Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CM Buddy Baker has to break out of his huddle with the lawyers tonight to pass an unpopular alley abandonment

A little later this evening Metro Council Member Buddy Baker will bring his controversial motion to abandon an alley as requested by one of his campaign donors who has also drawn up plans to industrialize residential properties by rezoning them. Many in the community believe that the abandonment is the gateway to rezoning, so they are organizing to show up in numbers tonight even though they will not be given the chance to address the council in a public hearing.

It's basically David and Goliath: The Nations neighborhood against Baker and the lobbyist lawyers who helped him take on opponents during a community meeting this week. Expect CM Baker to be as dismissive of his constituents as he was in this exchange during Saturday's meeting:
Constituent #1: Lots of neighbors are now doing neighborhood watch, dumping watch. They are pulling together as a neighborhood association and group to keep the community safe and clean.

CM Baker: I'm glad they're finally doing it!

Constituent #2: Do you know that there is an order in to get Metro Public Works to put a camera in this alley should dumping continue? And the dumping sign that's on the tree at the end of the alley which appeared this week is due to the community contacting Metro Public Works to get it done?

CM Baker: Well, 'bout time y'all done something!


Constituent #2: Why did you not consider these options instead of driving around and acting like there is nothing to be done but, "Oh, let's abandon this alley and give him the land?"

Constituent #3: I been picking up dump here for ... years.
It seems to me that CM Baker is so lead around by donors and lawyers that he feels emboldened not to work with voters in his district who disagree with him come to a win-win solution for both sides on alley maintenance and community planning.

UPDATE: According to the 43rd Avenue Rezoning Twitter feed, the Neighborhoods Defense Fund and the Historic Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association have publicly come out in opposition to alley abandonment.

UPDATE: Opposition leader Rick Bradley reported tonight on the Nashville Neighborhoods e-list that CM Baker told NewsChannel5 that he deferred abandonment at the council meeting because he did not have the votes for approval. Baker's indefinite deferral allows the bill to be put on the agenda again without much warning.

UPDATE: Buddy Baker told NewsChannel5 that he believes he had the votes to pass abandonment but it would have been close.

UPDATE: NewsChannel5's video:

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