Thursday, July 24, 2008

They May Now Talk May

Developer Tony Giarratana  is first up and he has 14 minutes.  He says that he is supportive of the deferral but he wants that deferral to be limited to the time it takes to answer the question.  He claims that the bridge will not be paid for publicly but he and the May Family will pay for it.  Promises not to accept either state or federal money for the development.

UPDATE:  Tony G. is claiming that the majority of people in Bells Bend support MTC.  He wants to know why people who live around places Dickerson Road and Jefferson Street oppose this.  He says that he has support of the 19 members of Charlotte Park Neighborhood Association.

UPDATE:  Tony G. says that no public money will be spent on a school, a police department or a fire department in Bells Bend.  His company is going to donate the land for each and then pay private dollars for building the schools.  The logical next question:  what kind of private strings are going to be tied to privately constructed and financed public schools?  Is it in the public interest to have schools built with private money?

UPDATE:  Tony G. is done and promised to pay for a lot of different things.  Bordeaux business leader speaking in support of Tony G.

UPDATE:  I missed the traffic study official that spoke in Tony G.'s favor, but bporemski expresses perspective on that in the comments below.

UPDATE:  David Briley is now up speaking in rebuttal of Tony G.  Refers to the speculative nature of the MTC proposal.  There is no guarantee that business will come if MTC gets built, and Briley is unconvinced that Cool Springs itself attracts businesses.  Criticizing Tony G. for acting like everything good will happen if MTC is built.  Refers to Tony G. as a speculator who parachuted in not in 2000 or 2001, but in 2007 and asked for the neighborhood plan to be totally changed.  Briley ended by asking the Commission to approve the neighborhood plan and to reject the MTC alternative plan.

UPDATE:  MTC opponent has the money quote:  "The greatness of cities is not determined by what we develop, but by what we do not destroy."

UPDATE:  Specialist in sustainable development now speaking.  He is arguing that the Planning Department's alternative design plan relies on too many contingencies and it will continue sprawl and the "Cool Springization" of Nashville.  Paraphrasing him:  you can get LEED points for doing good things, but you can also do a lot of bad things in the name of LEED.

UPDATE:  Fellow representing the Firestone Corporation says that he resents Tony G. calling his company a "missed opportunity," given that they chose Davidson County for their headquarters.

UPDATE:  Village Real Estate's Mark Deutschmann calls MTC "a diversion" from Downtown development.  He's arguing that we can't have a great bifucated city.

UPDATE:  Joe Engle, a minister, contrasts the vision between Nashvillians who have developed a community over 30 years against that of a land speculator.  He dressed down the Planning Department staff for calling Bells Benders "stake-holders," instead of what they called themselves:  "neighbors."  He read a 2003 newspaper quote of Mr. May that he didn't believe in variances because they represented tax money for developers; now that Mr. May stands to make hundreds of millions off of his $25 million investment, he's singing a different tune.

UPDATE:  Tony G. gets his rebuttal time.  He's going after David Briley.

UPDATE:  Tony G. is saying that "he signs the note" in Downtown and nobody cares about protecting Downtown more than he does.  Says that Williamson County has great schools because of corporate relocation.  Chamber of Commerce would love that one.  He's applying a total business model to government:  he's saying that Metro's reliance on donations and contributions (18%) is precarious and no business would operate like that.  No kidding.  Government and business are supposed to be in different sectors.  Governments have libraries and schools and symphony halls and other institutions that have a pool of people that they draw donations from.  Businesses are expected to go it alone; they aren't public.

UPDATE:  Geez.  I'm sorry I've never heard this guy talk in a public setting like this.  He's a preacher, a salesman, a P.T. Barnum.

UPDATE (coming up on 7 hours of Planning Commission, 5 hours of Bells Bend tonight):  Rebuttal from MTC opponents.  Schools, crime, and number of McMansions probably had more to do with the companies not choosing Nashville than a 50-acre campus.  Dealing some reality:  "you cannot hold a hard-line boundary on this development."  Do we want to be more like sprawling Atlanta or more like Portland, OR, which drew a line around the city and refused to sprawl?

UPDATE:  And it's over.  The Planning Commission adjourned to meet at a forum to discuss the proposals at an as-yet-to-be-determined time in the future.


  1. That slide representing property owners' support for MTC was the slickest, most cynical example of lying with maps I've seen in some time. Like early America, only landholders can have opinions, but Tony G does it better: for every acre, you get an extra vote!

  2. Re: highway consultant: I'm no traffic planner, but with three lanes out, one wreck at 4:30 and 40,000 people are backed up into the Bend, with no alternate route. Of course, that will never happen, because there will be an eight lane spur from 40 to Centennial, as well as four lanes up to the Ashland City Highway.

    The willingness of people to lie through their teeth for money really does shock me, and not in a Claude Rains way.

  3. Thanks so much for this post. I discovered last night at 5:45 p.m. that I do NOT have Channel 3, much to my dismay.

  4. Thanks for going and posting. This is gonna be interesting.