Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Karl Dean will not spare a dime to move toxic debris out of my neighborhood, but he can afford to hand a TV show $500,000

One of the hallmarks of Mayor Karl Dean's two terms at the helm of Metro government has been to dole out corporate welfare and subsidies for private companies even as he has complained that he simply does not have the money to fund Metro services the way they should be funded.

So, of course, Mayor Dean now wants to give the taxpayers' revenues, our money, to the ABC network's prime time soap opera, "Nashville", which has threatened to take its toys and go home to the west coast and in order to film the second season there if the Nashville will not give it a hand-out.

And who blinked first?

Mayor Karl Dean has ... agreed, on behalf of Metro, to provide a $500,000 cash grant for the production of the show, something that Dean’s office has previously referred to as advertising the city can’t buy ....

“With beautiful scenic shots of our landscape and the portrayal of our unique music scene, more people, without a doubt, are visiting our city and spending their money here because they’ve seen this hour-long commercial for Music City that airs every week during primetime,” said Dean, in a prepared statement. “The city’s investment in Nashville this season is a recognition that this show benefits our local economy and is opening doors to further grow the film and television industry here.”

Entitled to Metro entitlements?
Money cannot buy that kind of advertising until it does buy that kind of advertising.

It would be one thing if the Mayor said, "I am going to take the subsidy that I usually pay the Chamber of Commerce and I'm going to give it to ABC producers to sweeten the incentive for doing the logical thing: coming back to Nashville to film a show called 'Nashville'". But no. He obviously does not see our revenue base as a trust that helps neighborhoods, that sustains the community, that bolsters the quality of life.

Mayor Dean sees our resources as fiat to exercise his own personal privilege to pass out corporate welfare wherever he sees fit. Companies are allowed to draw on the dole that is supposed to go back into building up our infrastructure and generating programs directly benefitting Nashvillians.

I wonder what fraction of $500,000 it would take to clean up Metro Water's toxic landfill near Salemtown? Karl Dean does not seem to see the fitness in that.

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