Monday, October 26, 2009

Why Gail Kerr keeps her job: politics

Look, don't hear me as defending Metro Parks boss, Roy Wilson, because frankly, our community has had bad experiences with broken promises from his office and the recent budget overage on golf is just plain wrong for no other reason than because it was for golf.

However, Gail Kerr has mounted up in the shot gun slot once again to support CM Ronnie Steine (and the Mayor's Office?) who is grousing about the relatively small overage when he should be mad the money was overspent on an elite game when community centers in average neighborhoods close on weekends. She also ran media interference for Steine a couple of months ago by touting his bill to redirect nonprofit funds away from an offending program to other nonprofits rather than putting it into Metro programs (like maybe Parks?). And let's not forget that Kerr once consented to being coached by professional ad men in order to write favorable copy for the Mayor's convention center proposal, which CM Steine is shepherding through council without raising any critical questions on behalf of his constituents.

So, please excuse me while I question Kerr's motives in writing this particular diatribe essentially planting the seed for Mr. Wilson's ouster. She admits herself that the Mayor cannot fire the civil servant in charge of Parks, but then she has the audacity to report that he's receiving protection against Dean by a major campaign supporter of Dean? That sounds rather bogus to me. Rather, she seems to be rationalizing the pressure of unseen forces behind the bureaucratic curtain while, as usual, mapping a high road for Mayor Dean to take away from the political arm-twisting.

Kerr also seems to be priming the pump for CM Steine, especially when she drops the name Jim Fyke (a Bredesenite who would fit right in under the Bredesenesque Dean administration). In 2008, when introducing a resolution to honor State Parks Commissioner Fyke, Ronnie Steine waxed about Fyke's days heading Metro Parks and gushed that Fyke belonged in a Metro employees "Hall of Fame." For what it's worth, some of us have had our own run-ins with Jim Fyke that seemed more infamous than famous. If Roy Wilson gets kudos from Kerr for improving services to lower-rung communities, I've experienced Jim Fyke's commitments as the opposite of such improvement. And Fyke's Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation doesn't exactly strike me as on the ball regarding regulating unsafe conditions for east Tennessee neighborhoods in light of the TVA coal ash spill.

So, Gail Kerr doesn't seem to be doing us any favors by insinuating this leadership change at Metro Parks. I believe she is merely continuing to shill for the ruling class in Nashville.

1 comment:

  1. If only the Parks Department had the foresight to hire MP&F to handle their PR. They'd still be over budget, but Gail wouldn't mind so much.