But a couple of progressives did not exactly measure their words with respect to the truth before opening their mouths. First, in his speech to the council as
I will run the office like a business.
If I'm not mistaken, this is the same logic that John Arriola used to run the county clerk's office and to run afoul of taxpayers. Arriola expressed an unfettered profit motive to bring money in. He marketed "gratuities" as "fees" (making people believe that they needed to pay for products and services they might not otherwise choose to pay for) and he monetized just about everything he did. He had stylish and hip new signs designed to lure more customers. He maximized and tricked out his ride to work. The profit motive runs business; the profit motive ran Arriola's tenure. In other words, Arriola was more CEO than clerk.
Shouldn't the officer of a Metro office be looking to run the office less like a business and more like an institution accountable for the public good? Gentry's comment was a clear pander to the business interests that dominate the Courthouse, but frankly the prospect is frightening.
The second inane progressive comment of the night came from Dean Teamer and outgoing CM Erik Cole, who contrasted Jim Gotto's self-reference of a Republican trying to hold a "corporate citizen" (assuming that corporations are individuals!) responsible, by trotting out this gem:
You now got a Democrat standing with developers!
Let's revisit CM Cole's recent past, shall we? He supported the Mayor's plan to build the most expensive capital project in Nashville's history, a developer's dream, the Music City Convention Center. He supported the Mayor's plan to sell off a huge tract of public Fairgrounds land to wealthy developers to make a lot of money on an office park. Even if Erik Cole ever stood against developers, those two projects alone bury any pretense of forward thinking opposition he ever expressed against untrammeled growth. But let's be clear: you do not get anywhere in the Davidson County Democratic Party without the habit of standing with developers. The most powerful and wealthiest Dems are in knee-deep with developers. For Cole to suggest otherwise is to concoct an urban myth. And it was pretty darn self-serving in what it implied about Erik Cole beyond its utterance.
I can always count on local progressives to give local conservatives a run for their money in the cringeworthy foot-in-mouth department.