Friday, January 12, 2007

I Declare! I Believe We Have Our First Council Discretionary Bill For Public Infrastructure! (Or Maybe Not).

Do my eyes deceive me? Seven Council Members are pooling their "Reserve Council Infrastructure [Yada, Yada, Yada] Account" Funds to request $14,000 for a new scoreboard for the Shelby Park Baseball Field. Last time I checked, Shelby Park was a Metro Park, and Metro Parks were publicly funded; therefore, these monies actually count as "public" and they are actually going to be spent on "infrastructure." Assuming that a majority of the Council approves of actually spending public dollars on public services on Tuesday, that brings the public services vs. private non-profits tally to $14,000 (less than 3.5%) vs. over $400,000 (greater than 96.5%). Even with a new Shelby Ballpark Scoreboard, council members have quite a deficit to make up to match private non-profit spending so far. Could they make this a horse race? Maybe if it were a private, not-for-profit steeplechase they could.

UPDATE: If the first commenter below is correct, then the public infrastructure tally is once again at $0.00 (0%) of the taxes that council members are spending on Metro services instead of on non-profits. I suppose it depends on what a "facility use permit" entails and what "the Shelby Park Baseball Field utilized by the Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association" means.

Here's what the NOTBA website says about the field:
The Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association took over operation of the field in 1990. The Stan Musial Southeast Regional tournament was hosted at the facility by the Old Timers for several years. During that time many improvements were made to the field and facility by the Old Timers.

The facility continues to improve. The clubhouse interior has been remodeled and refurnished. A windscreen, winged foul poles, and fence cap have been added to the outfield fence. Additional lights, in-ground water sprinklers, two batting cages, double mounded bull pens, a new PA system and scoreboard have been installed. New dugouts have been constructed along with a new garage and storage barn for field equipment. This year Centurian Stone was added to all the structures to improve the appearance of the park.

That makes it sound like the NOTBA, rather than the public, has charge of the field. It also clearly states that NOTBA made previous improvements themselves (which insinuates the absence of public funds). If NOTBA still has charge, then they cannot take credit for the proposed scoreboard, which will be funded by our tax dollars. The question is how does this public contribution lead to public use?

UPDATE: Bill co-sponsors Rip Ryman and Jim Forkum both sit on the Board of the Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association. Conflict of interest if the field is used exclusively by the private association?

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to disapoint you but the I am fairly sure that the money is going to diamond # 1 at shelby which is run by the oldtimers baseball assoc. It is not a public field.