Sunday, November 14, 2010

Riebeling writes the budget and authors the bleak narrative of fairgrounds financials

CM Emily Evans pointed out in the comments section of a previous post that when the fairgrounds budget was written, the impossible projections were the cause of the bothersome results that the fairgrounds board reported last Tuesday to the council:
I gotta say that I am sort of amazed that, so far, the press did not write about the manufactured losses of the fair. Rich purposefully set the budget to lose money for the three years he has been finance director. In government, as in life, if you plan on losing money you most likely will. Someone will have to educate me on how blowing a wad of the people's cash is the "right thing."
No surprise in the press uncritically assuming the validity of the Mayor's Office projections. It's not right, but they keep doing it and there is not much we can do to stop it.

However, we do need to pass the word around that these low revenues may be "bleak" because the fairgrounds projections were originally rigged to fail. Budget projections are less determined by some invisible hand of the market and more by the very human, self-interested hands in Metro Finance.

Council has had the opportunity to question the fairgrounds projections every spring since Karl Dean replaced Bill Purcell, who refused to use the fairgrounds performance as an excuse to convert public land to private real estate for the sake of developers. But I do not remember members demanding realism from Mr. Riebeling in that time. Most of them seemed to go along with Mayor Dean without protest.

That attitude continues. One of Mayor Dean's courthouse loyalists, CM Erik Cole, did not bother to question Metro Finance's formula even as he gnashed his tweeth over a fairgrounds performance that did not live up to Mr. Riebeling's forecast:

What is much bleaker is the probability that Rich Riebeling, who has been lobbying for privatization of the fairgrounds since the Purcell administration, cooked up numbers that were designed to sink the fairgrounds as a public facility.


  1. I agree with Ms. Evans 100%. It has all been a fabricrated, manipulative move on the behalf of the few that stand to gain by taking away something that is so valuable and loved by so many not only in Nashville but surrounding cities and states. As of last night 1/5/2011 Karl Dean said it was in the hands of the council to do what we the citizens of Nashville want. I haven't seen an army of people coming to the meetings opposing those who support Saving Our Fairgrounds so if you ask me the citizens have been screaming for weeks telling the council what we want. I'm sure KD will have a few talked into showing up for the public hearing on the 18th. If you ask me it looks very obvious that he is all about covering up his lies with anyone that will let him use them that way. I realize there are a few people that aren't for this but FEW is the key word. Like I said I haven't seen more than 4 or 5 at any of the meetings so that would be my true guess as to how many are against it. I know the council will do the right thing. SAVE OUR FAIRGROUNDS.

  2. I think the other fact that many have overlooked is who allowed the major NASCAR events which generated the millions in surplus to begin with to move to Wilson County in 2000.
    With Rich Reibeling as Chairman of the Fairboard they allowed the leaseholder to sell the rights to those events which generated 4-5 million annually (not exact numbers but close) and the Fairgrounds received NOTHING, ZERO for it.
    The Fairgrounds missed out on the biggest cash flow years of the NASCAR events which easily over the last 11 years could have been as much as 100 million in revenue.
    The Superspeedway is the worst performing track in the country. Worst design, worst ownership (dover) and will fail within the next 2 years.
    Rich Reibeling had to get rid of that major source of revenue in order to do what he's doing today.
    Had those events remained at the Fairgrounds, without Rich in charge there is no telling how different the property would look today.
    Yes, It ticks me off !

  3. Yes,it totally baffles me why this acounting manipulation conerning the Fairboard goes uncheck by Nashville's local media!And when someone ask me, why Im so passionate about this whole Fairgrounds issue?I simply point to one of the many shady actions performed by mayor Dean and his disciples as my answer to them!If council members want to risk their personal political careers,then by all means knock yourself out!Every so often politicians will be faced with an issue they underestimate or don't see coming that ends up costing them their political office .And this my friends is one of them issues,so council members I would run and not just walk away from Dean on this one!