Friday, May 20, 2005

Nashville Mayor Hocks "State Of Metro" To Highest Bidders

I have rarely had a discouraging word to say about Mayor Bill Purcell. During his tenure, I believe he has shown a lot of support for neighborhoods, through the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods, by committing to build the new Hadley Park Community Center, by holding the line on the possibility of building a new baseball stadium downtown when Metro does not have the money to fund it, etc.

I voted for the man twice because I really believed that he wants to be "the neighborhoods Mayor."

How troubling it is to know that "the neighborhoods Mayor" is pawning his "State of Metro" not to neighbors at a reasonable price ("free" sounds pretty reasonable to me), but to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.
  • $85.00 charged to any neighbor not a member of the Chamber.
  • $35.00 charged to Chamber members, who can probably afford $85.00.
  • Worst of all, free to Metro Council members! I assume this is to remove any disincentive to our Council members, whom the Chamber probably intends to lobby; free breakfast and access to the "State of Metro" ... sounds like the political favors have already started, Ethics Committee be damned.
A Purcell spokesperson told the Tennessean that the rest of us can just all go home and watch the speech on TV, far away from the face-to-face interaction with the Mayor, the networking over breakfast, and the bought-and-paid-for lobbying of Metro Council members.

This affair has got me wondering just how much neighborhoods actually matter in the current pecking order of the "State of Metro."

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