Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Exemption Bummers

Here are my greatest disappointments regarding actions involving the Car Wash Exemption Bill:
  • There's been next to no discernible--as in publicized--actions since the bill was deferred over a week ago. I was hoping the neighborhood groups and Nashville Neighborhood Alliance would have jumped on the opportunity to drum up support to try and kill the bill before it is brought back up. If anything is moving on this, then it is happening behind closed doors. Please tell me that neighborhood leaders are not sitting on their hands on the exemption issue like they were a couple of months ago.
  • This issue has not come up for discussion on my favorite "urban design issues" on-line discussion, Nashville Charrette. The Charrette has so many positives to it, but one of its limitations is that it tends toward sophisticated design theory and high-minded aesthetics and it seems to shy away from nuts and bolts issues that affect neighborhoods at at the community level. The whole exemption controversy seems a tailor-made crossroads for a Charrette discussion about participatory urban forms, but there has not been a single mention of it.
  • No moderate-to-progressive council member has aggressively and outspokenly opposed the exemption bill, thus leading to my greatest disappointment ...
  • Council Member John Summers is the only vociferous opponent of the exemption bill. Summers' credibility was all shot full of holes during the Sylvan Park Overlay Catastrophe last year. And yet, he even found a way to sink even lower into the swamp of low regard by voting for English Only. I can only wonder how he is personally benefiting from his opposition, because I'm not convinced that he is digging in his heels on principle.
All things considered, I am concerned that the exemption bill stands a good chance of passage without much resistance.

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