Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Strike Three! Does This Guy Really Want to Be Mayor?

In John Spragens's lead in to this week's Nashville Scene cover story on Mayor Bill Purcell, mayoral candidate Buck Dozier once again comes off somewhat less-than-attractive to potential voters like me who care about such mundane things as adequate neighborhood planning and local governance. According to Spragens,
Last week, as 30 members of the Metro Council debated and voted on public policy, Buck Dozier watched a hockey game. Granted, the at-large council member showed up ... but at some point he slipped out the door and headed over to the arena .... Dozier missed votes on six bills up for third reading and eight memorializing resolutions .... "All my bills were passed, so I tried to support the Predators a bit," Dozier tells the Scene.
Oh, okay. Well, you haven't passed your run for the Mayor's office, yet, Mr. Dozier, and you're going to have a hard time justifying to those of us who believe in the nobility of strong public service at the local level why a hockey match is more important than your civic duty to all your constituents through your term as a council member. Let's hope that you care about pending actions beyond your bills. It seems to me a Mayor should care about most if not all Council activities.

However, I'm sure it required great personal sacrifice to drag yourself over to the no doubt boring play-off atmosphere of Predators' hockey. You must have derived little personal pleasure from that. I can certainly understand why you would rather have continued to stay long hours fulfilling your responsibilities in the cat house.

But all sarcasm aside, on the score of Mayor's who lend more support to professional sports teams than they do to neighborhoods: we've been there and done that with Phil Bredesen. Very few of us in Nashville are willing to go through that again given the high price items now on the Predators' and Titans' wish lists for Metro. I am bound to ask you, "As mayor would you strive to take money away from local services for schools and neighborhoods in order to support the Predators' drive for a new scoreboard and other renovations to the Center?"

I'm just wondering how far your support for the Predators extends and how far you are willing to sacrifice. If you would leave a Council session in order to "support" the Predators, how far does such support extend? It doesn't seem to me that the winsome Predators lack for fan support, so having just one more fan at the match rather than having a Council member at his desk on a regular meeting night seems a bit of a stretch in logic. I have a hard time supporting a candidate who believes that the Predators require his support to help them in the play-offs. If "support" means something else, then you've got some explaining to do in your campaign. Your almost singular reliance on the business community to back your bid for mayor has got me a little concerned about what you mean.

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