Monday, November 29, 2010

A dispatch from blogging council member Hollin on his trip to the Fairgrounds

You did not see news media accounts of CM Jamie Hollin fact-finding mission at the Fairgrounds flea market over the weekend, because he did not go with the publicized group of CMs at the Expo (some of whom may just be pandering before voting with the Mayor's planned move to Hickory Hollow mall any way). He struck out on his own and, instead of staging comments for a television audience, CM Hollin blogged his impressions and video-taped feedback he solicited from Expo vendors, which lends a more authentic feel:
Not everyone wanted to be on video, but everyone wanted to speak. I listened. I learned. I searched desperately for someone who supported the move. Couldn’t find such a vendor. I am sure there’s some as Mr. Dozier stated, I just couldn’t find them in the time window I was there. Of course, there is Christmas Village. They have publicly announced their support for the move and had letters spread on all the council members’ desks at the last council meeting. The “everyday” vendor is a little more my style even though I went to Christmas Village this year and bought gifts. They exhibit the entrepreneurship not taught in any school. This is survival of the fittest. In other words, the “everyday” vendor is feeding his or her family on this flea market weekend (and others here and beyond).

Again, I am sure there are vendors who want to go to Hickory Hollow Mall. You will not find them on the videos below. Instead you will find (1) a retailer of made in USA fashion apparel from 37205; (2) a lifelong Nashvillian selling jewelry; (3) a collectibles vendor from Antioch; (4)an environmentally-friendly vendor of household and commercial cleaning supplies from Joelton; and (5) the better half of a wife/husband team selling high-end jewelry and collectibles from Mt. Juliet
Jump to see videos (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5). Each contains some poignant disclosure of how Mayor Karl Dean's Hickory Hollow lease plan has already negatively affected small businesses in Nashville.

We hear a lot of lip service for supporting small business from civic leaders in government and the private sector. That chatter is going to be tested when it comes down to voting for or against Mayor Karl Dean's proposed Expo exile to Antioch. These small business owners are asking for minimal support: being allowed to continue to conduct their business in the same venue as they have in the past. Is that too much too ask anyone outside of the Mayor's Office?

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