Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Clementine Catastrophe

NashPo speaks of Metro Council rumors that if Bob Clement wins the Mayor's race in August, then he will simply offer the 11-acre riverfront property (which formerly held the thermal plant and currently sits in limbo, thanks to the failed Nashville Sounds ballpark plan) to the highest private bidders.

If those rumors are true, I would say that Bob Clement fails to comprehend the priceless potential of that property should it stay in public hands. I would say that he does not understand the qualities that create healthy metropolitan development. Metro should be leaning toward acquiring property for public use and for private/public partnerships, not selling it.

Why don't we just sell off Centennial Park or Percy Warner Park, if he wants some quick cash? Those sales would be less catastrophic to Nashville than selling off the most valuable piece of waterfront property in Tennessee; indeed, less disasterous than pawning one of the linchpins of balanced urban growth in the Downtown neighborhoods.


  1. That is just another rumor started by another campaign about Clement. "Metro Council" rumor, I wonder who that could be (Mike Jamenson I'm looking at you).

    Please do not buy into false rumors, I'm sure there will be a lot out there between now and Aug. 2nd. Nashville Post should know better than to even write about a "rumor"

  2. Anybody that's watched any of the debates will know that Clement is not anxious to sell that property to anyone without looking at all possible uses first, and he's also said things that indicate that he has no shortage of funding ideas for this city; he doesn't contemplate getting "quick cash" for Metro by selling that property. That's just a vicious statement designed to scare people. Please, folks...get informed before tossing out such shameful, bitter and desperate statements.

  3. What a load of crap! Reporting rumors that won't be attributed to anyone but the Council? The Council is rife with the "Anyone but Bob" faction because Bob Clement is in effect an outsider to the power structure they now run. By the way ...you CAN attribute this comment to me because I sign my posts.

  4. Good call Woodrow. In following the race, it's clear that Clement wants to explore riverfront opportunities that will serve the public, not private businesses. He's mentioned many times that he wants to create a comprehensive riverfront development plan (including the thermal site.) We know from his record in Congress that he's committed to serving his constituents, meaning he's not just going to take the highest bid from some real estate developer.

  5. I wish the alleged rumor were true. Selling the property to the highest bidder would guarantee that the property would be developed in a way that is most beneficial to the community. If you do not understand this then you failed economics 101. I am amazed by the antipathy on this site towards capitalism and the free market.

  6. The only antipathy on this site is toward the limitations of capitalism and toward the propensities of human vice such as greed to abuse the strengths of capitalism.

    Capitalism does some things well: it generates wealth and economic opportunity (to paraphrase Molly Ivins). But it fails miserably at other things: like creating the possibility of justice to all, ensuring equality, encouraging the rule of law, and checking extreme misbehavior by those with extreme amounts of capital. It is also not good managing services to communities or protecting the public trust.

    The idea of the free market in the world of corporate capitalism is a myth. In the real world the degree of freedom depends on the amount of money and the control over resources held. There is no free market. Big business sets the price that the market will bear and shelters its windfalls from any chance that popular demands might draw on them. Golden parachutes and glass ceilings abound in this market. And small businesses rarely gain access to tap real fonts and reservoirs of power.

    If your version of Economics 101 involves trite platitudes about a world that doesn't exist and quickie clich├ęs that are more dogma than truth, then I would have to say that yes, I would fail your course. Especially as it gets dispensed in the comment sections of blogs.

    If you honestly believe that selling property necessarily guarantees the greatest amount of benefit to the entire community, then you should revisit Logic 101.