Monday, March 09, 2009

Compare and Contrast the Dean Administration's Winding Riverfront Plan Statements

After all hell broke loose in East Nashville over Riverfront development, Dean administration mouthpiece, Janel Lacy issued the following statement to the mainstream media via email:
The riverfront redevelopment plan was completed over two years ago. [The Mayor's MDHA appointee] is now going through a public process of determining if what was set out two years ago still fits the needs of our community today. That was the purpose of the community meeting at East Park.
Is it just me or does that sound like the Dean administration is opening back up for public reconsideration the concept that Nashvillians helped formulate during an expensive, time-intensive project that Metro implemented two years ago?

Well, those who attended last week's East Nashville meeting seemed to have left the impression that the matter is closed and that the public spoke two years ago.

So, tonight, Dean's MDHA appointee issued a different statement to the Tennessean, which suggests that not only was Lacy's statement about an reopening public evaluation of the concept not genuine, but that the Mayor has already made up his own mind to overrule the public's preference for beginning with East Bank development and to work on the Downtown side first:
Mayor Karl Dean is committed to each of the projects envisioned by Nashville's original riverfront redevelopment plan but believes some may have to be built later than expected due to the economic recession, a city official said today.

Ed Owens, waterfront redevelopment director for the Metro Development and Housing Agency, said Dean wants to build each of the 19 projects on either downtown bank of the river.

"What's important to keep in perspective is that we've got a good plan," Owens said this evening. "This is not a discussion about changing any of those projects or not doing any of them. I know the mayor is fully committed to implementing the plan."

Got it? According to Lacy, the Mayor was seeking to read the public pulse on whether to proceed with or to change the approved Riverfront plan. According to MDHA appointee, the Mayor intends to proceed, not change, but not in the same order that was originally approved.

So, is the Mayor flip-flopping, backpedaling, stringing along, or stalling? Or is everything pretty much on the up-and-up and his logic is consistent and crystal clear to everybody but me?

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