Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Metro Council Members Remain Mum on Kay Brooks Vote

Last Thursday I sent the following e-mail to the 3 Council Members who represent me--Ludye Wallace, Buck Dozier, and Adam Dread--concerning their yes-votes for Kay Brooks last week:
I am one of your constituents, past president of Salemtown Neighbors, and writer and editor for the weblog Enclave ... which focuses on issues and problems facing North Nashville neighborhoods.

I was troubled to see that yours was among the 18 votes that appointed Kay Brooks to the open school board seat this past Tuesday night. As has been now publicized, Ms. Brooks has no experience with and only the slightest connection to public schools. Could you please explain how you reached the decision (including your reasons) to vote for rather than against Ms. Brooks rather than voting for a more qualified candidate?

I am further troubled by the indications floating around in the media that one or more of your fellow council members put the 18 votes together behind closed doors and out of site of the public. This was an important vote that affects your constituents, yet I am unaware of any attempts you or others made to publicize either your support of or discussions about Ms. Brooks that occurred in the days preceding the vote. I read in today's [May 17] Tennessean that one council member acknowledged that 15 to 18 votes were lined up by May 10 without publicity and that another council member has admitted that spoke with "several" members before the vote. Could you please explain why you did not publicize your inclinations about Ms. Brooks as they were developing? Also, why did you not consult your constituents on this matter after the papers were filed on Ms. Brooks the Thursday preceding the vote?

You should know that I will be publishing your responses to this e-mail on Enclave for the benefit of North End residents. I will also inform my readers should you choose not to respond, and I will draw my own editorial conclusions from that choice.
After 5 days, still no response.

While living two years in Ludye Wallace's district, I've learned to set my expectations low on his responsiveness to his constituents. Our consolation is that he is term-limited and it is only a matter of time before we are free from his tired, neglectful ways. As for Adam Dread, I've said it before and I'll say it again: my two votes for him were mistakes and I'll definitely be voting against him the next time around. He's gone from defensiveness at any hint of criticism to ignoring all criticism. It appears to me that Ludye and Dread both so bonded with the Council conserva-tive bloc during December's Steve Gill Sing-a-long to Save Christmas that they just seem to be included now whenever the group gathers to put votes together outside of public meetings (in the December picture above, Ludye and Dread are surrounded by fellow members Parker Toler, Jim Gotto, Randy Foster, and Michael Craddock, all of whom voted for Kay Brooks in May). In fairness to Buck, I did not see him at the December carolling rally, but I'll never get a response from him unless I join the business bloc of contributors to his mayoral campaign.

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