Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finally facing his Waterloo?

Most of us do not know what kind of deals Mayor Karl Dean is making with various Metro Council members to get their support for his State Fairgrounds plan (maybe a Sulphur Dell ballpark promise to CM Erica Gilmore?) or what kind of threats to service for dissenters' districts might be be floating around (Tennessean bloggers seemed to give assists to the Mayor's Office offensive, especially that against Mike Jameson, who has been a courthouse target since Dean took office).

Richard Lawson notes that while strong opponents to the plan currently outnumber strong supporters, the council finds a way to cave:
The big question, however, arises over whether the Council’s bark is worse than its bite. For a very long time, Councils have wrestled with mayors over big projects only to eventually cave in the end and vote in favor of whatever the mayor has proposed, though with some changes brought by the barking. There has been some discussion of whether the fairgrounds issue could become Dean’s Waterloo; that the council gets a rare win, giving Dean’s Council critics confidence to buck him on other projects.

If he indeed wins the tough battle, you would think the well is getting quite shallow for additional big projects. With a downtown ballpark for the Nashville Sounds on the horizon, a Council shell-shocked by project after project could stand strong and make that process difficult by saying enough already. The flipside, however, is Council members are so weary of fighting that they roll easily on the next one, cementing a beat-them-into-submission tactic.
To no one's surprise the 4 of the 5 at-Large council members seem in the Mayor's pocket and recalcitrant to community concerns about large capital projects that benefit a fewer number of Nashvillians. So, the votes are going to come down to district CMs. If you have not contacted your CM and asked them to delay the sale of the public Fairgrounds to private developers or to stop the madness of paying $10 million for Hickory Hollow retail space on the market for $3.5 million, please do so before the Tuesday, December 7 council meeting.

Help them locate some backbone to stand up to the Mayor's Office.

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