Thursday, June 29, 2006

Charlie Tygard's Broadside Against the Arts

Council member Charlie Tygard told the Nashville City Paper that, because he could not get some department cuts that he wanted, he went after Arts Commission. That was popular with the conservative horde in Council chambers, who no doubt see Piss Christ in every statue that doesn't resemble Billy Graham and a cross. Council responded by slashing $258,400 from Arts, sending it instead to the Sheriff's Office. The spirit of Fate Thomas was no doubt lurking around the chambers near Tygard's corner when he hatched that misdirection. An extra cheap jail clean-up detail or two make a few constituents happy; meanwhile Nashville's relative poverty of public art will continue.

Tygard also raided the Mayor's Office and leveraged $50,000 so that Council members could build one single Habitat for Humanity home and feel closer. Now, I'm not down on Habitat. They are an effective private charity that makes a real difference in people's lives. But Tygard's primary intentions are not to build a house for a needy family; his primary intentions are to sponsor a bonding event for current Council members. The buzz is that the event is also self-promotional: Tygard is running for Vice Mayor. So, why raid the Mayor's budget so that Charlie Tygard can promote a Kumbaya Council and his own electability? Seems to me that he should have worked for that $50,000 the old fashioned way: by lobbying his cohort for pledges of private donations, which actually may be ethically done in back rooms. Instead, Tygard lazily used Council prerogative to channel public money to this private charity. This may end up costing those of us who benefit from Metro services like the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods.

Council member Erik Cole called Tygard's amendment and the conservative horde to the carpet:
I don't vote on the budget to make a political statement about who's in the Mayor's office.
No, Mr. Cole, but apparently the conservatives do. Though in the final analysis, Charlie Tygard's single Habitat House will amount to nothing but ground clutter compared to a Purcell legacy that leaves us sidewalks, community centers, and a beautiful downtown public square.


  1. My understanding about Habitat is that they DO NOT accept donations from government agencies. If that's true and he has to raise the money himself (competing against himself for fundraising dollars), will Good-time Charlie still follow through with the Habitat house?


    "How does Habitat work with the government?
    Habitat for Humanity International is not a government agency, nor does it accept government funds for the construction of houses. However, Habitat considers all levels of government and governmental agencies important partners in its mission to eliminate poverty housing. We encourage governments to do what they can to help alleviate the suffering of all those who have no decent, adequate place to live.

    Habitat for Humanity welcomes partnerships with governments to help "set the stage" for the construction of houses. Stage-setting funding and gifts might include land, houses for rehabilitation, infrastructure for streets, utilities and administrative expenses."

  2. It is widely known within District 35 that Charlie Tygard has been a complete disaster as District 35 council "representive". In fact, he has mostly served his own interests for many many years here.

    Citizens who have simply had enough of Tygard's misrepresentation, have put up a web site on order to warn Nashville at-Large of the many dangers of electing a man whom many consider a "menace" to his own constituents.

    They also have a related blog here in which Nashville area citizens are adding their own stories about ole Charlie: