- Save My Fairgrounds, the preservationist group, was required to turn in almost 16,000 petition signatures from registered Davidson County voters to leverage a referendum on a charter provision that would simply increase approval for any demolition by half-a-dozen CM votes.
- News reports a week ago said that SMF had collected over 10,000 signatures in a matter of weeks. They maintained last Monday that they have more than the required number.
- Last December South Nashville Action People set a goal of 2,000 signatures on a petition expressing support for the Mayor's plan to start Fairgrounds demolition in order to motivate the council to vote to demo.
- According to SNAP leaders a few weeks later, they had only collected 500 signatures while bound by no limitations, rules, or deadlines. Nonetheless, they lost the council vote to demo by a whisker.
- SNAP announced this week the "hiring" of a lawyer to challenge the authenticity of SMF petition signatures, alleging that SMF brought in "disruptive" agitators to influence local politics.
- The SNAP petition's legitimacy and authenticity never faced the same doubt or scrutiny that SMF's is. Despite the fact that SNAP never produced large public demonstrations or held transparent meetings, they received the benefit of the doubt in most cases, and very nearly pulled out a council win.
There is no way the preservationists should still be in the fight. The bar has always been set higher for them than for the South Nashville organization. In fact, the bar has been in perpetual motion, lofted higher every time SMF scratches out a victory.
The greater petition requirement is only the latest inequity. Assuming they got 10,000 signatures, they collected 20x more sigs than SNAP did. If they have enough to leverage a referendum they will have collected 30x more sigs than SNAP did.
But I tend to believe some other obstacle will be hoisted should they eek out another accomplishment. The small group on the other side shows no willingness to compromise and they have friends in high places.