trojan horse, which sneaks in the probability of killing the speedway with or without regard to a community-informed master plan. Even more problematic is the fact that SNAP sets itself up as an untouchable majority on an advisory committee to the State Fair board, increasing chances that the board will eventually carry out Karl Dean's plans. This document contains no checks and balances that facilitate broader community input.
I might be able to take these terms more seriously if they represented a position that SNAP was taking in an open process of negotiation. But I have yet to see SNAP leaders express an openness to negotiation. They latched on two Dean plans and they refused to consider the impact of those plans on communities in Antioch and South Nashville, on fleamarket business owners, and on the Fairgrounds preservation group. But SNAP's Colby Sledge made it clear to the Tennessean this morning that this third plan is "final" and not negotiable.
That is bad faith. That is also SNAP's MO. On those terms, SNAP's terms are DOA, if you ask me.