Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dispatch: "overwhelming" opposition to convention center at public meeting and 2 CMs ignoring high volume of constituent emails

Mike Peden sent me the following report on the community meeting held in District 29 and he touches on the appearance of failure of CMs Vivian Wilhoite and Sean McGuire to read constituent emails:
I attended Vivian Wilhoite's Convention Center meeting last night in District 29.

The audience seemed to be overwhelming against the Convention Center.

Ms. Wilhoite says she will vote how her constituents want her to vote.

I recently did a Public Records Request to Metro Government to obtain the number of unopened emails in each Council member's inbox. Keith Durbin's office provided the information to me.

On December 21, Vivian Wilhoite had 8497 unopened emails in her inbox.

How can she possibly know what her constituents want when she does not read the email they send to her?

I spoke to her about this, and she said she had just "gotten behind" in reading the emails, but that she has now read and responded to all of them. All 8497 ....

Most Council members have their email automatically forwarded to another account, so it is not possible to tell if the emails have been read or not. That's not the case with Ms. Wilhoite. Her email in not forwarded to any other accounts.

Sean McGuire also had a large number of unread emails. You will recall there was a zoning issue in his district several months ago, and he abruptly changed his position and withdrew the zoning bill when he suddenly realized the community did not support what he was doing. The bill got all the way to third reading though. Maybe if he had read some of those emails he would have known much sooner

UPDATE: WSMV corroborates Mike's assessment that public opinion was decidedly opposed to a new convention center at the Antioch community meeting:
A large crowd attended a meeting on Tuesday night in Antioch to ask questions and hear details about the proposed downtown convention center.

It was designed so constituents could ask questions about the proposed project.

For the most part, the crowd was against the project.

They applauded a suggestion that the public should have the right to vote on the Music City Center.

"I'm concerned that we are jumping into this without enough information. The industry across the nation is suffering. Why do they think Nashville will be any different?” said retired Realtor Robert Kane.

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