Sunday, December 12, 2010

By the numbers: race for petition signers heated up in District 17 this weekend

E-mail correspondence from South Nashville Action People (SNAP) indicated a few days ago that they have set the goals higher than they seem to have in past council debates over closing down the Fairgrounds.

Here is an excerpt of an e-mail SNAP leaders sent to other District 17 neighborhoods:
We are asking for your help Saturday to spread the attached petition among your neighbors. Can you commit to helping us walk your neighborhoods from 9-12 on Saturday morning, or 1-4 on Saturday afternoon? We are asking that neighbors from your communities go with us, because we want this to be a neighbor-to-neighbor drive. Ideally, we would have about five neighbors from your neighborhood who could pair up with five of ours.

We are hoping to hit a lofty goal of 2,000 signatures by the Dec. 21 Council hearing. Your neighbors will also be able to sign an online petition ....
Last night the South Nashville Life blogger tweeted that the online petition was just short of 100 signatures. I have not seen any reports on how many signatures SNAP collected on Saturday.

However, Save My Fairgrounds organizers, who in a press release say they were emboldened by Mayor Karl Dean's comments Friday night that the neighbors living around the Fairgrounds are "uniformly opposed" to preservation, sent out their own teams around District 17 with petitions. If their numbers are accurate they seem to have made their own progress with signers:
Goal (In Households): 1,860
Total HH Knocked: 1,387 (shortened due to light rain)
Total HH Not Home: 723
Total HH No Opinion, Won’t Sign, or Ag. Fairgrounds: 182
Total Individual Signatures: 511
Yard Signs Placed: Dozens (we lost count)
If the cycle of the past returns this week, the preservationists will tout their large numbers of supporters, and SNAP will question the legitimacy of those numbers without divulging details of the strength or legitimacy of theirs.

If the numbers are reliable it looks like neighbor vs neighbor at this point, which is precisely a result of the Mayor's Office divide and conquer strategies.


  1. One Man's name continues to be at the forefront of the destruction of the Tn State Fairgrounds. It's quite clear that he has cost our city untold millions over his control of the Fairgrounds.

    Metro Finance Director Rich Reibeling.

  2. Fascinating comment: "If the numbers are reliable it looks like neighbor vs neighbor at this point, which is precisely a result of the Mayor's Office divide and conquer strategies."

    Actually, it seems like the racetrack supporters have done a great job of getting those with a beef with Dean to "carry their water" for them. Sounds like the "Save My Fairgrounds" crowd is doing the "divide and conquer." It's also fascinating the way that you and others take the "SMF" press releases as gospel and then challenge anything that is said by bloggers and other rep's of the affected neighborhood.

    This neighborhood has suffered a long time from the racetrack. There have been different feelings about the future of the fairgrounds as a whole. But in meeting after meeting, the racetrack has been cited as a real problem for years.

    Fall-Hamilton School was severely impacted by the afternoon racing practices. Teachers had trouble teaching, especially for the special ed kids.

    No one was interested in helping the neighborhood then -- so the neighborhood worked to help itself. No fairgrounds supporters showed up to add their voices. But now -- now that we can all feel so self-righteous about slapping down that Demon Dean, the long-standing concerns of this neighborhood can easily be sacrificed.

  3. Fairgrounds Raceway has been there since the turn of the century. Buissineses and residents knew of that when they came to the neighborhood. Notably the people who should be outraged sre the people of Wilson and Rutherford counties whom the noise of the superspeedway has imposed upon them, and yet, you hear nothing. The truth is there is approx. 100 acres of real estate the mayor can generate more tax revenue from to pay for his Convention Center. He cares nothing about Nashville residents, not even the ones who thinks he does. He's a transplant from Mass. Dean has no knowledge or compassion for Tradition in Nashville. Wake up council members, use some Visine to clear the $$$$ signs from your eyes