The Mayor's plan for a new ballpark at old Sulphur Dell will pass tonight. It will pass because most bills pass on third and final reading.
More significantly, it will pass because council considered it without proper public vetting given the timing of the holidays and the abject paucity of community meetings. It will pass because the council only pushed negotiations with the Sounds owner to the slightest degree before potential plan opponents began falling like dominoes.
Despite my past support for the Sounds and their previous plan for a new ballpark, I will not be able to lend my support to passage of this plan because of how a few council members (even my own), enabled by the Mayor, ran roughshod over a proper public process of involving all stakeholders, including those of us who live here, in the decision for building at Sulphur Dell.
We have seen other cases where the local community was ignored in the name of the Mayor's ambitious capital projects that usually suit his cronies more than our communities. We saw it in the West Nashville police precinct, which was catastrophically flooded in 2010, just as neighbors warned him beforehand that it would be. We saw it in the State Fairgrounds unpleasantness, which turned into a populist blow to the Mayor's muscle-flexing and clearly defined his take-no-prisoners style of governing.
There was simply not enough time or energy during the holidays to slow this particular project down in order to give people a chance to respond to it. Likewise, so little has been said about the details, and advise-and-consent is practically impossible.
Finally, I believe that the Sounds owner has said some things publicly during this affair that should make those of us who will be his team's new neighbors concerned about how they will treat us in the future. More on that later.