Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What LaLonde's parting list says and what it does not say

Outgoing CM of the fairly affluent West Nashville district that encompasses part of Hillsboro-West End, Belmont-Hillsboro, and 12South, Kristine LaLonde, sent a farewell/thank you note out to constituents today (Burkley Allen will take the seat in the next term). Among her accomplishments she mentions:

Council work is not just making good things happen, it’s preventing bad things from happening. Collective efforts helped to prevent inappropriate developments in our neighborhood, as we work to keep the balance of housing, commercial development, and institutions.

Not only do I agree with Ms. LaLonde, but I'll go a step beyond her and maintain that the same prevention of inappropriate developments ought to also extend to less wealthy, more transitional neighborhoods in Nashville. We all deserve balance, but often times the communities here don't have power and influence, and they are forced to accept "growth" that other areas would not tolerate. Often times North Nashville is cut off from the power that other communities have to achieve a balance of housing, commercial, and institutions. Like unsmart growth, a sense of desperation, both experienced and encouraged, is unevenly distributed (e.g., "Jobs, jobs, jobs!").

One other unrelated but remarkable aspect of Ms. LaLonde's letter was what it did not say: she did not list her unqualified  support of the Mayor's convention center project among her accomplishments. It seems like most of the progressive CMs who supported Mayor Dean on building the Music City Center have been ducking rather than showcasing that construction project. It seems odd for the emphasis on economic growth that they put on it in the run-up to approval. Did the new convention center not resonate with District 18 constituents like it did with campaign donors?

1 comment:

  1. I have the first post on the above story, "Every Next Big Thing...."

    This post is related.

    Mike brings up the point that council members have been "ducking rather than showcasing that construction project" (the Music City Center).

    Why are they doing this? I'd say, it's probably because they are wondering if it was a good idea to begin with. They are already distancing themselves from it in case it turns out to be a boondoggle. And if it happens to work out, they can attach themselves to the success.

    Either way, it's typical chicken-kneed politics.

    That said, we are now stuck with the Music City Center.

    My post on the "Every Next Big Thing..." story made the point that Dean and certain council-members are robbing the heart and soul of this city (mainly, that Nashville has a Wild West aspect to it, sorta like Vegas, that draws tourists and convention folk alike, and that for the past 20 years, a certain vein of people have been trying to do away with the "wild" part).

    If the Music City Center is gonna work, then Nashville needs to re-claim its "wild" side. If we let Dean and council members like Megan Barry and Ronnie Steine make Nashville a "vanilla" city, then we will be no different than other cities.

    And when it comes to a big conventions coming to the MCC, it will simply be based on the cost of rooms per night, rather than the inherent attraction our city can offer.

    And if it comes to that, the MCC will be a boondoggle.

    The "elites" do not know what Nashville is really about. Their agenda is not only taking away the soul of Nashville, but taking away the main reason the MCC could be a huge success.