Tuesday, December 12, 2006

One More Reason Why the Mayor Gets More Respect than the Metro Council

On the one hand, look around the community at the projects that have Mayor Purcell's fingerprints on them. He seems to direct tax dollars at community problems so to have the broadest impact, even when they are unsexy ones like the project that Metro just started in the Jones Buena Vista neighborhood to replace crumbling sidewalks along 9th Avenue North (pictured to the left). We can rest assured that there is public oversight of these projects.

On the other hand, look at the rare chance that our council members have been given to manage and to spend our tax dollars. They've given that money to the Nashville Songwriters Association and to fund upgrades to a private swimming pool. There are no guarantees of public oversight of these projects, outside of financial reports to Metro, or of measurable proof of broader public benefit.

I would say that the council members have more than earned their low reputation and that they lose any credibility when it comes to questioning the Mayor on his budgets. They cannot even manage their own money so that community-wide problems are effectively addressed. What makes them think they are entitled to question anyone else?


  1. You are more right than you know. This administration has been pretty careful to address its large projects with an eye on doing what makes sense -- so for example the sidewalks plan laid out the sections of sidewalk to be replaced by need, not by ensuring everyone's Council district got some at the same time. Same with Stormwater. Council's actions are just pork, cutting dollars going to well-monitored, well-operated projects (for the most part) so they can sprinkle a little money to folks they like, with little/no oversight and no accountability for how the money is used. My favorite Council cut of this year's budget was taking $50,000 from the Mayor's Office -- it cost the Office of Neighborhoods a staff member -- so the Council Members could build a house for Habitat for Humanity.