Friday, April 24, 2009

If By "Money for Independent Study" You Mean "May Town Center Bribery"

Bells Landing Partners, LLC's bribes only started with its donation of Bells Bend flood plain and money to cash-strapped, anxious Tennessee State University in the wake of stern public opposition.

PiTW's Caleb Hannan points out that the Metro Planning Commission (a.k.a., our Planning Commission), has just received a bribe with the blessing of the Metro Council (a.k.a., our Metro Council), proving once again that democracy can always be bought out:
Bells Landing Partners, the developers behind May Town, just awarded the city $125,000 for "an independent transportation study and an economic analysis." Translation: Since you obviously won't take our word for it, we're going to hire some smart guys to tell you how wonderful we are. What's even better: The city doesn't even need to pony up their own cash. Bells Landing is doing this all out of the goodness of their own heart. Hooray!

Of course, Independent Study is an oxymoron on par with jumbo shrimp. Telling someone what they don't want to hear is bad for business. So you'll never read an Independent Study that says "don't build." More often than not, said Study will prove that the people who paid for it are merely benevolent servants of the city. Out for a profit, sure, but more interested in delivering the thousands of jobs and millions in spending that will undoubtedly come if you help them turn this farm into a parking lot.
My own realistic streak tells me that this study will merely present an excuse for the Planning Commission to buck public opinion and run with the developers once again.


  1. This weeks presentation to the planning commission was solid, along with the presentaton from TSU.

    This makes sense. It is good business to align all of its' different prospects to make this a success. It should contain a wide view of the business picture.

    All schools, especially state school are cash-strapped and looking for financial means to succeed. It would be foolish not to do so.

    All of this and also get a beneficial educational program for TSU and a joint venture by MTSU.

  2. It would be more compelling if the "donations" in question weren't clearly investments to support profiteering at the expense of Nashville's future.

    It's not charity when someone starts lobbing money because they don't get their way. It may not be bribery, but that's closer to the truth :-)