Thursday, December 22, 2011

West Precinct constraints prohibit community development

Former Mayor Bill Purcell was not perfect. He made mistakes. Among those I would not include ignoring community-based growth. In fact, Mayor Purcell pitched the dramatic increase of associations as a feather in his cap. He backed it up with a robust Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods.

No so for our current Mayor.

The community-relations angle of the installation of the new Metro Police West Nashville precinct has been botched from beginning to end. The Dean administration was widely criticized for overpaying auto dealer Bob Frensley, friend of CM and Mayor's Office alike, for the property. Community leaders warned that the property was flood risk at a meeting where they were roundly dismissed by Dean's right-hand man, Rich Riebeling. Lo, and behold, a 1,000 year flood sent a clear message to everyone but Karl Dean, who remained unbent on the precinct placement.

The latest botch: the community affairs facilities of the new West Police Precinct can barely accommodate the West Nashville community groups registered at Metro. In their first outreach correspondence to West Nashville, Metro Police sound more like sheep herders than community affairs officers:

From: Chick, Twana D. (MNPD) []
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 4:57 PM
To: Undisclosed recipients:
Subject: meeting with leadership teams at New West Precinct

Good afternoon:
I would like to schedule a meet-n-greet type of gathering here at the new West Precinct Community Room with the leadership teams of the various groups. I need to gauge how much participation there would be to see if we should have one meeting or two. There are 104 registered community groups. We only have 134 chairs in our new community room.

My first proposed date is February 7th from 5:00p.m.-7:30p.m.

Could ONE PERSON from each group please carefully respond by changing the subject line to: Feb 7, YES, 2 (if you wanted to bring a contingent of two from your group), Feb 7, YES, 4 (if you wanted to bring four people) and so forth. If your group leadership could not do Feb 7, then the subject line should be: Feb 7, NO. The term “group leadership” is intentionally broad and left up to your discretion.

All I am going to initially do is count persons and gauge interest. Sign in the email body with your group name only so I can tell which groups have responded. Don’t put anything more in the email body because I’m simply moving them to a folder for counting purposes.

If you are a business, I want to do businesses together at a later time.

I will tally responses until January 1. Don’t worry that you’ll get left out – I’m just doing this to gauge interest because I have no idea what to expect. I hope I’m not flooding your inboxes. One of the issues I hope to work on is getting email addresses organized so you don’t receive too much from me. Thank you for your patience.

Here is a sample:

Have a wonderful day!

Sgt. Twana Chick
West Precinct Community Affairs Coordinator

Given the stated capacity of the community, the precinct space seems inadequate to the task of accommodating local groups on occasions where they might need to meet together with the police. There is no room for growth of more community groups in West Nashville at the police precinct. While the blueprints for the new precinct may have included elements to stem any future tides from a flooded Richland Creek, they did not include provisions to spur a rising tide of community organizations.

Maybe that is because Karl Dean, unlike Bill Purcell, appears to take no pride in stimulating the growth of community-based organizations.

HT: Mike Peden

1 comment:

  1. Not a single group comes close to filling even half the chairs. It's the idea of getting people together from every group that's the issue. I bet no meeting room in Nashville is big enough for that. I think you found a story where there was none.