Friday, July 08, 2005

No, Really. I'm Serious. Just Drop Dread.

This week a second source confirms allegations that I relayed to you before: that Council member-at-large Adam Dread skirted open meeting laws by conducting public business in private correspondence with other Council members. John Spragens of the Nashville Scene reports from Mr. Dread's private e-mail correspondence that he lobbied members of Eric's Eleven to cut three unnamed budget items from the proposed budget.

Not only did Mr. Dread fail to make public his specific intentions, but he defended his backroom meetings with other Council members--which he personally assured me he did not have--by saying that the rooms where they met were accessible to the public. So, if you just happened to be walking by the Council Chambers one of those days (you would not know which day it was because the meetings were not publicized), and you happened to be psychic or just lucky, and you stumbled in to one of those meeting rooms, then--and only then--would you, Jane or John Q. Public, have been privy to the budget discussions. I have to wonder what the Council members responses would have been should any member of the public just happened to find their way against all odds to these discussions.

Let's get back to Mr. Dread's denial to me of private discussions. He wrote me, "When asked by another Councilmember if I could support a cost of living budget, and attend a press conference, I replied in the affirmative. Period. [Emphasis mine]." I figured that his punctuation was protesting way too much; it told me that Mr. Dread was not speaking plainly to me. Spragens's new information on Mr. Dread confirms exactly what I concluded before: the Council member is either too cocky or too afraid to publicly acknowledge that the private discussions took place. Either way, he's simply being evasive. This is one more reason why Mr. Dread needs to be dropped in the next elections.

And you simply must read Spragens's article to see Council member Charlie Tygard's cheerleading e-mails to Eric's Eleven. Remember: Mr. Tygard is the council member who moved to defer a resolution on adopting the Ethics Task Force's recommendations to September. After reading his e-mails, I have to believe that Mr. Tygard would just as soon see those recommendations deferred forever. He doesn't strike me as the ethical type.

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