We shouldn't be shocked that the same Tennessean newspaper that anointed Nashville Mayor Karl Dean back-to-back "Tennessean of the Year" (2010, 2011) published another obsequious editorial this week, penned by Frank Daniels III, celebrating Hizzoner. (An interesting side note: former Tennessean reporter Michael Cass wrote both "Tennessean of the Year" tributes to Mayor Dean; Mr. Cass was recently hired to be the Mayor's speech writer.) Nashville's daily paper has been an unfailing, unflinching advocate of this mayor his entire tenure in the Courthouse.
The editorial provides a rebranding of Hizzoner into a kinder and gentler mayor than he has actually been when attempting to and succeeding in his steamrolls of expensive capital projects that benefit wealthy campaign donors more than common neighborhoods.
Somewhat insulting our intelligence, Mr. Daniels III claims that Mayor Dean lavished "lots of sidewalks" on us, when in reality so many communities outside of downtown languish with no pedestrian access and egress. Some parents still have to walk their kids to school on streets close to dangerous traffic for lack of sidewalks. It was only when he needed council votes for an $18 million downtown luxury sidewalk that Mayor Dean offered to be kinder than usual to other neighborhoods. Otherwise, his spending on community infrastructure relative to his sexier projects has been stingy.
Try to rebrand Karl the Kind as they might, the newspaper cannot convince some of us to forget the original, industrial-strength brand of Mayor's Office that has benignly neglected communities for years.